Thirty by 30

I’ve always struggled to know the line between contentment and ambition.

I want to travel and eat good foods and push myself at work and make new friends and take on challenges and be involved at church and learn new crafts and write letters and take meals to people who need them and exercise and have a welcoming home and do special things with Alex. All great things. And all things that take effort and planning and some amount of wanting things to be different than how they are right now.

So the question is how do I keep that desire — for change and challenge and newness — while being content with who I am now and the things I have now?

I’ve been married for just over a year now. The most significant thing I’ve realized is that my attitude is always my choice. I choose to be annoyed and resentful at a teasing comment or I choose to laugh along. I choose to talk about something or I choose to give the silent treatment. I choose to smile in the morning or I choose to stomp around and brood about running late. Living with someone else suddenly makes my choices much more visible.

This year I will turn 30. I’ve thought for the last 6 months about compiling a “30 by 30” list of things I want to accomplish before June 20. But I decided that it might be more helpful for me to compile a different sort of list. Still a “30 by 30.” But in a spirit of gratitude and contentment, this list will celebrate the opportunities I have already had. This year I want to look back on the last 30 and simply say, “Wow. Thank you Lord.”

Perhaps the answer is that simple: choose thanks.

Perhaps contentment, thanks for the gifts and opportunities we’ve already been given, is the very attitude that spurs us on toward a full life of creativity and newness, as we live with gratitude toward the Giver of all good things.

Psalm 103

. . . . .

Happy New Year from the Wilgi!

Happy New Year!

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13 thoughts on “Thirty by 30

  1. This is a great post, Lauren – – and you drew me in with your very first line. I, too, have been reflecting on turning thirty. In fact, Brittany inspired me to create my first 30 x 30 list after college; though my priorities have changed, and I don’t think I’ve accomplished half of those things, I feel like God has provided opportunities and moments of learning that I never even asked for or imagined (as He is apt to do). So, you’ve inspired me to write that 30 x 30 post I’ve been wanting to write, but with a different focus – – less on the doing, and more on what’s been done in me. Thanks for helping redirect my focus in this way. Peace, friend.

  2. Lovely post, Lauren! Thankfulness IS the key to contentment. I’ve just started a Thankfulness-360 (started 5 days late!!!) and I’m making sure to take a photo of something I’m grateful for every day. So far it is really making me aware of everything–just little things… but it’s the little things that are life–like choosing one’s attitude, yes? Easier said than done…
    and the Wilgi made me laugh out loud.

    • Thanks Carol. I love that idea! Hopefully you’ll post them sometimes and give us a glimpse. Hope you all enjoyed your Connecticut Christmas. I missed seeing everyone. (And I’m so happy for Casey!)

  3. 30 by 30.

    While contemplative; looking thankfully backward; consider this: 30 people who mentored and inspired – whose attributes, worthy of assimilation – might influence your next 30.

    Let’s call it: 30 for 30.

    Always love your thoughts,

    Dad

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