Pursuing Life's Daring Adventure

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jingling Bells

This week, I turn the big 3-5!
Whoa, I think.
Just like every other birthday, I think back to all the well-meaning people who tell me that it all goes by too fast. And every time I hear or think that, I realize the well-meaning words are true. So true. Who would think I’ve been out of high school for 17 years? Or think I’ve been out of college for 13? It does go by sooo fast.
It’s easy to wonder what if about the past … what if I would’ve stayed on and modeled full-time and made that my life’s pursuit? What if I would’ve chosen to work with my engineering degree and our house was built on double salary, not one? What if … All that brings is a higher level of achievement and fame, a fatter bank account, and faster cars.
Just about the time I start to feel overwhelmed with past what-ifs , coupled with vanishing youth and all the things society says we must do to preserve that youth (Botox, hair dye, etc.), I take a deep breath and begin to focus on the things that each day in my life has generously brought.
These are the pieces of life I treasure, for sure: baby steps and belly giggles, tickle torture and bedtime kisses, boisterous nightly family dinners and snuggling by the fire, handprint gifts and school-written letters, gathering shells along the beach and candlelight dinners in Paris.
What blessings these 35 years have brought!
And then I remember the spontaneous fun yesterday morning waiting for the bus, singing goofy renditions of Jingle Bells with the boys, jingling the bells on our Boxer’s collar while the snow flew in swirls outside.
True, the saying that Life is what we make it. The faster cars and bigger paychecks and fame and youth all fades. For me, that's not the stuff that matters much. I'll take Jingle Bells anyday ...
With humble gratitude, I look forward to the next 35 and the thrill of catching the blessings as they fly by.
Here’s to making every day a great one.



  1. Jennifer - good to see you believe you have grown. There is nothing better than hearing the children laughing and enjoying life. There appears to be a distinct shift in your actions from your statements of the past, or even from your blog postings. In the past, you were of the opinion working mothers care more for their jobs (or the money said job brings) than their children. How do now you reconcile your past opinions (direct statements) with your current actions - modeling, writing and speaking, all of which require you to spend time outside the family. I personally am of the belief that you can work as well as fully love and care for your family; as much as any stay at home mother. It certainly creates different family experiences; however, in the end we teach our children to look to God for guidance, reach for the stars, love their family and be open. It lets them know, that different experiences are what make us unique and are good as long as there is love and respect. I hope that prayer and these experiences have opened your heart and your mind to be a bit less judgmental as you are defiantly a working mom.

  2. Dear Anonymous,
    While I’m not sure what statements you are referring to from the past or how they may have been interpreted, I appreciate you offering your opinion on this blog. Certainly, this opens up an interesting discussion on moms, who I believe struggle with this very same thing all around our country. The mom who decides to stay-at-home feels like she should be at work and the working mom feels like she should be at home. And mixed up in that is the feeling of being judged. Truly, I believe that all moms, whether part-time, stay-at-home, working or otherwise, all struggle with balance and the omni-present burden of guilt in some form. All we can do in the ever-changing world of motherhood is hopefully create a warm home for our children, and to look to God and family and friends for support.

  3. Jennifer,

    Not sure where Anonymous is drawing the judgmental tone from your writing.

    Do you two have some history?

    Birthdays always make me look back and wonder about the choices I've made. As a soon-to-be 44 year-old, I think it is natural to reflect on the paths you have chosen. (Isn't that the nature of a birthday? Remembering the day you were born and wondering what God was thinking when he knit you together?

    I don't feel judged by the choices another woman makes, but I am often inspired by people like you who have done so much with what they have been given.

    Being a mother is a high calling as is using your gifts to brighten the world a bit. From your blog and website it is clear that you are doing both quite well.

    Belated birthday greetings and I look forward to reading your upcoming novel.

  4. Thank you, Martha. Happy soon-to-come birthday to you ...


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