Today is my thirty-fifth birthday. Today I am squarely in my mid-thirties, eyeing the later thirties, reminiscing over the early thirties. I can say things like, “I mean, over twenty-five years ago I babysat and made $5 an hour.” I can scrutinize my scalp in the morning mirror and yelp as I find gray hair upon gray hair. But mostly what I’ve looked forward to on this birthday is being more spirited, more unleashed, more the woman God is calling me to be, in part because I share a birthday with my eldest girl (six today!). I feel she deserves to have a mama who’s emboldened to go for it.
“The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) This wildness, this renewal, this beautiful verse is the theme behind our retreats this year, the “Wild” Blessed is She Retreat. And if I’m lucky enough to see you at the Minnesota retreat in August, where I’m heading up the ground team, we can pray over this verse together.
I’ve been stuck in a place of not being “enough” to those in my life, not enough for myself: not in shape enough, not talented enough, not rested enough, not patient enough. When I hear Jesus speaking to Nicodemus in today’s Gospel, and Nicodemus not understanding Him despite being a teacher, part of me wants to give up. Lord, I don’t get it all, either. I’m not smart enough, either.
Maybe for my birthday I can ask Our Lord to just set aside my stack of all the reasons I’m held back from living out His beautiful plan for me, ups and downs, ins and outs, whatever it involves. Maybe I can be reborn of the Spirit, be a little wild, believe I’m enough.
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Are you looking for renewal, rebirth? Start with the Sacrament of Reconciliation, then get on over to Mass and Adoration. Refresh your spirits with a talk with your priest or spiritual advisor. The Lord’s waiting for you to come to Him for renewal. Share your heart with Him today.
Nell O’Leary is a recovering lawyer turned blogger, speaker, and sewer of baby goods while tending to her husband and four kiddos in the great city of Saint Paul, Minnesota. She serves as Managing Editor for Blessed is She and can down a iced chai tea latte in no time flat. Find out more about her here.