20 Things I Did In My 20s (plus an announcement!)

Goodbye 20’s.

Instead of listing 30 things I’ve learned in 30 years or something typical like that I instead want to look back on the last decade and say goodbye. I want to pause and reflect on where God has brought me these last ten years. So here are 20 things I did in my 20’s and I’m thankful for each and every one!

  1. Got married: definitely a major life course decision! I am so thankful I got to marry my high school sweetheart and that I’ve been able to do so much life with the greatest partner by my side.
  2. Graduated college: I started out as an English major and switched to Psychology. It was a fantastic program and I grew so much through the experience.
  3. Became gluten-free: I started having gastrointestinal problems early in my 20s and started taking medicine for chronic heartburn. At a chiropractic visit I was swayed to do a food test. Since cutting out gluten as an experiment my issues resolved and I’ve been eating that way since. I could have Celiac disease, I may not, I will never know and I’m okay with that.
  4. Had my first baby: Surprise!!! Best surprise ever for us was becoming parents. My first baby was born 7 years ago this month! *cries*
  5. Became a seminary wife: Since our family began expanding earlier than expected we decided to make seminary a priority since we knew that was Nick’s next step to answering his call to ministry. So we…
  6. Moved to Louisville, KY: We moved 2 months after our baby was born (which was insane!) but we knew God was calling us there for a season. We traveled back and forth for Holidays during those two years a LOT. We made sweet friends and our marriage was stretched and strengthened in so many ways during our time there.
  7. Had my second baby: In 2013 we had our daughter! My first two kids are only 15 months apart in age (which is also insane). We also moved apartments that same summer (insane) but made it through. Becoming a mother was a hard transition for me but I loved my new role as a mom to two babies. It was hard being away from our family though so the following year we…
  8. Moved back to MN! Nick found an amazing job as an Associate Pastor at a small-town church in Southern Minnesota and we got to move back to our home state.
  9. Became a pastors wife: Seeing my husband exercise his giftings and using his education in real-life church ministry has been such a sweet gift. We love our church and this season and his job has helped us truly blossom as a family, even with the many challenges that families in full-time ministry face.
  10. Had my third baby/my first home birth: I said that I wanted to wait a year to transition into our new home before having more babies but God knew that I needed to be stretched and challenged more in my parenting journey so we were surprised (again) at the addition of a third child. This time though, I got to have my first home birth experience which was amazing and something I am so grateful I have to look back on.
  11. Overcame postpartum depression and anxiety: I believe the exhaustion from pregnancy and having a newborn who wouldn’t sleep paired with changing hormones lead me into some crazy depression and anxiety issues I dealt with for a few months. Those months were some of the longest of my life. But through counseling, prayer, patience, and getting our sleeping patterns back on track I feel that I made a full recovery.
  12. Redecorated my bedroom: As I came out of my depression I began to find myself again through the therapeutic process of redecorating my bedroom. Blogging about the experience was so fun and I started a new hobby of painting furniture as a result. It’s been a source of joy to develop a new creative outlet.
  13. Began homeschooling my kids: We joined a Classical Conversations community in 2017 and haven’t looked back since. It’s been quite a ride as I’ve been learning how to homeschool my kids in these early years especially but I love the adventure and it’s something I feel so passionate about for our family.
  14. Did a family road trip to Louisville and made my first vlog: We’ve done lots of little trips here and there but our family vacation in May of last year was the first time we planned a long trip purely for our leisure. It was an exhausting trip but we learned so much about ourselves and made some really amazing memories.
  15. Learned how to paint furniture and made some random videos about it too: Like I said before, the creative outlet of redecorating my bedroom lead to a newfound hobby. I experimented with some DIY videos too which was really fun and another good learning experience but I’m not sure it’s something I’ll keep up.
  16. Had a scary hospital stay with my daughter: My 3 year old daughter suddenly developed a high fever and severe abdominal pain resulting in a trip to the ER on a Saturday night. Because her abdomen was so tiny none of the tests came back conclusive about what was causing her symptoms. So after a night of observation the doctor decided he needed to do “Exploratory Surgery”. I underwent the biggest test of faith that day as I had to trust God with the outcome of my baby girl. What started out as exploratory surgery ended up being an appendectomy. Things could have turned out much, much worse and I praise God for giving us the best case scenario. But being faced with the reality that no matter how hard things got or how bad our suffering might be, God was still good and in control. That was a major life-altering experience for me!
  17. Traveled to Rhode Island, New Jersey, and the Caribbean (4 times for 4 different cruises): Our experiences traveling are some of my favorite memories of the last decade! My first cruise was early in 2011 on the Allure of the Seas. We have since done three more cruises!
  18. Sold my painted furniture at a vendor booth: I was crazy enough to sign up as a vendor for a big flea market. I pushed myself (and my family) to the limit and learned a great deal. Still, it was a successful experience and incredibly fun to put my work out there.
  19. Had my kitchen professionally reorganized: I’ve been taking some adventures in minimalism and have slowly embraced a more minimalist mindset about my home and the things in it. I still have a long ways to go but hands down one of the most impactful things I have done so far was getting my kitchen professionally organized by my sister-in-law!

Now we come to the last thing. The big announcement I have, the exciting news to share!

20. I committed to writing a novel. Since being a little girl I have always enjoyed the art of storytelling. I’ve been making up stories and writing stories since my childhood. In English classes instead of writing the typical short story that everyone was assigned I would turn in books or screenplays. It’s always been a dream of mine to write a book for publication and I have recently decided to take the plunge and commit to writing a book. It’s not a new story of mine either. The story is actually one I began writing when I was 15! I’ve dug out my old files from an external hard drive and for the last month I have been editing, researching, plot outlining, and character building. I plan to share more about the process and what I’m writing about but for now this is all I will say.

I am really looking forward to the things to come in my 30s. I don’t really like the fact that I am getting older but I know I need to just embrace it and look on the bright side. I think a novel I could write as a 30 year old will be much better than anything I wrote at age 15. I just hope this next decade doesn’t go by too quickly because once I’m 40 (AH!) my kids will be really old and I am so not ready for that yet. Time slow down. I want to soak in this next decade and dedicate it to God, my family, and the specific things I feel called to do (like homeschool, write a book, etc…). So that’s all I got for now!

Soli Deo Gloria

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Published by Jessica

Wife, mom, homeschooler, DIY-er, blogger

2 thoughts on “20 Things I Did In My 20s (plus an announcement!)

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