I turn 33 years old today. While this is not a particularly significant age, it has been a year of tens. I celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary and my tenth anniversary of working at InterVarsity Press this year. So I've been thinking about how my life has changed in the past ten years.
Ten years ago, today, I was at my first InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Staff Conference, which Al and I left early to attend Les Miserables in Chicago. I had graduated from college and got married in May 1997 and was still newly married and very newly employed with InterVarsity Press as an Editorial Assistant. We were living in our first apartment with used furniture and a bunch of brand new dishes and such from the wedding. We only owned a few movies and they were all VHS. We regularly rented movies from Family Video and spent most of our evenings watching movies or reading books.
Now I am the Rights Manager at InterVarsity Press. I work fewer hours, but travel more often. Now we have two kids, one in Kindergarten and the other getting ready to start preschool. Our spoons are scratched up from getting stuck in the garbage disposal and our first set of dishes was so chipped we recently replaced them with something durable enough for our kids to drop without breaking or chipping them. We are living in our second townhouse and the furniture we bought eight years ago looks okay, but is showing wear and tear (We bought the furniture before we had kids. It's all white. Well, actually, it used to be all white). Our media cabinet is overflowing, mostly with Blue's Clues, Wiggles and Signing Time DVDs and videos. We check out the movies we want to watch from the library and spend our evenings watching movies or reading books (some things don't change!)
Within the past ten years I have earned a Master of Arts degree, endured two pregancies (one fairly easy and one somewhat difficult), attended too many funerals and learned a lot about copyright issues, Down Syndrome and worship. My prayer life has grown along with my concern for orphans and those who are treated unjustly and I have grown a little less greedy and little more patient (although God is still working on these issues within me).
All in all, I am incredibly thankful. I have a wonderful husband, two terrific kids, a loving and supportive extended family, good friends, a job I enjoy and excel at and a church we love. Life has taken some different turns than I expected and sometimes has been very difficult, but God has extended his grace and peace to me in the ordinary and extraordinary events of life. I look forward to seeing what the next ten years will bring and trust that God will be my strength and peace whatever twists and turns life may take.