Happy birthday to me

I turned 41 last week.

A year ago this time I had rich and prolonged celebrations. Friends flew in from across the country. I was surprised in restaurants by out of town soul-friends joining our table, an entire wedding reception sing me Happy Birthday over a cake the bride & groom arranged for me. Then I smashed it in the groom’s face like their wedding was my party…..because #bourbon. And I’m psychotic.

I entered into the year with so much hope and joy. I declared this coming decade would be a great one, but something in my guts told me my declaration was true. The fruits of last year were good. Really good. But the circumstances were ROOOOUGH.

My teenage foster daughter ran away – over cleaning her room. She really ran away, thousands of miles away. I thought she had been trafficked by a co-worker with whom she disappeared. She wasn’t trafficked, and in that moment I felt like she ran away from me…..because I’m a terrible mother, maybe even a terrible woman. That an orphaned child couldn’t stay near me for another 9 weeks to her 18th birthday. The resulting fruit of this was borne out of being made new in the truth, my girl was always the Lord’s first. I love to the best of my abilities. In my lack, God’s power fills in perfectly. My girl’s actions are my identity, nor my value as a mother.

I beefed emotional boundaries and increased surrender of my girl to her Creator. I healed the deepest of wounds around rejection and identity.

I was paralyzed with confusion and overwhelm with my work. I fell short of goals I had set for myself and hung my head in disappointment when I didn’t know what else to do.

I spent a week silent with Monks. I walked away with a personal mission, vision and values. I redesigned my life and career direction to engage my most fulfilling work – focusing on equipping small business owners and women in transition with resources, practices and tools so they can operate in the fullness of who they were made to be. I still grew my business revenues 50%. I started a regular rhythm of writing.

COVID shut down the industry I service reducing national commerce by 95%, like air evacuating a rubber balloon. COVID torpedoed my strategic business plans and devastated my clients.

I innovated a new product, a pathway to a new industry, and education to equip and support an expanding client base. Despite all the circumstances that felt like profound set back, I also spent weeks at the beach, hiked in the mountains, play at our beloved Mexican orphanage, and spent long days with my lifelong friends. 

But in quarantine my family leaned into each other, loved each other, and got so good at forgiving that we grew to desire living small. I ate and drank all the things. And it was yummy. We sent roots deep with each other and another family that quarantined alongside us.

My teenage runaway now has her own apartment and is expecting a child this summer. We will find a way forward. God willing. I think He does will it- He is in the business of redemption and reconciliation. And my girl is happy.

Over the last year I was freed up in the depths of my soul by way of struggle. Each pain was an invitation for some healing, for a wound I didn’t know existed that could be made whole.

The year has leveled me up as a woman, a partner, a business owner, and a leader.

It is well.

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