It’s my Birthday

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Well, today is my birthday.

Yep, I’m clocking in another year around the sun.

I feel like once you’re in your late twenties, and you’re in that stage of life where you’re supposed to be gearing up to having your life all figured out — engaged, married, successful career, house, kids, etc. — every birthday is just a brutal reminder that, well…I’m not there yet.

And the devil on my shoulder keeps reminding me that with each passing year, I become less and less desirable marriage material, and more and more likely to become a spinster cat lady.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my birthday fell on top of the journey my mom and I took along the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Eighty miles is a long way to walk, and as you read in last week’s reflection, it’s about the journey, not the destination.

But one of the things that I always struggle with, especially on my birthday, is assessing where I am on my journey, and feeling inadequate. And if I’m being suuuuper transparent: like a failure. It’s not a “pretty” truth, but it is what I wrestle with. A remnant of my disordered thoughts during my anorexia.

Growing up, I thought my life would be in a much different place than where it is now. Heck, in fourth grade I would have told you that I’d be on kid #7 of 12 by now!

But if I’m honest, it’s hard not to feel like I’ve either made a horribly wrong turn, thus missing the path God had laid out for my life; or that God simply has abandoned this lost cause of an existence.

And I know, bleak thoughts for a day that is supposed to be full of celebrating.

But it’s my reality, and I just feel really phony writing a chippy-chipperton post about how joyful I am that it’s my birthday.

But you know, I did a lot of praying about that this morning. And God placed something on my heart. So I’m going to share.

While my mom and I were walking the Camino, we woke up one morning to the news of Demi Lovato’s overdose. And I want to just pause to say that she and her loved ones are in my prayers during this difficult time. Addiction is such an insipid, lurking monster, and I’m so glad that she is getting the help she needs. And her courage is truly inspiring.

But it just reminded me that I have a lot to be grateful for.

Anorexia is a very specific type of addiction. And though food is not an “illegal substance” like narcotics, or opioids, the disordered mentality behind addictive actions is very much the same.

And the news of Demi’s relapse not only shattered my heart for her, but also reminded me that recovery is a battle you can’t fall asleep on. Diligence and intentionality is needed each and every day – even in the strongest of recoveries.

But the fact is, I’m here, and I’ve overcome a lot. God has blessed my life with complete healing, and with an incredibly supportive group of family and friends.

I’m healthy. I’m alive. And I’m in a place in my life where I truly am thriving.

Maybe it doesn’t look like my fourth-grade mind had planned, but then you know – God had other plans. Plans and challenges and detours that have shaped me into the young woman I am today. And I embrace that. And am grateful for it.

I have been so blessed in my recovery. I owe absolutely everything to God’s grace, and the fact that I’ve made it another 365 is cause for praise and gratitude to the Author of Life.

Because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. That’s something that, sadly, as we get older, becomes more and more apparent, as we become aware of the tragedies all around us, that seem to pop up with more and more frequency.

I think today I should be taking an inventory of all the things in my life I do have – that I have been blessed with, rather than negatively comparing where I am with where people on my Facebook timeline are in their lives, or with the unrealistic standard of perfection I had set for myself, even as an Old Navy Tech Vest-wearing, Gel Pen-toting, precocious ten year old.

Birthdays are a time for thanksgiving. Gratitude for life. For relationships. For health. For blessings. For lessons learned the hard way. And yes, for the patience God is fortifying in me as I await the unfolding of the rest of my story.

It will come. I know it will. I trust it will.

God is working, and as with all good things, some take longer than others. But one thing’s for sure: it will be worth the wait.

See ya tomorrow morning on the Podcast!

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A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.

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520 thoughts on “It’s my Birthday

  1. Happy birthday sweetie! 😊 Don’t be too hard on yourself and keep your faith. I always say this to my Mum (she’s just recently become a Christian. I’m not really religious myself) Like they always say, the Lord works in mysterious ways 😊 x

  2. The beauty of life can be found in it’s story! We change as we experience new things. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is the most simplistic notion often spoken as advice. Thats, “Everything has it’s own season.” It is so very true. Hahaa… I smile as I think to myself about the journey i’m on. At 35 my perspectives have changed along with what brings me joy… enjoy everyday … spreading hope and grace…and you will look back and know things are as they should be…stepping stones to who you will evolve to be. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 🍨🎂

  3. Bah. Satan doesn’t just discourage, he fibs through his teeth. Thirtysomethings are BETTER marriage material in some ways – we know what we want, we can navigate the tasks of life better, our theology is developed, we’ve learned to argue and fight fair, and our emotions have calmed down a bit. All things that some married couples out there would kill for.

    Of course, I know this may be small comfort for us all as 35 approaches, but I pray (hardly needed) that God will unfold a plan that absolutely thrills you.

  4. Happy Birthday to you beautiful lady. May God continue to pour his blessings over your life. You are an amazing person and when the time comes, all the things you long for in your heart will happen on God’s time. You will be a beautiful wife and mother so in the meantime enjoy your journey getting there. ❤️❤️❤️

  5. Happy Birthday! You’re not powerful enough to mess up God’s path for you. 🙂 I always take comfort in the story of Jonah. He was unwilling, resentful, and bitter. And that was before, during, AND after! If God still used him to save a city, I guess he can use me, too! Also, I didn’t marry until I was 33, and I am SO grateful God gave me the wisdom to wait for the man I married eight years ago. I was engaged twice before and ended up breaking both of those engagements off because it just didn’t feel quite right – I was trying to do “the thing you’re supposed to do,” and, thankfully, God didn’t let me. I’m so happy now at 41. I actually wrote this song while I was still single for two of my friends who struggled with the desire to be married above all else. I have seen one of them marry into a very unhappy situation, and it hurts me to see what she goes through now. God has a plan for her and that situation as well; I’m just saying marriage is not always the ticket to happiness people think. Don’t wish away your “now!!” (I don’t really do music anymore, but I hope this song touches you!) https://soundcloud.com/connie-white-1194295/girl-in-color

  6. HAPPYYYYYY BIRTHDAYYYY BEAUTIFUL HUMAN ❤️❤️ Getting old now 😂 I hope you have lots of cake 😍🎂 I was absolutely devastated hearing about Demi my heart aches for her, here in the UK we lost a very talented human of a different kind who was a huge part of nearly everyone of our generation 😩

  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

    Just on a matter of personal preference, I think fourth-grade you was really ambitious in the kid-having department!! Geez Louise.

    But don’t worry!! You are on track!! God is definitely guiding your life!! I’m sure of it!! This will be a great year for you!! 🙂

  8. Birthday blessings to you! I’m so glad you’re here and doing what you do, reaching out to touch so many souls…
    Once when I was frustrated with my lack of progress, a wise friend told me “Maybe God desires your humility more than your perfection.”
    I think in our brokenness we make the love of God more accessible to others…we are more patient, gentle and understanding than we would be if all our perfect boxes were ticked off.
    So thanks for being a piece of the puzzle of life…on our own we feel silly but sometimes when all our wavy edges meet they make a beautiful picture.

  9. Happy birthday! Oh and, in light of being discouraged along the way (though you spoke of hope too), here is a quote from the Lord of the Rings that is always good to keep in mind when YOUR path is different and may not look like the one others are one…

    “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo [Caralyn], going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

  10. God and I had a real heart to heart this morning as I struggled with very similar thoughts. He took me to 1 Corinthians 4:1-4, and showed me that I am often too hard on myself. You may also find comfort in the passage. And Happy birthday to you!

  11. Ohhh….I want to come and give you a great big hug! Wonderful people are born in August (my birthday was August 1st). I have so enjoyed your blog and it inspires me in my writing. I completely understand where you are coming from where you thought you would be in a very different place at this time of life. I am struggling with the same thing, but at the age of 43. I had my dreams dashed and keep on reminding myself that God has a better plan, even if it makes absolutely NO sense to me. I’m trying to change my mindset to it being a fun and exciting time because who knows what will happen? Will I meet my future husband? Will I travel abroad? Will I help more people? It is hard to trust God’s journey for us, but you my friend, are on the right path. There are great things in store for you! Happy Birthday! -J.Lynn

  12. Happy birthday dear girl! Life is a gift! Thank you for sharing your heart with us……I’m glad you have such a loving family who can be with you today. Just so you know, my best friend didn’t find her godly husband until 32, first kid at 35. Just thought that would encourage you..big hugs!!! 🤗🎂

  13. First off, happy birthday!

    Birthdays are always an interesting day for me too. Definitely a lot of reflection about where I’ve been and want to be. It’s always been like my own personal New Year’s Day. 25 might have been the hardest one for me. I was single, didn’t have any money, was living at home, and was struggling with some things. I felt like I had failed.

    With your fears over marriage, it’s tempting to want to believe lies. You’re still young.

    We all have our own path. Sometimes our times of adversity become the invaluable moments in our lives that help define and shape us. Yes someone might have a family by this age. Yes, someone might have achieved a certain level of education or career success. But those people also have areas where they feel like they’re lacking too. All you can do is get better everyday, grow everyday. Comparing ourselves to others can be disheartening. I know we can’t control our feelings, but we can choose not to play the comparison game.

    It sounds like you’ve already accomplished a lot with your life. Sincerely. You have a lot to be proud of. And, Lord willing, if you’re given many more trips around the sun, you will accomplish much more. And if there are specific areas in your life where you want change, you’re also able to start working today to change.

    Your birthday doesn’t have to be a downer. It can be a day that inspires you. What’s one thing you want to do or experience or change in this next year? Work to make it happen!

  14. It might be your birthday, but you, your experience strength and hope are truly a gift to me😊(and many others, I’m sure) 🎁 so, I’ll say it, anyway.
    Happy Birthday! I thank God for you. God doesn’t make mistakes, I believe you’re actually in His perfect timing. God bless

  15. Happy Birthday!!!

    I can completely relate to you as you’re celebrating in your late twenties. My birthday is next week and I’m in the same boat. But thank God for growth, progress, and living!!!

  16. Happy Birthday!!!
    It’s my aunts birthday too! And one thing I know about Leo’s is that they are kind, driven, and have GREAT TASTE in like everything lol!!
    Thank you for reading my blog even when it gets crazy makes me not feel so alone some times it really means a lot and I thank you! 😭 A like does mean a lot some times like😊.
    You are such a kind soul and I really wish you the best on your day!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  17. Happy Birthday, Caralyn!

    I believe that God has a plan for everyone. I didn’t get married until later in life and I don’t regret waiting for one minute. My life is a lot different than I thought it would be. God is waiting to put you with the right person at the right time. Just you wait and see! 🙂

  18. Happy Birthday! And don’t worry about getting things figured out. It took me nearly 46 years to get things straight. Lol. You’ll be just fine. 😋

  19. Birthday Blessing, Pastor! I saw the movie ” The Way ” and as soon as I read you and your Mom were going, I was so happy for your entire family!! When I pray for you, I pray for your family and I know God has a wonderful plan for you which will be revealed when you are ready to receive it! I have been ill since May, and every now and then I write about depression on my blog site. I just started to write again! Through prayer, my God -Goal is to begin with 2 blog posts per week and work my way back to five! I have 2 new posts from last week so I’m happy to be back! If any of your readers suffer from depression, please refer them to my blog, as it is a simple, daily, devotional. It is non denominational and really welcomes those who are spiritually seeking. I hope you will visit again! You and your blog are wonderful! Happy Birthday! P.S. I had a totally different plan for my life than what God had for my life! Know this to be true: God’s plan is not easy, but always, it is, ” THE WAY “

    1. Thanks so much Rick! Wasn’t it a Greta movie! I really appreciate your prayers. You’re a great friend. I’m so sorry that you’ve been going through a tough season this summer. Praying for you friend. Hugs and love xox

  20. Happy Birthday Caralyn. Remember the words God spoke to Jeremiah when he felt despair in his mission: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (JER 29-11)
    His plans may not be your plans. But His plans are for you to prosper in hope. Peace in Christ!

  21. Happy birthday, dear. You and I and bunches of others who thought they had stuff figured out have had to learn that God’s plan trumps ours (I was supposed to be the radio voice of the St. Louis Cardinals). Faith reminds us of the hardest four words in the English language: Thy will be done. All will be well, my friend, you will see. Hugs and love– Mike

  22. Happiest birthday. Just remember. Each day is a new gift. What you are now, own it. Accept that you are still single for a reason. Not a bad one or as punishment. Tomorrow isn’t promised, yesterday is gone. All we have is today. Embrace the gift of yourself today. Let tomorrow be until the morning.

  23. Happy Birthday! Another excellent post. Several others have shared this thought, but I’d like to echo them in saying there’s still so much left of your story to be written. I had the privilege of meeting and marrying my high school sweetheart. We were married for 7 years and then the cruelty of cancer took her away. That was almost 6 years ago, and I have had moments where I wonder if I am going to be the single guy the rest of my life, or whether God has set aside someone else to join me on this incredible journey. I am truly content (perhaps for the first time?) either way! I know that regardless of how my journey unfolds, it is all for His good and glory. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. Best to you in the year ahead!

    1. Thanks so much James. Gosh I’m so sorry to hear that. I’m glad He has given you that peace. Amen to that. Sending so much love and hugs xox

  24. Happy Birthday. I’m 58 and still wonder what God has in store for me as, like you, very little is the way I hoped, dreamed and worked towards. Someday, maybe it will all make sense. That being said, I think you have a lot of time in front of you before you become a spinster, cat-lady.

    1. Thanks so much Ray. Hah that’s kind of you to say. All in good time! Hugs and love xox

  25. Happy birthday, favorite blogger!💛 Your words constantly inspire me in the way that you always authentically portray your life to us. Thank you for giving us your lovely self in every blog and YouTube video. I eagerly engage with them all; the joy of Christ radiates off of you! Even though I don’t personally know you, I’m very thankful for you, and you’re a big reason I’m determined to go bigger with my own blog by just being me.

    And also, your story of singleness inspires me as a single 21 year old who has never been kissed or had a proper boyfriend before. I know it’s not at all easy sometimes, I think we share a similar struggle in that, but your relatable story definitely gives me comfort, so just know that. You’re almost like an older sister to me (well I guess I’m Christ you are! 😊)

    I’m praying you’ll find comfort in the seasons God puts you in now and the next couple of years. He does know best, right?

    💛
    ~Annah

    1. Aw you’re so kind, thank you so much Annah! And I so appreciate your prayer amen – He DOES know best and has a good plan for the both of us! Hugs and love xox

  26. Society says that you need to have your life all figured out — engaged, married, successful career, house, kids, etc by your late 20s. God doesn’t say that.

    Keep the faith. You were spot on: “It will come. I know it will. I trust it will.” And when it comes, you’ll appreciate it so much more. Will keep you in my prayers. And, of course, Happy Birthday. Hope it was a great day.

  27. Happy Birthday! Your perspective reminds me of how King David handled his disappointments in the book of Psalms (Psalm 69) is one example. I pray your perspective is immovable as you wait on the Lord.

  28. Happy Birthday! Be careful of looking at the “supposed to be’s.” They lie all the time. My wife-to-be took a Cosmo quiz once. She was over 40, divorced with two kids. The “supposed-to-be” experts of that mag said her chances of finding a husband were less than 1%. She met and married me within the year. That was 26 years ago. She tells people I was the answer to her prayer. She often forgets that she was the answer to mine. Best piece of advice I can give you is to forget about meeting “the one.” Just go about doing God’s work. He knows your heart and will deliver. And not only will your prayers be answered… you’ll know what being the answer to someone else’s prayer feels like. Believing with you. Michael

  29. Happy birthday and many happy returns of the day.

    “every birthday is just a brutal reminder that, well…I’m not there yet.” – every birthday is a reminder that you are chosen to give back to your fellow beings because you are one of the fortunate one.

  30. Happy Birthday, Caralyn! You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be right now in your life journey. I have a quote framed in my office that I look at all the time… my nephew’s wife gave it to me when they desperately wanted another baby and waited 7 years to get pregnant… “Faith in God includes faith in his timing.” Amen to that. I reference that quote a lot! Wishing you an amazing year, filled with blessings! Jenny xoxo

    1. Thank you so much Jenny! You’re so kind 🙂 faith in His timing. AMEN! Hugs and love xox

  31. Happy Blessed Birthday! Thank you for your beautifully transparent post. You are obviously very lovely inside and out. I look forward to seeing the exciting, blessed adventures God has in store for you.

  32. i can relate… 🙂

    Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. – James 5:7-8

    happy birthday!

  33. Happy birthday! I should also tell you what a friend once told me about not having all life plans in order–Jesus didn’t start the work od ministry until he turned 30! 🙂

  34. Have a Happy Birthday! Your path is still out there to be walked along. As you grow older, you’ll be more and more surprised at what a great life you’ve led- even if it’s not the one ten-year-old you thought it was going to be.

  35. “But one of the things that I always struggle with, especially on my birthday, is assessing where I am on my journey, and feeling inadequate. And if I’m being suuuuper transparent: like a failure. It’s not a “pretty” truth, but it is what I wrestle with.

    “But if I’m honest, it’s hard not to feel like I’ve either made a horribly wrong turn, thus missing the path God had laid out for my life; or that God simply has abandoned this lost cause of an existence.”

    I know how you feel. Have I taken too many wrong turns? Did I miss the opportunities? Is it too late to salvage anything? Prayers feel like they don’t get past the ceiling, and God has been silent for a long time. Would love to take you out for some caramelized Brussels sprouts and Nicecream with strawberries and talk about it. 😊 Seriously, if you ever do want to talk, email or DM me on Patreon.

    You do so much good with this blog and your podcasts. God only knows the number of people you’ve helped who thought they were totally alone in their distress. What hope you must give to people, young ladies and parents alike! I don’t know the future, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least for God to have you speaking to large groups of people about your experiences very soon. You’ve already been on the radio! 👏👏 And I could totally see you in a remake of Charade. 😎

    And that devil on your shoulder is lying. Totally. You are NOT becoming less desirable marriage material, you’re becoming more, much more. I promise you. You already have such a wonderful relationship with God which can only grow deeper and stronger. And with His light inside, you’re becoming more beautiful and attractive each day. I am sure there is a Godly man out there whom God has been preparing for you. Right now he feels just like you do, waiting and wondering if you will ever appear. But God’s timing is perfect. And when He finally brings the two of you together, that man will take one look at you and KNOW you are worth every second.

    Happy Birthday!!! 🎂🤗xoxo

    1. Oh gosh Kenneth you are too kind. Thank you for this beautiful note. Hugs and love xox

      1. Not at all. You are most welcome. Thank you for sharing Jesus and His gift of salvation with everyone! Hope you have a wonderful week! xoxo

      1. I’m mostly just glad you didn’t say it was the 5th, because one of the ex-girlfriends I’ve blogged about often (“SN1604”) is the 5th. I didn’t want you to have the same birthday as her… haha. 🙂 Especially because you’re around the same age too, and when I first read your headline I thought, oh no, please don’t have them be born on the same day. (Something you said makes me think you’re not the same year, though.) (And that is what inspired my most recent post.)

        Related side note, I’ve often said that I don’t normally believe in astrology, except for one thing, that life has taught me the hard way three times over that Leos should not get involved romantically with other Leos. I’m August 15, SN1604 is August 5, the other ex-girlfriend I’ve blogged about (“Acrux”) is August 19, and another ex whom I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned was July 26 or 29 or something like that, I don’t even remember.

        Also, I remember that in one of your posts about dating I’ve whimsically made the offer that if we ever find ourselves both single and in the same place geographically, I’d take you on a date. Despite knowing that you’re another Leo, the offer is still good. 😛

      2. hahah that’s funny! happy almost birthday to you 🙂 thanks again 🙂 x

  36. Happy Birthday! Your day will come when it’s time….dont rush it! I could tell you stories lol stay strong! I’m always here if you need someone to talk to. Love your writing😘

  37. Happy, Happy Birthday! Come to think of it every day is a birthday in a sense. You wake up and discover you’re alive and the sun is shining. You have the gift of hearing, speech, smell, taste and touch. And you can break out in a song of praise for these gifts on your new day. All these gifts are yours to use in a way that gives joy and the most joy comes in making others happy in some way. You have another year to do the same! Discover God’s plan, patiently wait and see your chosen activities fit his plan for you and you will experience happiness in abundance this new year. 🙂

  38. It’s when things do not go for not when life is enjoyed to the last drop, in the ebb and flow of time more wisdom in each new birthday until the next time around. Happy birthday sunshine

  39. After much illness I made the decision years ago that each birthday is to be celebrated. I am still here, still breathing, still contributing. May you have many more to celebrate, and celebrate them well. Happy Birthday may God’s plans live out in you.

  40. Happy Birthday Caralyn.. 😀 May God bless you with great health and lots of happiness.. 🙂

    By the way I am leading in the journey around the sun by a day (\m/) :p 😀 probably the reason I resonate similar thoughts .. 🙂

  41. My dear friend – Please accept my best wishes on your birthday. When I was young I was frustrated with too often hearing that I wasn’t old enough. Now I’m not young enough! Live in your age. Cherish it. It’s time that waters our lives and causes them to grow and not just age. You’ve grown a great deal in the short time I’ve known you, so value that more than the years!

    Enough rambling. I hope there’s something in there you can use. If not, at least understand that I care because of who you are. And so do many others. You have worth both in God’s eye and your friends’.

    1. Thanks Jeff 🙂 that’s great advice : love and cherish in your age. Definitely taking that nugget of gold with me 🙂 thanks friend!! Hugs and love to you and Julie! xox

  42. Happy Birthday! 🎉🎈🎂🎁 And isn’t it funny remembering where your 4th grade version thought you’d be on a timeline? I remember thinking I want four kids, two boys, two girls, and to be married by 22. 😂 In reality I was 31 (22! Far too young!) when I married, and I had one child when I was 37. One (an angel) and done. And I’m happy.

    The point is, there is no timeline you’re on or missing, it’ll all happen when it happens. Or when the Divine wills it to happen. Just get on with it and keep being the wonderful woman you are who shares her light and faith with others. You’re a wonderful person and I hope you had an equally lovely birthday.

    1. Thanks so much friend. I really appreciate you sharing your story. You’re right – His timeline Hugs and love xox

  43. Happy Birthday Beauty.
    Don’t feel bad about being single, there is a purpose for every challenge in our lives.
    Chances are a worthy man is still in the preparation stage, you wouldn’t want him before he has been refined would you?
    Hugs and smiles

  44. I completely understand what it feels like to be in my later 20s and looking at others on facebook and comparing. I learned a hard lesson this year. That lesson was to learn to be humble and let go of perfection. The bible says to be first we must be last. 🙂

  45. Hello, I am a Japanese Kera.
    This comment is written in Google Translate.
    happy Birthday.
    I am also born in July.
    I hope the coming year will be a good year
    I pray.
    I will come to play again.

  46. It makes me sad that you feel that way. There is no path or right way; life is simply journey. Your posts are inspirations to who knows how many people. Whatever your destiny may be, I can’t imagine God not smiling down on your deeds; they are who you are… and it seems like a great person to be.

  47. Happy birthday. Your blog posts are interesting. As your years are, so shall your strength be. Keep serving the Lord, your labour of love will not be in vain.

    Have a blast.❤

  48. Happy birthday! Just so you know, I am right there with you… But I am so grateful that we have a faithful Father Who, unlike the world, does not place expectations on us. He is not disappointed that we haven’t reached a certain point in our lives yet. All He wants is for us to abide in Him, even as He abides in us, and I know He will bring us where we need to be.
    I sent up a birthday prayer for you, and echoed it over me, and I know the Lord is faithful to answer. Amen!

    1. aw thank you so much Sarah Jo 🙂 amen – we have the best Father! Hugs and love xox

  49. Happy Birthday, lovely xxx I know I am blessed as well and very grateful. I felt like I was reading my story in part while reading about your birthday thoughts. You will be in my thoughts and prayers <3 I still struggle at times with, what I call, the negative voice that whispers to me and laughs at me. I had to learn to love myself and I did that through God!! I too have some wonderful family and friends that are very kind and supportive. Blessings to you <3

    1. Thank you so much Jackie for your kind words and for your prayers! Hugs and love xox

  50. Happy Birthday, beautiful friend!!! As always, I love you. And just for the record, God says you are successful because your heart is in line with His. Keep being amazing you! Hugs. XO

  51. Happy Birthday! Try being 45.5 and still confused but I do know God is preparing me for something amazing! 😉 The longer the wait, the better the fate!

  52. Happy birthday milady,

    Wish the journey ahead filled with love and laughter. Like everyone here, I enjoy the content.

    Best wishes from sunny South Africa

    1. Thank you so much friend 🙂 South Africa! that is seriously so cool 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  53. 1) Happy Birthday. 2) I want to share this quote with you that really has helped me over the years with the fact that I’ve been single as well: “He (God) is never ahead of schedule, never late, but always on time. Remember, if He wants longer than you wish, it is only to make the blessing more abundant when it comes.” – from one of Kerri Pomarolli’s books

    1. Aw, thank you so much! wow – that quote really hits home with me! 🙂 i appreciate you sharing! Hugs and love xox

      1. You’re welcome. =) God cares about every detail of your life, and His plans for you are FAR better than anything you could dream up for yourself. You keep your eyes on Him, trust Him, and determine to never settle for anything less than His absolute best for you, in any area of your life. Hugs!

  54. Caralyn, Happy Birthday! Celebrating you, the unique and one and only Caralyn. Your journey has taken many detours but it has made you into who you are today. You are an overcomer and are doing many things that others only dream about. Thankfully, we do not have a standard of “keeping up with the mythical Jones.” You are right on time. You have not settled for less than the best. Cheering you on!

  55. One thing I learned in life is that God does not give up on us. We may give up, but He does not. We may take a wrong path, but He brings us back. He has a plan for all of us. You are still young ND beautiful. Don’t worry. God has the right man for you and he will probably come when you least expect it. I think I felt the way you are feeling but less positive perspective at your age. But, the most amazing woman came into my life and I marries her when I was 37. We just had our 21st anniversary… 21 wonderful years full of love, laughter, ups and downs, and God teaching us and growing us, protecting us and providing for us. Jesus Christ is the center of our home and what better blessing can we have than that? Stay positive. And thanks for your honesty and vulnerability. May God bless you.

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful note of encouragement. and congrats on 21 years! so awesome! Hugs and love xox

  56. Wow..first happiest birthday to you. You are amazing and the Lord sees that.no matter how long it takes to get where you want to be in life you will get there. May the Lord keep blessing you and remember..it takes 5 years for a Chinese bamboo tree to germinate but only 5weeks to mature…meditate on that wonder!!!

    1. Thank you so much – oh my gosh what a kind thing to say 🙂 yes! what an awesome thing to think about! Hugs and love xox

  57. Happy birthday – you are a gift from God, and God will always have your back. Always stay humble and allow God to direct your steps.

  58. Caralyn, I want t offer you some words of encouragement…while I have never been married I am still hopeful that God is still preparing my husband for me and me for him. I was always a single mom and I always will be now (since my son is grown) but someday I hope to enjoy my retirement with the man God has for me. I know what you’re thinking…”That was supposed to be encouraging?” No, not that…But this is…my sister who is 6 years younger than me didn’t marry until she was 34. She had her first child at 36, her second at 38 and her third at 40! She originally wanted 6 but for now they’ve settled for the 3…maybe they will adopt later. My niece and nephews have been a real joy in my life…and she’s great mom. She has so much more patience in her 30’s than I did in my 20’s when I had my son. Anyway, all that to say, I understand your singleness situation. I want you to know God still has a good plan. You haven’t ruined it…it’s all about His timing. =). Glad you decided to go ahead and have a Happy Birthday!
    Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

    1. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for sharing this with me. You’re soright – God has a good and perfect plan for the both of us 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  59. My dear friend,

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you – may all your good wishes come true. I wish you strength and courage always to confront problems which may occur in your life, I wish you happiness that always sunshine may warm your heart. I wish you peace, confidence and contentment and much much love that this colour may spread from your heart, my dear friend.

    You are a young and very attractive sweet lady – with patience love will shot its arrow directly into your heart and will bring you the right partner into your life. As love is not a matter of time it can touch you even when becoming older (love does not stop in front of age). Often when we do not think of it – suddenly love emerges, hits us out of the blue and embraces us for good.

    From heart to heart
    Didi

  60. Happy birthday brautybeyond bones. I pray for more glory, joy and laughter in your life. I love you. Keep doing big things for God and for his people.

  61. Happy birthday! I think one of the most valuable lessons life offers is to focus on and be grateful for the blessings we have. It’s so hard to remember to do sometimes. But oh, how much brighter life is when we do!

  62. Happy birthday to you, May God continue to increase you in wisdom, wealth and wellness. Wishing many more years of beauty, blessings and bliss. I am blessed by your birthday blog post. It’s such a deep and though provoking piece. It tallies with my unpublished blog post “Magnitude of Gratitude”. Enjoy your day dearest friend.

    1. gosh thank you so much for your beautiful prayer and kind words. means so so much 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  63. We try too hard and too often to make sense of life. The gift we have is partly linked to our ability to reflect and say “well I’m not where I expected to be, however…”
    Your reflection is expressive and emphasises the courage you display and have displayed. When we get lost literally we look for significant landmarks, use these to plot our course and from time to time we stop to check we are least going in the right direction. For you your birthday appears to be that point. Remember that the purpose of that reflection is to check you are still moving forward.
    As usual love the blog.

  64. Happy birthday! Yes, more is to come. Reading your post brought back the feelings I felt at ages 25 and 26, wondering if I’d ever find someone, and at the point of giving up because at that time, I lived in the South where the women I worked with were married by age 18 or 19, much younger than my friends in Denver, from which I’d moved at the time. But it happened…I met my husband there in Louisiana. I, too, had ideas and plans of marriage and children all figured out at age 13. When the plans didn’t go my way, it was emotionally disappointing and stressful, but I wasn’t a practicing Orthodox Christian until my mid twenties, and once I started a relationship with God, I could handle things better because I wasn’t going it alone, relying on my own will and control of things that I really couldn’t control. I’m so glad you see your blessings and know that cooperating with God’s grace, no matter what is ahead, you’ll be in good Hands. <3

    1. Thank you so much! And thank you for sharing that with me. amen to that – in good Hands! Hugs and love xox

  65. A heart that adores truth is truly yielding in HIM. Wishing You a Blessed Birthday. May The Father’s love shower upon You.

  66. I went to Patreon this morning, looking for “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” and to listen to your birthday podcast. Your birthday piece shows, but the timer is all zeros and there is no play icon. I don’t think it took – just to let you know.

    1. oh no! thank you for that update – yeah I’ve been having some technical difficulties with my desktop version of Patreon, so I tried to upload the audio from my phone — I’ll look into it!!!

      1. I was blocked out of Patreon for a while. It stopped automatically recognizing my computer. Then it took some effort just to get an email that didn’t get spammed out so I could log back in. Point being, I have to wonder if your technical difficulties are on Patreon’s side, not yours. Enlist their help sooner rather than later if you haven’t already. Hugs!

      2. YES! that’s exactly what is going on with my patreon too! i’m not getting the email. gosh I’m sorry you went through that. hopefully I can get it straightened out this afternoon!

      3. Please don’t apologize! Obviously out of your control. Just a suggestion; on your next post let folks know Patreon is having technical difficulties. That way Patrons know what’s going on. If you think that’s a good idea. Remember: I’m your supporter, so I’m not upset at all. Just trying to help.

      4. Thank you! Yes I will put out a note about that!! So frustrating

  67. Happy birthday!! I understand how you feel. Life often doesn’t meet our expectations, but God’s plans are absolutely better than our own. I like what Abraham Lincoln said: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Blessings to you!

    1. thank you so much Kristen! amen to that – His plans are the best! Hugs and love xox

  68. Happy birthday!! I know how you feel. Our expectations often disappoint, but God’s plans are absolutely better. Blessings to you!!

  69. Happy birthday! Life is a journey of letting go and letting God. Wishing you peace, blessings, and joy in this moment in which you lack nothing…and have all you need.

  70. Have a wonderful, wonderful birthday!! Enjoy yourself and please be aware that your words bring joy to others. Keep up the good work and happy birthday again.
    Cheers
    Pat

  71. Please don’t ever doubt the impact of what you are doing with this blog. Your messages are honest and thoughtful and, in one way or another, each post directs me toward God. Thank you for what you are doing and for the blessing you are to me and thousands of others. You are where God wants you to be, but you will not stay in this place. He has other plans and they are going to make your heart sing. He told me so.

    1. thank you so much Beverly! what a kind thing to say. gosh i am truly so touched 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  72. I know this is a late reply but HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARALYN! I understand where you are coming from because my birthday is just around the corner. When I was in middle school, at this point in my life, I saw myself as having a house, a wife, a couple kids, and many other things. The whole “White Picket Fence” type visual. Everything we do, say, and feel throughout our life has a purpose. Everything that has happened to you over the years could not have happened any other way. It was all part of God’s grand design to get you to where you are today. Just think of how many lives you have touched through this very blog. How many people see themselves in you and get a sense they are not alone. John Lennon said that Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Those words ring so true to so many people.Always remember Jeremiah 29:11. Stay the course. As I always say, you are such a beautiful soul and I count it a blessing to call you friend. Hugs and Love from TX as always! XOXO (sorry for the long reply)

    1. aww, thank you so much!! Happy almost birthday to you! amen to that – a purpose! same here- i am very grateful for our friendship! Hugs and love xox

  73. Hello Caralyn! Happy Birthday!! You are absolutely GORGEOUS! and with your loving personality, your prince will be more than happy to marry you. God will send him and when He does the timing will be perfect. Don’t worry, it causes wrinkles. Enjoy your birthday! Be of good cheer!

    1. thank you so much Jeanie! oh my gosh, wha ta kind thing to say! hahah it causes wrinkles, that made me laugh! Hugs and love xox

  74. Happy birthday! I actually have my birthday on the 9th. The most wonderful people are born in August! 🙂
    So proud of how God has been working in your life. Birthdays are always a time to think. But don’t be discouraged, or feel like a failure! What God sees is a beautiful masterpiece and you’re making lots of difference writing and being who you are in Christ. Enjoy these times , God is working on your behalf. Don’t worry you can still have 12 children. Lol

    1. happy early birthday, Michal!! I would have to agree! and gosh what a kind thing to say. thank you so much – i am truly so touched! bring on the dozen! hehehehe Hugs and love xox

  75. I know what it feels like to be in your late 20’s and frustrated you don’t have it all figured out, aren’t where you thought you’d be, and all that.

    And I also know there is no way someone like me, in their early 50’s, can tell someone in their late 20’s anything that will really help, other than I’ll be praying for you and will always be here for you (in general).

    But I will also say that you are not alone. Nearly EVERYONE in their late 20’s feels like you do – not for the same reasons, of course, but the results are the same even if the process is different.

    You may not be where you thought you’d be at this point in life.

    But you ARE exactly where God wants you to be at this point in your life.

    Remember also, Jesus didn’t get started until he was 30.

    Moses didn’t get started till he was EIGHTY!

    And Abraham and Sarah didn’t start having children till they were nearly ONE HUNDRED!

    1. thank you Ed, this really means so so much 🙂 amen! God can and will use ALL ages! Hugs and love xox

  76. Happy Birthday Caralyn🎂I’m going to be in the States next week, all the way from Australia. My niece is getting married in Illinois. Unfortunately is a short visit.

    1. Thank you so much Wilfed! oh wow that’s so exciting! i hope you have a great time! Hugs and love xox

  77. Happy birthday!!! Thank you for another gorgeous post. God is absolutely in control (I’m so grateful for that reminder) – to be grateful for the strength God gives us to overcome obstacles and His grace to keep growing.

  78. Happy Birthday to a beautiful YOUNG lady. Your daily accounts of the Walk, with you and your Mother, were great, and the responses to you were many. Your walk had significance to your life. With that being your focus, you will find that what you are looking for. You are not as you describe yourself. You are still young, you are still beautiful, and you are of the values of virtue many would want in a mate. Your time will be there, and for the most part, not within your timeline. Stay strong and healthy. We love you as you are.

  79. Negative thoughts are hard to overcome in any stage of life. I kind of thought once I got married I’d feel like I had that “box” checked and nothing would weigh on me much anymore. FALSE. You mentioned the devil in your post, and you’re right; he finds us wherever we are in life and tries to tear us down. It is never easy to push those dark thoughts aside and focus on the good, but the best any of us can do is try. It’s totally justifiable to feel discouraged, but everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. I think I speak for everyone here when I say that your faithfulness is a blessing to all of your readers, and it pleases God for us to be faithful in whatever place He puts us. Keep going!

    1. thank you Monica, what a kind thing to say. amen to that! God is good! Hugs and love xox

  80. Well kiddo, if you didn’t know how loved you are, you should by now. Do enjoy your birthday and… I’ve been where you are and well, everything fell into place when I let God do the work. Easier said than done, I know.

    1. Oh gosh thank you. That really means a lot. Yes I feel so blessed 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  81. Happy birthday! I hope you have an amazing day! <3 I love your posts and how encouraging you are. Thank you for writing!

  82. Happy (belated) birthday Caralyn! I think everyone goes through that angst of not being as far along in life as we think we should be. As the prophet from the 60s, John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” But, seriously, I know that you know that you are in God’s hands and your “times are in His hand” (Psalm 31:15). You can rest in that when you feel like you’re skidding off the cliff or your life’s pathway! 🙂 Anyway, may you have a very blessed new revolution around the sun! May He fill your life with delights and pleasant surprises (to compensate for all the other stuff life throws at us. LOL!).

    1. And relax young lady. You’ve got lots of time, and, you will never be an undesirable anything at any age. I’m also sure you’d be a cute cat lady☺️🤗❤️

  83. Happy Birthday, Sister. Love your genuineness. From my point of view. God is heaping blessings on you, though maybe not some of the particular ones you want. It seems obvious to me, you are so loved by Him,(not in the general sense, but particularly) and others.

  84. It’s not just in your late 20’s or early 30’s that you can feel this. I turned 70 this year and I have had lots of moments of looking back and wondering “what if I had done this instead of that” or feeling disappointed that I did not achieve some of the goals I had for myself. But, like you, in the end I have counted all in my life that is good and thank God for my life. You are too beautiful not to continue to be desirable. My youngest daughter had about given up on having a family but she met her husband and married at 34 – had daughter at 36 and has a great family. And the experiences she had while “waiting” have made her a person younger women turn to for support and advice. Hebrews 11:1 – “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.” A belated happy birthday. I continue to pray that God grants you your desire.

    1. Thanks for sharing your heart, Barbara. Wow that gives me great hope!! Thank you for your prayers 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  85. O G_d, our times are in your hand: Look with favor, we pray, on your servant as she begins another year. Grant that she may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen her trust in your goodness all the days of her life; through Jesus, Christ our Lord. Amen.

  86. Appreciate your candor and vulnerability. It can be very difficult when our expectations for life are unmet. When dreams we once had die or must transform. Especially when your heart desires marriage, singleness can become extremely difficult and discouraging. However, you are correct that God truly is good. I can see that He is working in your life! And even though singleness is difficult at times and expectations can be dashed, you will become who God desires you to be as you continue to pursue Him. Also, thank you for reminding me that we’re all broken people being redeemed by God. It’s easy to look at women like you who I don’t really know and assume your life is perfect, and that you don’t struggle with the insecurities or vulnerabilities common to me. Reading this reminded me to stop comparing myself to pictures of people, and to remember we are all the same in so many ways. Praying for strength and grace to continue to draw near to God and become the woman He is calling you to be! Happy birthday!

    1. thank you so much for this beautiful note and for your prayers! yes !He is good! Hugs and love xox

  87. Happy Birthday!!! And here is a little sage advice from a 52-year-old mama. I didn’t find my forever guy and marry him until I was 34 years old. Gave birth to my perfect daughter a year later. My advice? Enjoy being “in the now”, don’t fret and worry about what hasn’t come into your life yet. Volunteer, expand your roads of travel and meet new and different people. Habitat for Humanity, the food bank, etc, are good endeavors. Bring food/goodies to your local fire department or police department–they are hard-working individuals who greatly appreciate expressions of gratitude while they’re performing a many-times thankless job. As you grow in maturity (getting older is a good thing), you will attract the same kind of individuals, i.e., husband material. Put yourself out there, live life fearlessly, and when you least expect it, you’ll find God has put someone in your path…and you’ll be ready for it.

    1. Thank you so much Lisa! this is such great advice. i really appreciate it! Hugs and love xox

  88. A very happy belated Birthday wish Caralyn! I got married at 27, so I remember those feelings well at times…..I was happy though, thought I wouldn’t find someone right for me, but had plans to pursue a music career and I was totally focused on that….God had other plans for me the other way tho, a hubby and now 2 great sons, no music career, ha, ha….it all unfolds as it should in His time. Much love, enjoy each year, each stage!!!

  89. Happy Birthday! But as I told my kids, my birthday is really a day for moms! Heck we should be the ones getting the gifts. But on a more ‘pertaining to your post’ comment. Start this year and make a list for each year of something that you can celebrate. I will soon be hitting the 60 mark and yes, I can come up with 60 reasons to celebrate. I started my list for something that happened before I turned one and listened to stories of my childhood to start my compiling. Make some silly make some tearful.

  90. I had the same dream of having 12 kids! Ended up very happily married at 39 and had just one fabulous son. I always says it’s better to wait than to marry the wrong person. My husband and I met on Catholic Singles Online, which is now https://www.avemariasingles.com/. I was a charter member! We’ve been married 16 years now and my forties and fifties have definitely been the best years of my life! I am praying for you. <3

    1. aw thank you so much for your prayers and kindness. haha great minds 😉 thats so awesome! Hugs and love xox

  91. Should have known your birthday was at the height of the veggie harvest. It’s good to be able to look at your life and not seek sympathy. Those things happened, wow. That was really bad…then, you keep going. Stack your years like your money, one on top of the other they are easier to count.

      1. You’re still up? It’s late over there. I’ve found it easier to give up. Everyone says love is, great. Well, so is life isn’t it? Sometimes that’s all you get.

      2. I just don’t see the difference between your life now and with someone you might love. Your life seems wonderful. To love, hm, that is not the same. Well. Maybe it’s different, up there.

      3. Uh. I’m sorry. I just realized the title was possibly insensitive to ED. Although, she’s battled with over eating and depression. I’d like to think you’d let me know. If that was a problem. Yeah. It’s really good. She tells stories like you do.

      1. 🙌🏼🎉🙌🏼🎉🙌🏼🎉🙌🏼🎉🙌🏼🎉🙌🏼🎉🙌🏼

  92. Happy birthday dear.
    Your a beautiful lady that doesn’t have to worry about becoming a spinster for a very long time to come so nock those thoughts right out of your head dear !!!
    ❤️✌️

    BY FOR NOW

  93. Happy birthday to you – I hope you had a great day celebrating. Don’t be in a rush to be older and get married and all that. It’ will come when it comes and ignore that devil – you’re a long, long way from ever being undesirable. I know it’s really hard to thing or feel like it but be proud and happy to be single. Being with someone is really, really hard.
    🙂 xox

  94. Happy birthday dear. I will say count your blessings, not your losses. Your gains, not your pains. Trust God for the best. An in His time He will make all things beautiful for you.

  95. Happy birthday!!! You shouldn’t feel like a failure – marriage and kids is not what determines a happy and fulfilled life. I am married and have kids and love the vibes. But there’s no reason why you can’t be absolutely fulfilled without it. If it’s your desire to go that route then I am sure it will come when the right person for you comes along. Right now, you are inspiring so many people I am sure, with your honesty about your journey. Stay blessed. Birthday hug xxx

  96. Happy Birthday! 🎊🎈

    Just another revolution around the Sun, I like how you put it that way! I can relate, I thought I would be a veterinarian like my dad when I was little. I’m learning that all of our experiences are the scaffolding we need to become “build” people. Bruce Lee once said “I treasure the memory of past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.”

    Here’s to another day under the sun!