Reflecting on Turning 40: 2011-2021

If my fourth decade were a Spotify Playlist it would be titled: Walk by Faith (find the actual playlist here.

I’m turning 40 on Saturday and it’s got me reflecting. Each day I’ll post two pics from the start and end of each decade I’ve lived and give you ten memories off of the top of my head (one from each year) and the overall theme of each decade for me. Life flies by and I believe we have to reflect on where we’ve been to see where we need to be going.

This was the hardest list to write for some reason. Out of all the years I’ve lived none have been filled with so much overwhelming joy and sorrow all at the same time.

30: I dreamt my granddaddy, who had just passed away, was a baby nurse and he handed me a baby girl. Nine months later she was in my arms. I was a mom to 2 kids 2 and under and the Lord was calling me to start two ministries. Chronological Bible Discipleship and Jesus Storytime were such a blessing in my life and they are still bearing fruit.

31: My grandmama and father-in-law passed away, him suddenly as we celebrated Christmas at his house. I had to learn how to balance the joys of motherhood with the pain of grief.

32: Social Media began to give me anxiety. Having no earlier generation to seek guidance from, I had to learn the right balance and I am still learning how (as I figure most moms with smartphones in our generation are). I also opened my first brick and mortar photography studio on the square, another dream realized.

33: After a difficult 3rd pregnancy my sister-in-law, Paige, made me laugh so hard I went into labor and the bundle of joy that is Charlotte Grace missed being a new year’s day baby by one day. After I recovered from a traumatic post partum illness that left me lacking energy for quite some time, I slowly adjusted to being a mom of three. My sister also had her first baby six weeks after me.

34: We moved into a bigger house for our growing family.

35: I walked along side my best friend as her son, age 5, battled cancer at St. Jude and journeyed to heaven.

36: We discovered our love for the Smoky Mountains. My Nana passed away right before Thanksgiving.

37: I started a new job as a Pre-K teacher.

38: My sister-in-law, Paige, was diagnosed with brain cancer as my brother-in-law was in the hospital with complications. My nephew won a state championship!

39: A pandemic paused my photography business yet I was led to the most rewarding job of my life, teaching art to Pre-K-9th graders. I also wrote a book! Paige went to heaven and I’m once again walking through grief facing hard things knowing God will see me through.

1 Comment

  1. Debby Thomas-Smith says:

    That was wonderful. I throughly enjoyed reading it!


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