On Turning Fifty

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There’s a funny thing about blogging – it’s easy to only write about what you want to share. I was going to let this pass by, but my goal is to embrace a new milestone in my life, so here it is, I turned 50 last month. Yes, fifty, 5-0, fifty, and it feels a little scary to write that.

I’m being vulnerable here, I’m a mommy-blogger, I have a seven-year-old for heaven’s sake! I don’t feel old at all, maybe mid-thirties, but given that Russ and I will have been married 30 years this June, it makes sense that I can’t be 35.

The morning of my birthday, Little Man greeted me, “Happy birthday, beautiful Mamma!”

How can I dislike my age when my son calls me beautiful?

My morning was lovely- time with Russ, a long walk holding hands, coffee, a smoothie, and then my friend, Michele came to visit. That night Russ and the kids made me a wonderful dinner.

I have a goal for this year, and it’s simple. Say “yes” to things that make me healthier and add joy to my life.  Yes to good food, laughter, taking risks and trying new things, deeper study of the Bible, prayer, and rich relationships.

And “yes” to vulnerability – and embracing 50. I want this to be a year of gaining wisdom, loving the people near me, and those far away. I want to nurture my marriage, be a good mom to my children, and be open to serving Jesus in whatever way he asks of me. I want to lay down my dreams and fully embrace his – knowing they will be far better.

It’s Monday and I think we’re in for a wild ride this week. I look at all of the different colors on my Google calendar, and I have to take slow, deep breaths. I’m trusting that Friday will come and we’ll all be okay.

How about you? Any thoughts on growing older or on crazy weeks? I would love to hear from you today.

And to all you mammas out there parenting young children in your fifties, three cheers to you! Our kids may keep us tired, but they also keep us young!

Have a great day, friends. Breathe in and out, say a prayer, call a friend, love the people God brings into your life today.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

35 Comments

  1. Robin Douglas
    February 10, 2014

    Happy Birthday, Lisa! I'll join you in September and Biruk will be 8 in October! I hope the year ahead will be full of blessings. You are a blessing and a great encouragment to so many!

    Reply
  2. Ann
    February 10, 2014

    As with other important birthdays, you'll see that the day after you turn 50, you're still the same person. This ancient 57-year-old knows that will help a lot. I also know that it's a good decade and one that most women seem to thrive in!

    Reply
  3. Mombyadoption
    February 10, 2014

    Lisa, I'm a mom of 9, six through adoption. My youngest is 2 years old. I'm turning 50 in May. Thank you for your inspiring words!

    Reply
  4. Cindy Mc
    February 10, 2014

    Lisa, You're a 1964 baby too!! I'll be 50 his fall. I get a little shocked when I hear it too. However, besides the normal things you do at 50… hello colonoscopy, I will celebrate life. March 16 will mark my anniversary from my first round of cancer, 27 years. At the time the doctors told me my life expectancy was less than 5 years. 2013 I had the first recurrence, all of it removed. We have children, grandchildren, siblings, parents, friends and our Lord. I'm so richly blessed. Being 50 is a great thing!!!
    Love,
    Cindy Mc

    Reply
  5. Kirsten
    February 10, 2014

    Happy Birthday! What a great goal to have for the year. Praying that God will strengthen and equip you to make it happen according to His will.

    I'm turning 33 in a week. I'm really struggling with being a mom to my four kids (ages 8,6,4 and 18 months), being a full time stay at home mom, and a wife. I'm not really sure what God has in store for me this year. Trying to find a balance and contentment between it all is something I need/want to achieve.

    Reply
    1. Christine N.
      February 10, 2014

      Oh yes! I will be 33 in May and I have five kids, 10, 8, 6, 6, and 1 (three bio and two foster to adopt). Finding the balance of what good things to say no to so there will be space for the great, making time to speak to my husband (not even the fun stuff), finding peace in the midst of the chaos, it's all so very hard right now. I know.

      Reply
  6. Tisha
    February 10, 2014

    Your little man is right, you are a beautiful, beautiful mama!! Happy belated birthday to you!

    Reply
  7. Tom Vanderwell
    February 10, 2014

    I turned 49 two weeks ago. My 12 year old informed me that 49 isn't old but that once I get to 50 then I'll be half way to 100 and that's old! She also informed me that she and her 13 year old brother are already planning on decorating the house in black for my 50th. Thanks for the good perspective……

    Tom

    Reply
  8. Deborah
    February 10, 2014

    Oh my……. your post made me sit back and consider 50, and where I expect (hope? pray?) to be then. I pray that my 50's will be a repeat of my 30's – I sure loved my 30's (40's – NOT SO MUCH!!!). I have 6.5 more years to get there, which means our two oldest will be about to hit their 30's then! :-O And we'll have four very solidly in their 20's. We will have two that will be in their Senior year of high school when I turn 50. And our youngest will be knocking on the door of her teens. If not before I will likely be thinking hard about taking the LSAT – because with mostly grown kids I will finally be able to turn back to my own dreams (Law School). I expect we will have a few married kids – and hopefully a couple of grandkids. Yup – I am looking forward to 50 – very very forward to 50!!!!! 🙂 Happy (belated) Birthday Lisa…… you are an awesome, beautiful & inspiring 50-Momma!

    Reply
  9. AmyE
    February 10, 2014

    My mom had a sister who died at 37 from a random brain infection that took her quickly. One of the best things my mom taught me as a result of that was to be thankful for every year. She never dreaded getting older. Cancer took my own sweet mom at 59. I'm thankful she taught me that lesson early in her life. I'll be joining you in the 50's next year with an 8 year old!

    Reply
  10. Janet McLain
    February 10, 2014

    I love this post. I'm 53 and have a 6 year old and 3 year old. They are our foster children whom we have had for almost 2 years. We are adopting them soon. Sometimes I think we're crazy but then I realize that if we don't do it, who else will? And we love them to death. They are our heroes! They have taught us so much about resiliency and hope.We have a 27, 19, 18, and 13 year old also. they adore the little boys and have played a huge role in their healing. My grandpa taught me you're only as old as you think you are so that has become my motto. Thanks for your blog. I love it. And I so appreciate people who step up and love children. I was in foster care twice as a child. My 2nd set of foster parents adopted me and they are my forever family 🙂

    Reply
  11. Debbie Pursell
    February 10, 2014

    I am also struggling with turning 50 this year…..first birthday to make me pause. I love your post, thank you so much for sharing it. I will try to embrace this year with your encouragement. I am momma to 9…2 in heaven, 24, 21, 18,16,12, 2 and our foster newborn. 🙂

    Reply
  12. Julie
    February 10, 2014

    Happy belated birthday, Lisa! I'm right behind you. I always say my little firecracker keeps me young (by keeping up) and makes me old (gray hairs) all at the same time! I'm not sure how I feel about this upcoming milestone… judging from the last 4 decades, I'd say the 50's will probably be an adventure. 🙂

    Reply
  13. Chantelle
    February 10, 2014

    Well at least you LOOK like you're in your mid-30's! I would never have guessed 50. This post comes at a good time for me because I turn 4-0 in a couple weeks and a reminder to be take it with GRACE is helpful! 🙂 ((hug))

    Reply
  14. Luann Yarrow Doman
    February 10, 2014

    Happy Belated Birthday! Good for you for embracing 50. I agree with Little Man…you *are* a beautiful Mamma, inside and out.

    I'm 42, and my little man turns 3 on Wednesday. My life is so full of joy in this decade…I can't wait to see what my 50s bring.

    Reply
  15. Elizabeth
    February 10, 2014

    It feels nice to be getting older because I'm slowly getting wiser, too! It's exciting to already be a pro at some things finally…

    Reply
  16. Penelope
    February 10, 2014

    I also turn 50 this year & have a 4-year-old!!! I took my 2 young boys to the baseball field yesterday & played baseball with them! I feeling young but I really hate to see those lines of experience on my face!!!

    Reply
  17. Alyssa
    February 10, 2014

    Hapy Birthday! may it be a year of grace for you and your family.

    Reply
  18. Shonni
    February 10, 2014

    I love this post! Thank you for sharing. I am turning 50 in April, and I want to embrace it with grace. I am encouraged by your honesty!
    We are starting a sheep ranch/business. We are excited. Nothing like a new adventure to help keep us young. It is fun to know that the LORD is leading us. And I feel especially loved by HIM, because He is also giving me 3 alpacas…LOL…I have always wanted Alpacas, but just never thought it would happen.
    Happy Friday friend

    Reply
  19. Laine
    February 10, 2014

    I will turn 50 in November and our youngest is 8! Parenting such young children at this age was not in my plans. But, when God calls, I need to answer. His plan is much wiser than mine. I find I want to truly soak up the experiences this life has to offer, be they easy or difficult. Thank you for writing and sharing. Your posts always lift me or inspire me. This one helps me remember I'm not alone. Life is amazing.

    Reply
  20. Dannette
    February 10, 2014

    I turn fifty in Oct. My two seven yr olds will just be eight as I turn the Big 50. I will always be 25 in my heart (just an age I picked, didn't even have kids yet at that age). Anyways, I wholeheartedly agree that the kids keep me and my husband young. If we didn't have our littles we would be experiencing the "empty nest" next year and I cannot imagine not having kids in the house! I love the park visits, zoo, sometimes coloring with chalk on the sidewalk, just showing kids the fun things in life. Anyways, Happy Birthday!

    Reply
  21. Julie
    February 10, 2014

    Belated birthday blessings to you! I, too, will turn 50 later this year. My youngest (of 16) is 3 years. May Christ keep/make us gracious and wise.

    Reply
  22. Finninans Mom
    February 10, 2014

    Dear Lisa,

    I don't comment often but I check in at least once a day. Since my mom got cancer five years ago and things didn't look so good we decided even more to embrace life and find happiness in small things. One of those things was to feel blessed each and every birthday to celebrate that you have had one more year with youre loved ones. To us a birthday is a day of thanksgiving and new hope. Growing older (not nececeraly old!) means you have the gift of life and sharing special moments with dear family and friends. And that's one of the biggest gifts one can recieve. Happy birthday!

    Reply
  23. Laura
    February 10, 2014

    Well you just need to remember that I am always 16 months older—-and maybe wiser hahah–than you my dear sister. 50 has been fine and 51 even better since I am embracing the idea of being healthier. I actually find it harder to think about the fact that Drew will be 25 this year and I will be married for 30 years too! Those seem like milestones.

    Reply
  24. blesseday
    February 10, 2014

    Happy birthday! I have no words of wisdom for you, because I feel the same way about being 40! (Ok, technically I'm 41 or 42, can't remember which, but the disbelief started at 40 because I remember when my parents turned 40 and the black ballooned "over the hill" parties that were the rage at the time! ; )

    Just remember YES you are beautiful, and God has you EXACTLY where he wants you, WHEN he wants you. : )

    Reply
  25. Lisa H.
    February 10, 2014

    This is a fun post and something I'd like to discuss more…Just recently I thought I'd like to start a blog or FB group for "Antique Moms of Many" ……I think about my age alot with adopting and the implications….. I just turned 49 and will soon bring home my 3 year old…..The responsibility weighs heavy on me and I ask Jesus to let me raise my little ones to adulthood….And then I do my best to leave the future with Him and to enjoy the ride! BTW, it was fun to see how many of your readers are 50+. I feel like such an anomaly to culture, it's nice to know I"m not alone!

    Reply
  26. kris
    February 10, 2014

    My sister has an adopted daughter who was born the year my sister turned 50. That daughter is now 10, so that makes my sister 60. I must admit, with jealousy, she doesn't look 60. I agree with the commenter above , the kids keep you young.

    Reply
  27. Ann
    February 10, 2014

    Happy Birthday Lisa! 50 is awesome–especially when you feel 35! I'm 51 with a 9 year old–I always tell my kids I plan to live to at least 103 so I am actually going to live 20 years longer than average–so I am really only 31! 🙂 I love your goals for this year!

    Reply
  28. Sonya Hillrich
    February 11, 2014

    Happy birthday, & may God open up sweet pathways to your desires for this year.
    So thankful that you are vulnerable in this place, as we mamas join you along this journey.

    Reply
  29. adventisthomemaker
    February 11, 2014

    Thank you for sharing so that we can wish you a happy birthday! Happy birthday!! 🙂 🙂

    Reply
  30. Sophie
    February 11, 2014

    The magnet on my friend's fridge reads "Age is a matter of the mind, if you don't mind, it doesn't matter"!
    I really like it.
    I think we are designed to live a long time. It is our thoughts that make us age. Keep those thoughts young!

    Reply
  31. Erika
    February 11, 2014

    Happy Belated birthday.

    God bless you much

    50 is the new 30 or 20 if you want ,or hey if you accidently turn on the wrong talk show you will see some who think its the new pimped up teenager. 😉

    Thanks for blogging I enjoy yours much for many different reasons.

    Reply
  32. Anna Barber
    February 12, 2014

    Happy Birthday, Lisa! Sometimes I get in a default, "No," response. When I recognize I'm in that rut, I try to say, "Yes," to everything I can. It makes my heart lighter. All the things you are doing are going to be good for your body, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Thank you for continually sharing your insights with us readers.

    Reply
  33. Angie
    February 12, 2014

    I love your post! Perfect timing for me. I'm the mother of 7 (3 biological, 4 adopted) age 26 down to 4. Oh and don't forget the 2 granddaughters age 3 and 1. I am turning 50 in october. Our goals are identical. So I have a question for all you beautiful fifty moms…..does noise bother you more now? Today my daughter was playing the flute and it hurt my ears so bad, I've never felt like that. Lately the noise level has just been piercing..

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 13, 2014

      Hi Angie! I've never been good with noise – I know, that's sort of funny given the size of our family. I don't think it is worse now than it's always been. I still want to get together with you!

      Reply

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