On 2016, Mom Life and Turning 30.

Mom Life

You guys, life is just funny. I’ve recently realized that when I think I have it all figured out, I really don’t. “Mom life” is like trying to juggle 52 balls in the air, and realizing you can only handle 1 at a time. In reality, for me, that means just as I’m getting the hang of the mom thing, the rest of it just becomes really tough…being a good wife, a healthy cook/eater, keeping our home clean, trying to get the baby weight off [yes, it’s still there, a year later…] and trying to spend time doing things I enjoy like reading and blogging and showering. There’s just not enough time for all of it. 

I’m turning 30 in 6 months. [Yes, I know it’s still a ways away.] But you know what? I’m going to blink and it’s going to be June 28 and all of the sudden I’m going to be an official, real-deal adult. I mean, you’re supposed to be all mature and have everything figured out when you’re 30 right? [Yes, I can hear your laughter.]

For some reason, turning 30 is making me evaluate my life in a way. I feel so blessed to be married to an amazing man, have a beautiful baby boy [yes, I’m still calling him my baby…and probably will forever, don’t judge] and be in a ministry I love. But what about the rest of it? What about my health…physical, emotional, mental and spiritual? Sometimes mom life makes it feel like there’s not enough time to take care of those areas. 

[Important note: I am not whatsoever complaining about being a mom. I LOVE being a mom. I LOVE being a wife. I LOVE my family with all my heart. I wouldn’t trade Knox and all his poopy diapers in the world for anything else in life. I’m just trying to be real, ya’ll.]

I realize I’m probably putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself regarding the countdown to the 3rd decade of my life. But I was asked recently, “what would your best day look like, if you could get everything done that you want to, in order to be productive, and feel good about yourself?” And on average, MAYBE 2 out of the 5 things on that list actually happen…and by 2 I mean 1. If that.

January of 2014, I came up with a word I wanted to focus on for the year: intentional. [Confession, when I started writing this post, I totally thought it was last year’s word/theme, but when I went to look for the post, I realized it was 2 years ago, since last year I was a little too focused on the whole keeping-a-newborn-alive-despite-having-no-clue-what-I’m-doing thing to come up with a theme for the year. It probably would’ve been something super profound like: SURVIVE.] I loved having something to focus on, aim for and work on. I wasn’t perfect at it, I wasn’t intentional about what I did every second of every day, but I really worked at being intentional with my life. 

The past few weeks I’ve been trying to think about what I want this year’s word to be, and I haven’t been able to get a certain phrase out of my mind: on my knees. I certainly haven’t been very good at being on my knees in prayer the past few weeks, [mostly because I’ve been super sick with some pneumonia-type thing, so I mostly took up residence on the couch, in bed or mustering up every last ounce of energy to play with Knox on the floor] but I’m pretty sure God’s been telling me this year needs to be one that is grounded in prayer.

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I need to be a better praying wife, praying mom, praying friend. I need to pray for my home, my community, my country, my world. I need to pray for my family, my friends and people I don’t know who are hurting. I need to live a life dependent on the Lord more than dependent on my own abilities. God can do so much more through me when I’m on my knees than I could ever do myself running around trying to accomplish everything at once. 

Vonette Bright, the co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ passed away a couple weeks ago. If there was anything I learned from her life and legacy, it’s the power of prayer. She was a prayer warrior, and truly knew and experienced how prayer can change the world. She served as the co-chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, and began the movement that led Congress to make the first Thursday of every May the permanent date for the National Day of Prayer! [And we all know when it comes to prayer in this country, that is quite the accomplishment!!]

So my goal for 2016 is to begin every day on my knees, to go to the Lord first about a decision or an issue, and to simply immerse my life in constant prayer. 

In addition to my phrase for the year, I have a few other goals I hope to accomplish before I am “thirty, flirty and thriving.” 

  1. Lose 30 lbs [baby weight and pre-baby weight that I needed to lose, and therefore still need to lose…]
  2. Be SUCCESSFUL with an entire Whole30 challenge [I’ve attempted it twice before, but haven’t made it all 30 days.]
  3. Run another half marathon [ok this one doesn’t have “30” in it, which is no fun, but there’s no way in heck I’m going to attempt to run 30 miles, and a half marathon is 13.1 miles, and there’s a 3, so there’s that…]
  4. Read 30 books [within the year…and it still might just be wishful thinking…]

Those of you who are moms are probably cracking up at me right now. I go back and forth every day between, “this is not realistic whatsoever, I’m just setting myself up for failure,” and “I can do this! I have 6 months…if I’m really intentional, I can SO do this!” And I honestly don’t know which one it is. 

I think the first 2 are definitely doable, if I put my mind to it, and get Stuart on board with Whole30 and Knox duty while I exercise and run. The last 2 I really don’t know about. Reading 30 books…ok so if I just don’t watch TV at all for the next 12 months, I could bang out 2 1/2 books every month. [Right?] And then there’s the 1/2 marathon. [Cue the sound effect of impending doom: “dun dun dunnnn”] Man that one is like a big ugly monster sitting on my head. [I have no idea where that image came from, but it seems fitting for some odd reason…]

I’d LOVE to enter into my 3rd decade in the best shape of my life. I’ve been on a rollercoaster journey with my weight since my freshman year of college, and I’d love to beat it once and for all. [Yes, I realize it’s a lifestyle, not a once-and-done thing…especially if more children are in my future.] Because if you have to turn 30, you might as well look good doing it, right? [If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m totally DREADING turning 30…just think “the one where Rachel Green turns 30,” and that’s about where I am.]

So who knows what will come from my 4 item Before 30 Bucket List. Maybe I’ll achieve all 4. Maybe I won’t. I know this journey over the next 6 months [and rest of my life!] needs to be full of grace. God gives me grace upon grace, so I need to show myself the same love.

And honestly, the real heart behind my list is the betterment of myself and my family. I want to be in great shape so I feel good about myself, yes. But I also want to be in great shape so I can run around with Knox, and so I can have healthy future pregnancies, if God chooses to bless us with more children.

I want to successfully last 30 days on Whole30 + run a half marathon so I can experience overcoming a mental and physical battle with the strength of the Lord on my side. I want Knox to know his mama can work hard for something and not give up.  

I want to read books, because I love to learn and enter into the alternate world inside the words of books, as well as wanting Knox to grow up with a love for books and learning. In a world where movies and TV shows are incredibly easy to access, I don’t want Knox to miss out on the imagination of getting lost in a book and another world, another time, another adventure. 

So there we have it. Great intentions behind some great goals for 2016. In the midst of mom life and reality and impending aging. 

So if you’d like to journey along with me and join in on any of these goals, I’d absolutely love that! Cause we really can’t do this whole life thing alone. We need each other and we need Jesus.

Day by day, moment by moment. 

  • Leia Johnson

    Jen, seriously laughed out loud and nodded my head in affirming “amens” all at once reading this. I’ve been reading “A Mothers Heart” recently and prayer has continued to come up as the best way I can influence and care for Bray. I too hope this year I am “on my knees” with you! Thanks for the encouragement – praying for you this morning as you get after these goals!

    • Jenn Grandlienard

      Thanks Leia!! Sometimes prayer doesn’t seem like much, but then I remember that God has never needed us to “do” much when it comes to his power. [Hello walls of Jericho] Glad we’re in this journey of motherhood together…and Bray seriously could not be ANY cuter! xoxo