thoughts on my 30th birthday

Today's my birthday! (insert dancing girl emoji here)

I grew up in a family that went all out for birthdays and that's definitely stayed with me, so excuse me while I wish myself a happy birthday, haha! But in all seriousness, turning thirty feels a bit different than last year's (or any other previous year's) birthday. THIRTY. It's a lot to take in.

The last years have been utterly amazing. I won't likely have a more productive decade in my life, and in many ways I grieve the end of it. My 20's were the years that I became who I am today, and who I probably will be for every decade to come. So much of what defines me today was not true of my in my teens, but became true of me in my 20's. My deep love for God? Consolidated in my 20's. My perpetual case of wanderlust? Started in my 20's, when I first left the continent. My desire to serve the local church? Started in my late 20's. Met my husband? I was 21. Married him and moved to Quebec? 22. Became a mother? 23, 25, 26. Learned a second language? Mes vingt ans. Helped Brad plant a church and became a pastor's wife? The ripe age of 26. Will I ever be able to look back on another decade of my life with more gratitude? More awareness of God's grace? More shock and satisfaction? I doubt it.

The week I first met Brad - kindred spirits and fast friends (age, 20)
Our wedding day (I turned 22 two weeks earlier)
Baby Lily (age, 23)
Baby Oli (I turned 25 three weeks earlier)
Family of four! In our barely-unpacked new home in le Plateau-Mont-Royal, where we moved to plant our church (age, 25)
Pregnant with Chloe + my last trip to the delivery room (age, 26)
Travels, travels, and more travels
Our team of elders at Église du Plateau!
Last  Fall on my birthday weekend (age, 29)

I'm someone who loves being busy and loves working hard, and this past decade has been a season of such things. It's been a season of planting and investing and ground work and foundations. For who I am as a woman, for our family, for our church. I have a feeling this new decade will be more about solidifying and fortifying and growing what's been planted in the last decade. I'm looking forward to what's to come, but I'll miss the excitement and constant change that my 20's saw. To our knowledge, there will be more more birth announcements, no more guessing the gender of a baby, no more huge career changes, no more big moves. Our life ten years from now will likely be very similar to today - that's something I couldn't have said at 20.

When I think about what God has done and what he's entrusted to us these past ten years I'm humbled and amazed. It's been a good decade, these 20's. I'm thankful for them, and I'm proud of them, and yes, I'm sad to see them go. In many ways, it's silly, because years are just numbers, and why is this year so much more substantial than last year? But if it gives me pause to take stock and be filled with gratitude, then that's a good thing.


  1. Happy birthday Emmy! So thankful I got to walk through so much of your twenties with you. Can't wait to do our thirties, forties, fifties etc etc etc with you! LOVE YOU.

  2. I have this deep feeling that when you'll be a couple more decades in and reread this post, you'll have a good laugh at some of the things you said.

    "Will I ever be able to look back on another decade of my life with more gratitude? More awareness of God's grace? More shock and satisfaction? I doubt it."

    Yes, yes you will, and I don't need to have the gift of prophecy to say this.

    Happy birthday Emily ! Hope to seeing you guys soon !