So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I’m midway through my 37th year on this planet. In those 37 years, I’ve decided the 30s are the best years. I realize that’s a pretty bold statement from someone who (hopefully) isn’t even halfway through her life. Yet, I feel confident these years are the platform that will carry me successfully through the decades to come.

Here’s what my 30s have taught me:

Turning 30 isn’t that bad. To be fair, I’ve never been one who’s been bothered by numbers, but me turning 30 didn’t stop the world from turning. I figure it’s an age many aren’t afforded, so I choose to embrace it and be grateful. Besides, as I stated, it launched the best decade of my life.

By your 30s, you’ve grown up a bit.

You’re likely at a place career-wise that you can sustain a living on your own. You’ve likely found a career that’s a good fit, and you’re not wishing your life away in a dead-end job.

RELATED: The Gift of Your 30s

Most of your bad choices and wild hairs are behind you. Can we all just say thank you that we were still mostly pre-cellphones back in our wild and wooly days?

My opinion of me is more important to me than your opinion of me.

My 30s have given me the confidence to believe in myself. I no longer strive to meet your approval. I am confident in myself and the choices I make with or without your blessing.

I know what I’m willing to settle on and what I’m not willing to compromise on. This means personally, emotionally, in my career, in my family, the whole shebang. To my point above, I have the confidence to be me. I won’t settle for less than I expect. I won’t settle for less in what I expect of myself or what I expect of others. Call it what you wish, but I call it intentionally owning my life with confidence.

Not compromising also means I don’t compromise on who or what I give my time to. If it’s important to you, you find a way to make it work. If it’s not, you let it go. This is true for the people you let into your life as well. Choose wisely.

RELATED: Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends

At this stage, some hit-you-in-the-gut life moments have happened. Whether that be your own health scare or that of a loved one, death, or some other significant loss, you’ve fielded it. Those moments have given me the tools to deal with loss.

It’s taught me to hold on to what’s important and let go of what’s not.

Loss and near losses give us the ability to cope with more of the same that’s going to come in later years. They’re life lessons however hard they may be to learn.

I’ve learned how to fail. Those who say failure isn’t an option are wrong. It’s OK to fail. But what’s important in failure is what you take away from it. It’s learning how to handle failing gracefully. It’s learning from the failure and making improvements moving forward. It’s not wallowing in the failure, but rather overcoming it to shine brighter. You can’t appreciate success without at some point having failed. How you handle that failure is what makes the difference.

Don’t dwell on the past. Much like dealing with losses, dwelling in the past keeps you there.

I’ve learned to let go of what was, forgive what needs forgiven, and learn from it (good and bad), but leave it there. Don’t let the pain, embarrassment, shame, hopes, whatever they were, keep you from living the life you have before you. If you spend too much time looking back, you’ll find you’ve missed the gifts that were right in front of you.

RELATED: To The 30-Something Moms

Forgiveness heals. It took me a long time to understand that. When I withhold forgiveness, it hurts me way more than the person who hurt me. Whether that person ever actually apologizes to me says more about them than it does me, but how I chose to handle the hurt says a heck of a lot about me.

My 30s have, by no stretch of the imagination, been without trials.

Actually, most of the biggest trials I’ve dealt with in my life have happened in this decade. Yet, I feel a peace about all of them that a younger version of me wouldn’t have been able to feel. I’ve learned to lean into my faith in God, and the circle that I keep close. I’ve learned to trust God’s plans more than my own because I have no control over tomorrow anyway.

These lessons didn’t happen overnight. They’ve been a culmination of the years. Yet, I know in my heart the 30s have been the best because they’ve equipped me for the future. So to all of you dreading hitting that milestone, rest assured that while a night in on the couch may not sound as exciting as a night on the town, it actually is. It’s another lesson age will teach you. Besides 30 is just a number, right?

Holly Lemons

Blessed by God to be the mommy to four beautiful girls, wife to one amazing husband, and an elected official. Crazy, a little...blessed beyond what I deserve!

Here’s to the Strong Ones Living with Type 1 Diabetes

In: Living
Pregnant mom on beach, black-and-white photo

This is a shout-out to all the sweet girls. The ones hustling so hard to live like normal. The ones with type 1 diabetes. Some of you have been living with diabetes as long as you have been breathing. Some of you are newly diagnosed and need to know someone who has been managing diabetes for years. I have been living with type 1 diabetes for 17 years, and I see you. Whether you have been diagnosed for 17 hours or 17 years, chances are I’ve felt what you feel too.  I’m here to tell you that type 1 diabetes...

Keep Reading

You Don’t Have to Lose Yourself to Be a Good Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman brushing wet hair

There is nothing wrong with losing yourself in motherhood. Diving in head first, serving your kids and spouse endlessly, never asking for a break, being proud for providing an amazing childhood for your kids, and allowing mom to become your entire identity. But what if you don’t want that?  When did this become the standard of motherhood we are all expected to achieve? Why does society say the best mom is the one that’s 110% physically and emotionally available for her kids all the time and never does anything for herself? Why are you less of a mom if you...

Keep Reading

No Screens Before 7: How Our Family Broke Free of the Screentime Habit

In: Living, Motherhood
Kids using smartphones

“We still have three more minutes!” my 7-year-old says, bouncing with Christmas-like anticipation and excitement. “Well,” I say, looking from him to his 9-year-old sister, “what could you do for three minutes?” “Leg wrestle!” they exclaim and run to the carpeted living room. This life-filled exchange was not happening in my home just a couple of months ago.  In spite of my best efforts, screen time had taken over. Both the kids and I would slip into this zombie-like, space-time vortex. I would look up and know it wasn’t healthy, but it was just so easy to just keep on...

Keep Reading

Witch, Please! Hocus Pocus 2 Release Date Means the Sanderson Sisters Countdown Is ON

In: Living
Bette Middler in Hocus Pocus 2 on Disney+

“Lock up your children!” screeches Winifred Sanderson (played by Bette Midler) in the teaser trailer for Disney’s long-awaited Hocus Pocus 2 movie. But I say, “Mark your calendars!” Disney revealed the release date for this much-anticipated sequel and I’m happy to report that the Sanderson sisters will be flying above Salem and to your Disney+ stream on September 30th! The countdown is ON! Check out the trailer and get excited! But first, a confession:  I have to be honest, I was 16 when the original Hocus Pocus came out, but for some reason I never saw it until I was...

Keep Reading

Good Dads Make Great Grandpas

In: Grown Children, Living
Grandpa walking with two grandsons, color photo

This is not only written for my dad, but for all the dads out there who aren’t the typical, everyday dads. The hands-on dad, the dad who goes on bike rides, the dad who watches his grandbabies. The dad who creates a legacy whether he realizes it or not. The world needs more of you.  It’s not every day you get a dad who enters a diaper changing contest and comes in second place. Yes, that happened to my dad. He would take me up to the local mall to walk around and one of the stores was holding a...

Keep Reading

Dear Friend, I Don’t Want To Lose You

In: Friendship
Two women smiling, color photo

I’m sorry I don’t text you like I should. I’m sorry I don’t call you like I should. I’m sorry I don’t check in to see how you are. I’m sorry this friendship can feel one-sided at times. I’m sorry I’m so distant. The truth is I’m struggling. I’m struggling with life. I’m struggling with finances. I’m struggling with trying to please everyone and do everything. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it The problem is I try to please everyone—everyone who doesn’t matter. My problem is I’ve gotten so content with our friendship that I know you’ll...

Keep Reading

I Want You To Miss Your Childhood One Day Too

In: Kids, Living
Kids jumping off dock into lake

What I miss the most about childhood is owning my whole heart. Before I gave pieces of it away to others who weren’t always careful with it. And some, who never gave the pieces back. I miss my knowing. My absolute faith that my mother’s arms could fix just about everything and what her arms couldn’t, her cookies could. When my biggest grievance was not getting my way. I miss feeling whole, unblemished. Before words cut me. Before people had taken up space in my mind, created permanent movies that were ugly and still play on repeat at times. Before...

Keep Reading

I Traded My Body for This Full Life

In: Living, Motherhood
Happy family smiling

It was supposed to be the happiest time of my life. I was cradling my firstborn child—my rainbow baby—tenderly in my arms as she contentedly nursed. I looked down at this beautiful miracle, unable to mirror her blissful content. Six weeks after the birth, I was still feeling like garbage. Being a first-time mom, I figured the fatigue was par for the course. My other symptoms, however, were suspect. Will I see my daughter grow up? were my thoughts as the streams of grief flowed, pooling on her swaddle. At my medical check-up, I brought my concerns to my doctor...

Keep Reading

The Truth is I’m Drowning

In: Living
Woman with hand on face sad

I find myself sinking. Really disappearing. Everyone around me sees me. They see my smile, my involvement, my willingness to please and participate. No one notices how easily I shift between despair and real tears and conforming to what the situation requires of me. Sometimes this shift happens within the matter of minutes.  Not waving, but drowning. I’m on a weight loss journey. The scale told me I am down just over four pounds. And I feel really good about that. I know I have another 15 to 20 to go, but I am four down. I made a promise...

Keep Reading

Older Kids with Special Needs Can Get Overlooked, and it’s Lonely

In: Living, Motherhood
Two hands held together next to a wheelchair, black-and-white photo

Middle school is tough. I have three girls—two of them now teenagers—so I know firsthand how tween insecurities can quickly spiral into friend drama and subtle bullying. I’ve watched my girls get left out and left behind, and we’ve had lots and lots of talks about what it means to be a good friend. And as much as I want to tell you it doesn’t hit differently with my third daughter, I can’t. Because it does. When your tween daughter is in a wheelchair and has endured—and is still enduring—health and physical challenges that would destroy an adult, a mama’s...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime