My Birthday | A Post About Whimsy & My Mid-Thirties

I stood with my back to the counter in our kitchen. My husband, the young one that he is, held out his hands and said with glowing eyes and a wide, w i d e smile, “Laura! You are officially in your mid-thirties!(!!!!!!!!!!!)” My eyes rolled then just as they are now.

Friends, today I turn 34.

Sometimes I think it’s the fact that I cannot imagine myself being “old”, but the truth is, by all life-experience accounts, I’m excited for the growth in wisdom and experience that lies ahead. I’m excited to watch my children grow and to get to participate with them as they walk into the fullness of their creation. I’m excited to get to save for those bucket list moments like bringing our kids to the Black Hills, or getting to finally take that dream trek up the west coast with my 3 favorite people in tow. I’m excited for the day I’ll get to stay up and play games and eat popcorn until midnight with them, and for the mornings us parents can actually leisurely rise because the children are old enough to fend for themselves (and survive).

There’s a lot of really great things to look forward to, and that’s just a morsel of things pertaining to this little family of mine alone. I cannot wait for the friendships that will blossom in the years ahead, the new places we’ll call home one day, the sides of those we know and love that we will come to learn through shared meals and campsites and heartache.

Life is dang beautiful, and I’m putting another tick on the board of years I’ve gotten to experience it.

So what’s with the uneasiness in my belly about turning 34? If I know that I know that I would never trade the wisdom gained to go back a decade, then, what’s behind the resistance to welcome a new year with open arms?

I think it’s whimsy.

When I ask myself why, this is what I come up with. There’s this whimsy about youth—carefree and ready for all that life will hold. Teen years hold within them all of the potential for what you might become. What job you’ll have, where you’ll go to school. Twenties hold within them the excitement of truly entering adulthood. New jobs. New relationships. New homesteads. And for some, commitments that will carry them to the end of their lives. This was true for me and it was exciting, challenging, and beautiful.

But thirties. There’s this air of hunkering down; whether it’s because kids are growing older, or jobs are getting serious and you’re doing things like buying houses and cars that mean you have to keep that job and stay put because everything depends on it.

And hunkering down sounds like the antithesis of whimsy.

So here I sit, in that literal transition from one year to another, wishing I could bend the ear of that little girl who used to put on dance shows in the living room and run with arms flailing across the great big back yard clothed in nothing but a swimsuit and sheer joy. That little girl with big hazel eyes and a boyish haircut who’s favorite thing was using her imagination. Who wrote love letters to Devon Sawa and clung to boy bands like barnacles to a boat.

What would she tell me about today?

I think she’d say that 34 is a number and I actually have the choice to embrace as much whimsy as I’m willing to welcome. I can choose to hunker down and survive or I can choose to embrace each and every opportunity to live in the magic of the life God has given me.

I think she’d tell me to stop being so serious—that we could work on that together. I think she’d tell me to buy a pet bunny and invite it to tea (an activity she hosted often). I think she’d ask me all about the man she’d one day marry—do his eyes sparkle when he looks at us? What does it feel like when he holds our hand? Do we dance together in the kitchen when our favorite song comes on?

Then I think she’d want to know about the kids she always dreamed of—Who are they? Do they look like us? Do we paint with them and explore and have dance parties together? Do they like to dunk Oreos between their pointer and middle or are they sort that hold it with their thumb and pointer finger? Do they love playing grocery store as much as we do? What do their laughs sound like?

I’m so grateful for that girl—little Lulu. She’s a pretty special girl, and I find the older I get, the more I am trying to be like her. While I don’t have the slightest idea of what’s ahead of me in this, my 35th trip around the sun, one thing I do know—for all of my days, I will give Him praise, for He has given me this one, good thing: a life beyond my life, where the beauty of this one will collide with the perfection of the one to come, and I will fully, truly, live.

“As for me, I will wait for the Eternal, even though He feels absent, even though He has hidden His face from the family of Jacob. I will put all hope in Him You see, I and my children whom the Eternal One gave to me, we personify the promise.” -Isaiah 8:17

This verse is my 34. Assurance that the only hope I have is the one I have in my unfailing God, and the complete certainty of this one thing: this life and where He has taken me proves that I, Laura, personify the promise of God.

“The Spirit of the Lord, the Eternal, is on me.
    The Lord has appointed me for a special purpose.
He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to repair broken hearts,
And to declare to those who are held captive and bound in prison,
    “Be free from your imprisonment!”” -Isaiah 61:1

At 34, I am a receiver of good news, bound up, and set free. And fully released to take hold of all of the whimsy I can get my hands on. Hallelujah!

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ME! I’m grateful for all of the versions of myself that I have been over these 34 years. Leaning in and learning all that I can from what God has given me so far, knowing full well that what is to come will be sweet and beautiful and full of that heavenly magic that only God can bring.

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Some Changes | A Post About Saying Yes and No

Hey there. It’s been awhile since I’ve been here with you. The reason is two-fold: 1. I am a chronic starter-stopper. I could stand to grow in the area of longevity. And 2. I’ve been distracted by my own life and yours. Well, maybe not yours specifically, but the lives of others in the world that I follow along with on social media.

But I’m changing some things.

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With these changes, I hope to be on here more—sharing the “little things” I’ve shared in days past on things like Instagram. Maybe these little things on here will become something meaningful to others, but I know they will prove meaningful to me and I hope one day to my children.

To answer the question I’m guessing you’re asking, the changes are as follows:

  • Eliminate social media and any other technological distraction in my life:

    • This is a really tough one because, for the last 7 or so years, I’ve been pouring out my life’s lessons, words to my children, and overall grumblings-turned-humble-pie over on Instagram. I’ve loved it. I’ve loved sharing both words and pictures of my life, because it is a really beautiful one, and finding commonality with so many other beautiful women of God. But what was once a place for me to share, has now become the place by which I seek to find where I measure in the world of all things. Am I popular? Am I liked? Am I valued? How do my talents measure up to others? What can I do to be better? These are all things I thought in middle school, high school, college, new churches, old churches, friend groups, life groups, jobs… basically everywhere. But add to those questions the boundary-less world of the internet and I’m a goner. The truth is, I don’t measure up in a lot of ways. But in my own life and for my own community—I’m exactly where I should be. I forget that when my eyes and heart are glued to that little screen filled with beautiful squares. So much that is so beautiful—but is that beauty intended for me? Or could it serve as a means for the enemy to rob me of joy in my surroundings.

    • Creating strict boundaries on tv watching is another hard step I am learning how to take. Whether it’s due to a childhood of television, or countless seasons where I’ve been without my husband and people like Jessica Day or Leslie Knope have become my best friends, I’ve grown to find some sort of comfort in television. With a humbling awareness of the place I’ve let this outlet take in my life, I’m stepping into what God is asking and learning to limit the time I spend in front of the tv.

  • Trying (and failing) to get rid of WiFi:

    • We set out to eliminate WiFi from our home all together, but one little afternoon of a cut connection quickly made us realize that about 75% of our movies (for both us and our demanding, adorable little children) are on iTunes. *way to go, Apple. Your sneaky plans have succeeded. So we reexamined our options and what would be the next best thing, and opted for a slower speed with a cheaper price, while setting strict boundaries on device usage. With slower speeds comes less accessibility and more frustration—and hopefully less of a draw to grab a device.

  • Saying “no” to some really good things:

    • There are some really wonderful things in my life, but I’m hearing and receiving the reality that they might not be the best things for me today. So in life and ministry I am learning what seasons are coming to an end and how to navigate the unknowns of majorly clearing my metaphorical plate.

It dawned on me some time ago that I’ve been on facebook for 14 years. That’s 14 years of my life chasing something, always. Acceptance, popularity, approval. While driving the other day I had a cute little slogan run through my mind that made me chuckle:


Instagram: leaving me feeling inadequate, insecure, and discontent for 7 years.


I’ve had to ask myself over and over in the recent days a question I will ask you, too, because the pull to give it all up and keep things status quo has been strong.

If God had written all the days of your life in His book before you ever took your first breath (Psalm 139), do you think He included in there this platform that would distract you from the gift of life being lived around you? Would He have included a source of discontentment that would shade your eyes from the blessing and love of God all around you?

The answer, to me, is a resounding NO! These are questions I’ve had to ask myself because for me, social media, tv, and overall distractedness has robbed me of years and moments I will never get back.

So I’m saying yes to slowing down and being present. I’m saying yes to building relationships with the people God has placed in my own community. I’m saying yes to these years with my children because, from what I hear, they are short. I’m saying yes because I trust that God holds all of my dreams and all of His plans and will, together, make for me a beautiful life.

We only live once and, by golly, I refuse to miss any more of it because of distraction.

I’m ready to be here, now.



Having said all of that, will you do something for me? If you want to make sure you don’t miss a post, will you sign-up for the email list below? I PROMISE they won’t come too frequently (🤗) and I don’t have any connections to anyone who wants your email