Maybe it’s a severe case of Youngest Child Syndrome, but I’ve always seen 35 as a significant coming-of-age. I feel like I’ve been leaning toward 35 the way children giddily peer into a pillowcase full of trick-or-treat loot. My birthday came and went this year with moderate fanfare – just the way I like it. My birthday week daydreams were full of wishes, hopes, and prayers (and a few silly wants) for myself and for others. So many things were zooming through my brain that I decided to write them down. Now there’s a record of them and I get to wait and see what happens. Hopefully some really good things.
Here they are in no particular order — 35 things for my 35th year:
1. I want at least 3 memorable cups of coffee — one by the beach, one on a mountain, and one at a cafe while making a new friend.
2. I pray for physical healing for my friend Joni so she can return to the mission field.
3. I want to be surprised by something new God has for me.
4. I wish my feet weren’t two different sizes, or, I hope to find dress shoes that won’t cause apocalyptic blisters.
5. I hope my niece Kennedy stays her spunky, uninhibited self as she grows up. That girl can dance!
6. I pray for my brother Brock’s first year of marriage. For honesty, fun, and affection to be the foundation for their next 50 years.
7. I want to take 5 spontaneous road trips. One of them must be to Yosemite.
8. I hope I get to go to the Olympics in Rio. Who cares if it’s as a volunteer? Pick me, IOC!
9. I pray that this curriculum on the Holy Spirit would take us to deep places in our Bible studies this year.
10. I want to befriend some of my neighbors.
11. I hope that at trip to India is in my future.
12. I wish for rain for California and all the places in the world affected by drought.
13. I want to see C encounter and choose Jesus.
14. I pray I remember to close the garage door when I leave for work.
15. I pray for my brother Brandon’s family as they adjust to their new life in Massachusetts.
16. I want to take an art class, something that uses lots of color.
17. I hope for job security, good health, and a flourishing marriage for my parents.
18. I anticipate many more healthy years for my aunt Caye. That’s one premium kidney my dad gave her!
19. I pray for children in foster care — for the protection of their bodies, hearts and minds — and for the social workers who are searching for their forever families. I pray for generosity in state budgets so the children and social workers have the resources they need.
20. I want to discover four new authors for some good reads.
21. I hope my teaching and preaching will be full of wisdom, helpful illustrations, and a dash of wit. No dull sermons around here!
22. I pray for the single men and women who secretly wonder what is “wrong” with them. By God’s grace, and through caring friendships, I hope they grow in confidence and self-love.
23. I wish I looked my age instead of looking 23. When I’m 50, I better appreciate looking 35, as everyone predicts I will.
24. I want to discover a love for cooking. But since that isn’t likely to happen, I at least hope to hate it less.
25. I pray for all my friends who are new parents — may God bless you with sleep, moments of wonder with your child, a hastily snatched date night, and some good alone time.
26. I want to hold lots of babies this year (and every year), so anyone who wants that alone time, call me!
27. I pray that the church will be a change agent in the injustices of our age, especially in regard to racism, human trafficking, and the exploitation of women and children.
28. I wish that ‘evangelical’ wasn’t such a dirty word in our culture.
29. I hope for dirt cheap airline tickets to Harrisburg, PA. Or better yet, that my besties would move closer to me!
30. I want to be flooded with energy and ideas for writing so this blog will be a meaningful and fruitful place.
31. I pray for the renewed health of the SLW family. May these years of difficulty become an incredible redemption story.
31. I pray I will have a strong sense of family as I develop relationships in my new home.
32. I can’t wait to see what my nieces and nephews do with their lives. I pray that they will know, love, and serve God with joy.
33. I want to laugh a lot. At least once a day. But I would settle for a deep belly laugh once a week.
34. I hope for stable, long-term housing so I can use it as a place of hospitality for the lonely.
35. I pray God would make a way for me to adopt when the time and circumstances are right. That I will be a healthy, wise, and compassionate parent.