today: 30

“Very slowly do we plait the braid of friendships and affections. We learn slowly.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Wind, Sand and Stars

First of all, if you haven’t read The Little Prince, please read it. Do it for me. Antoine de Saint-Exupery takes all these big what-it-means-to-be-human ponderings and creates a poetic world that answers big questions. And his illustrations? Don’t get me started.


I think I thought I’d hit a certain age and start to feel like a grown-up. That has not happened. I think I thought I’d know how to do relationships and be friends with God and have a take on the world and politics and all that stuff. Instead I have stacks and stacks of memories, in dusty journals on shelves and in the corners of my brain. I have stacks and stacks of questions. I have some things I want. I have some things I fear. I have some risks I am willing to take. I hope I am teachable.

And I have a lot of people. They love me. I love them. I really can’t ask for much more than that.

When you turn thirty, people ask you if you’re okay with it. At lunch today, Ryan asked me what the best three things about the last ten years were. It was a great question. It made me think of a lot of memories. The three things I listed were being in Capetown, South Africa when the new millennium began, watching the sunset when I sailed into Ghana with Mercy Ships, and having my brothers and Debo join me at camp for a week when my mom was sick. I don’t know that those are the three best things, but they’re what I came up with on the fly. Because in the last ten years I’ve also

had chairs with Carla
believed God is writing a bigger story
held babies who were dying (and made them laugh)
watched Pie come into the world
become a runner
traveled and traveled and traveled and traveled
done things I don’t love because they were the right things to do
done things I do love just because I can
said hard things
let go of good things believing there is better and more
watched my brothers and Debo grow up
learned to wait hopefully
learned to distinguish good beer
stopped believing I was a great guitar player and became okay with mediocrity for the love of playing
started believing I am beautiful (thanks, Nate)
started believing Jesus really, really loves me. a lot. and you too.
become a pastor
and a writer
and a photographer
and a teacher
and a dreamer (well, I was always that)
and I’ve laughed a lot
and I’ve cried a lot
and my life is full

So thirty? Hell, yeah, bring it on.

Then Ryan asked if there were three things I haven’t done yet that I want to do. Also a great question. I said write a book, go to South America and run a marathon. Anna said I could do all those things in the next five years, no problem. I guess I need to work on a more challenging list.

Thanks for being in my life. You matter. You make it better.


4 responses to “today: 30

  1. Happy Birthday to my first sister. You are a gift, and I am so very grateful for everything you bring to my life. I love you.

  2. juiceandgoose

    Happy 30 from KY. We love our Uncle Erin! (You will be getting a *very* fancy card in the mail from Leslie, but it will be a few days late because her mommy is not as organized as she would like to be about things like birthday cards.) Enjoy your day today and know that we’re thinking of you.

  3. Bridget (Diehl) Decker

    Have a great birthday!! I’ve been checking out your blog since I heard from Rhonda that you’re on Facebook… I miss you and hope you have a great day.

  4. Happy birthday Erin! I’m not sure what else I wanted to say here… I guess just happy birthday is sufficent, but it seems like I should say something a little deeper. How about I give you an “I owe you one deep sentiment” card?

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