my twenties

YES.  I’m reflecting again.  Still.  I don’t know if everyone feels this way hitting a milestone – maybe I’m just more philosophical than most.  But I’ve packed an awful lot into the last decade.  I think I’ve changed more than most people do.  Maybe so.  So, I’m thinking back on my last ten years, and thought I’d share….

~ Ha.  I can’t even say I got married in my twenties.  I got married in my TEENS.  But – I’ve enjoyed 10 anniversaries…  I grew up in a home with a godly example of a good marriage.  My own marriage has been incredible.  I married a man who treasures me, and lets me know daily that he loves me.  He is an incredible provider, nurturer and protector.  He is a good listener, and I appreciate the selfless approach he has taken in our marriage – day in and day out.

~ I had three children.  By the time I was 24.  Three under three was a challenge – the joys of it now are worth the stress of the first couple years (I’m not going to lie – until Trin hit three, it was hard) We’re starting into the adoption process now – and the idea of being a mommy again in my thirties is thrilling.

~ The hardest three months of my life was the period starting when I was 7.5 months pregnant with my third.  We were in the process of moving back home to Sarnia, and for 12 weeks, Brad was only home on weekends.  Halo kept me sane.  I remember pushing the grocery cart with a two year old and one year old, wondering if I could stay awake till the cereal aisle.  Trin was born half way through us getting ready to move home – and I still had six weeks with the three kids on my own, while Brad worked and waited for our home to sell….

~ I got invited to the Dr. Phil show.  For real.  I submitted my story to their “what do you and your spouse not agree on” segment – because we simply couldn’t agree on how I chose to spend my time.  That is – I was addicted to Halo.  Yup – stay at home mom, addicted to a video game.  But, I had sent my story in in April, and by the time we got the call in August, Brad and I had worked through the major struggles.  Which is to say – I stopped playing the game a ridiculous amount.

~ I’ve led a Bible study for four years.  My girls have kept me accountable, and sane, and while I’ve taken the last season off – I’m eager to fill that role again in the fall.

~ I’ve found (been blessed with) the perfect career.  I’ve helped about 50 brides in my first 2 years, and I absolutely love love love what I do.  I love meeting with brides.  I love the vendors I work with.  I love the pace, and the creativity involved.  I love working with my husband….  I started into the wedding industry because I loved making cards.  It never occurred to me that I would love the industry itself.  I honestly love so many aspects of it now – I’m happy assisting a photographer, a decorator, a planner, a bridal shoppe owner… it’s a wonderful career to be successful in.

~ I’ve lost a grandfather and an uncle.  More recently, I’ve watched my mom wrestle with cancer.  (She’s winning – praise the Lord) I’ve learned a lot about myself in these harder times.  I like to grieve alone.  To the point I push people away.  For longer than I intend to.  That’s a hard thing to work through.  God is good.  That is to say – I know it, all the time – but it feels like an essential truth when we hurt, doesn’t it?  I find my faith unwavering when life hurts most, and there is a deep comfort in that.

~ I LOVE love love love love listening.  I’ve been insanely blessed by the opportunity to be there when people hurt.  If there is nothing else beyond being a good wife and mother that I get right – I hope it’s this.  I hope people know I’m there for them – I want to hear the pains of life, to help share a burden, to be there when it’s too hard.  That in so doing I point people to Christ is my aim…

~ I’ve grown.  From a scared new wife that moved to a new city, desperate to prove myself to anyone I met; to a woman on the verge of hitting a new decade excited about my role as a wife, and mother.  I struggle with the same things still –  pride, the need to please others, closing myself off from others when my thoughts feel too complex… and I suppose even what I see as my greatest failings aren’t what others see.

~ I have been blessed with more incredible friendships in a decade than I ever thought I would enjoy in a lifetime.  I was a NERD in highschool.  I spent most lunch hours in the library.  I was last picked for sports, and I was happiest alone or with one or two friends.  I never, ever, expected to meet so many people that would have such an impact on my life.  I’ve learned wonderful lessons about trust, and grace and patience.  I find myself short on words here… they get stuck somewhere between my heart and my soul and my head…  To those of you who’ve had a glimpse into my heart – I thank you from the depths of it…

~ I PRAYED FOR ACTIVE CHILDREN.  I prayed for elect children too – but I really, really didn’t want the kids that sat around colouring.  What was I thinking??? Have you met Levi and Trinity?  Judah is full of life and zeal and enthusiasm in his own way – but the people that comment on how “busy” my kids are often have no idea how constant it is.  Every time people say “your kids are so active!” (and, it’s no coincidence that word comes up!) I chuckle.  Because I’m sure the good Lord does too.  If ever there was a silly prayer He was pleased to answer… They are life and joy and chaos and spunk all the time.  And I thrive in it.

~ I have learned more hard lessons from people I never expected to get hurt by.  Isn’t that true of life?  Things that I never expected to be sticking points became life-altering decisions.  I won’t expand – but if I’m talking about things that shaped me – then there is no doubt that the pain from people you never thought you’d have it out with is a definitive sort of experience. I wouldn’t wish it any other way – I’m happy to be molded even when it hurts… (although sometimes the peace in it takes longer to settle than the knowing it will all be okay)

~ I’ve found a church to call home.  I’m not sure they really know yet, or comprehend how difficult a thing this was for me to settle in my own mind.  But when Sunday morning rolls around, and we’re singing in our pew, the word Home settles in my soul.  It’s a glorious feeling.

I wondered if I could think through 30 of the most transforming moments?

1. Judah’s birth.  Being a momma for the first time is like nothing else.

2. Levi’s birth.  Brad barely made it thanks to the glorious hospital staff….

3. Trin’s birth.  At home.  It felt so right. Brad raced home from Sarnia to Windsor just in time…

4. Walking in the door of our home the Christmas we were robbed – coming home to my house torn apart, wedding bands and every other piece of significant jewelry gone forever….

5. The passing of my grandfather and uncle within 3 weeks of each other. The subsequent grief, and growing that inevitably follows.

6. Moving back home from Windsor.  Funny, I can’t remember the exact moment of finding out Brad got the job back home – but nothing else has shaped this decade so much as moving back home with three kids in tow…

7. Coming down the stairs to find out from my mom that she did in fact have cancer.  Absolutely the most difficult thing to have heard in the last 10 years.

8. The perfect hug.  I think this makes the list because few moments in life are this full of grief and sorrow and comfort and security.

9. Dropping off a lasagna to a friend.  So weird, isn’t it, the moments that shape us… I hardly knew this girl – and I thought she might need a meal because her hubby was away for the week… I had no idea her mom had cancer.  It’s been a few years now (4?) and yet this moment has shaped me intrinsically more than almost any other… I think because it opened my eyes to the idea of other people suffering beyond what we are aware of.  I was blessed with an opportunity to be there for her, and we’ve developed a life-long friendship though those dark days… But it’s also made me aware of the need to be there for other hurting people – and that moment planted a seed in me – the desire to comfort others and know their pain.

10. Fights with Brad.  Again – odd.  But it has struck me in the last couple of weeks – we have never had a fight that was not resolved the same day.  We are closer for them… I am so blessed with a man who WANTS to know everything I’m thinking and feeling, even when it’s hard to say, and hard to hear….

11.  Visits from Owen and company to Windsor. Those were GOOD times.  Fun times, bonding times….

12. A coffee shop chat I never expected.  Subsequent grief. And growth.  And always knowing the Lord is sovereign – His ways are not our ways….

13. Motorcycle rides.  There’s a taste of freedom most people don’t (or won’t) get to enjoy… Discovering you’re more of a thrill-junkie than you thought is interesting…

14.  Tattoos.  It’s forever interesting to see the response I get over my sleeve… “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us… we are far too easily pleased.”  People don’t like to be told that they are settling on less joy than they could be – if only they would pursue finding their satisfaction in Christ.  Something I struggle with, to be sure.  It wouldn’t be on my arm if I didn’t need the reminder myself….

15. Crying with friends.  There isn’t any one instance that stands out more than others right now… But if you only knew the hurt that walks by you in every heart, every day… you’d be changed.  I’ve shed tears with lots of people, and sobbed for most of them by myself later.  And it’s the one corner of my life I feel most blessed for….

16. Halo.  Yes – playing a video game shaped me.  I made friends with people over a headset (how ridiculous does that sound?) that I eventually met, and still keep in touch with 8 years later…. That was a really selfish season for me (I chose to call it survival), and I know selfishness is still something I really struggle with.

17. Buying Tika.  Funny, the ripple effects.  But, Brad didn’t want a dog unless I could pay for her…. I think he was just trying to make a point… So I wracked my brain – and decided maybe it was time to try making wedding invitations.  And weddings have kind of dominated my life for the last 2.5 years now (something that needs changing…. will save that for my 30s)

18. Every day with Brad.  It’s not the remarkable moments here – it’s the day-in-day-out steadiness of a firm love planted on a firm foundation.  The roots run deep – and I know I have the treasure of a lifetime in him.  It’s everything from dinners and snuggling on the couch, to the teasing, to letterpressing together and reading together.  It’s a passion for Steeler’s football that we share together…. It’s the constant support in the choices I make, and the freedom to be me without constraint.

19. Kalahari.  Disney.  Niagara Falls. Christmas… trips and holidays with the kids are joyous memories.  It’s especially thrilling when they remind you of moments that happened on these trips – even when they were only 3 at the time…

20. The drive to Chatham with my dad after my grandfather passed.  He told me then that “complexity is not a virtue.” Funny the one-liners that stick in our heads….

21. Square One Mall.  Have you ever felt privy to someone else’s moment of compassion, patience and protection to the point it makes you want to be more like them?  It was one of those times…

22. Yesterday…. I got 30 presents with 30 tags and 30 reasons why I was loved on them from Brad.  Is there anything that motivates you to be a better person than someone else believing better of you than you do of yourself?  Brad finished the 30 presents with the most Nic-suitable piece of jewelry that’s ever been bought for me – I love feeling like my soul is known…. funny how the perfect gift does that.

23. The first time my soul said “yes, this is home” when thinking of Sovereign Grace… vulnerability often feels beyond me – and feeling safe in a church is a really great thing.

24. Good books.  I went through a season a couple years ago where I was reading voraciously.  Piper and Sproul and Driscoll and Lewis and company will change a person, for the better.

25. Charlotte’s birth-day.  He made all things beautiful in His time – and what a glorious culmination of tears and pain and joy and strength and love that day was….

26. Road trips.  And plane trips.  I think a little growth happens every time.  Most of it is growing closer to the person you’re with.  It’s trips to Tennessee with Brad, and Florida with Laurel (three tots in tow).  It’s trips to Vegas with Heather, and day trips to London with a dozen different people over the years…. I love how my soul feels knit to so many kindred spirits…

27. The day I almost lost Levi to a ring…. I was at a friends’ home – she had just run out to take her kids to swimming lessons – and Levi starts choking on a child’s over-sized plastic ring.  Too far down his throat for me to pull it out… I didn’t know what to do (I do now)… I had no idea where her phone was, or even the house number if I called 911 – and there goes my friend driving down the road in her minivan… I hailed her back – and she did a beautiful job of getting it unstuck.  But. There really is nothing in the world that slams the brevity of life in your face quite like the thought of losing your child…

28. 3 months in the worst little apartment there ever was.  Brad and I owned a home in Petrolia – and were saving to move into a new home in Windsor.  When we pulled up to the apartment (the only one Brad could find that was pet friendly, and willing to let us pay for only a month at a time), my mom was waiting outside having driven up a few minutes ahead of us.  She was so upset. She was telling Brad I’d be better off (newly married) living by myself in Petrolia while he worked in the Windsor area, until we got our home… But I grew up a lot in those three months – because living off McDonald’s cheeseburgers and calling the cops on your neighbours because of domestic abuse puts life in perspective.  The apartment was terrible.  The tight budget was too… But I was resolved to find joy in it, and it was an absolutely blessed time with Brad because of it.

29. The last six months.  I’ve been to three funerals.  I’ve watched my mom wrestle with cancer.  And surgery.  And chemo… I’ve watched more friends go through more pains than I thought possible.  I’ve grieved all sorts of losses…. All the while trying to find my feet in my business and my marriage and my parenting… I’ve felt divided – and so like Bilbo – like butter scraped over too much bread.  It’s been GOOD though.  I am stronger for it.  No.  I’m more aware of my weakness.  And the good Lord’s strength.  It’s been humbling….

30. Blogging.  Learning to be vulnerable which is so out of my character.  It’s such a stretch for me – I want you to read this – but I’m afraid to let you.  It’s good to hit “publish” and then think perhaps no one has made their way through my 2800 words today….

Life is a vapor.  Cheers to a jam-packed decade gone, and a beautiful day-by-day future…


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Brad Sagert
    Jul 17, 2011 @ 21:19:26

    Thanks for sharing Nic. It has truly been a blessing to have spent the last decade with such a wonderful wife. It was neat reading this as it’s a little like a trip down memory lane of my own memories, but from a different persons perspective. I’m looking forward to another great ten years, Lord willing.


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