Age Thirty


A pink glow came in the the bathroom window this morning, and I thought of myself as sailor, felt warning. This globe spins around the sun another day and we are held here in the gravity of summer, the humidity, the stuff, the calling, the alphabet soup spelling out TO-DO lists faster than we can read them.

But my job today is not to sink in the doer’s quicksand but rather to shirk the brain fuss and retain the salty taste of joy and grace, to let the fire rekindle that sweet wick of thanksgiving. There are parts of us that gravity can’t hold down, parts that never get wet in the rain. We are invisible lamps in a realm of spirit fire, but we forget it sometimes, using our earth eyes.

I’ve been thinking of Jesus. He was thirty once like I am now, and it makes me just burn to think of him as a peer walking with skin on, saying, “Follow me.” With age, Jesus’ words have become more literal. I wake this morning, and He’s telling me to drop my nets where they are. “Come.” And it’s no surprise. He’s been saying it to me for 12 years now. So if I know He’s calling me, even into all the world,

why wouldn’t I be prepared to go?

I’m asking myself again – what are the things that keep you from going? What are the nets in your life He’s asking you to put down?

amberhaines
About me

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18 Comments

Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama
Reply June 7, 2010

Amber - I had the *exact* same feeling about turning thirty. Thinking - Jesus wore this age in his thirty-year-old skin. But it was turning thirty-three that had me reverent and wondering what I had to show for it, the age when he died.

And then I birthed a baby boy that year - and I felt it a fitting offering to the thirty third year.

Happy Birthday my sweet friend,

Lisa-Jo

Cassie Boorn
Reply June 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Amber!

There is a philosopher that writes about the "everydayness" with-in humanity. The things we do just to get through daily life. The showers we take, the food we cook, the house we clean. How it distracts us from the bigger things in life.

It is so easy to find calm and comfort in these tasks that we have control over. Moving from one task to another. Crossing our list off. Smiling at the comfort in it all.

Dropping the net is a beautiful metaphor. Letting it all go.

What net can I not drop?

The comfort. I like the comfort in my everydayness...

kendal
Reply June 7, 2010

Happy birthday. I hit 40 in February. And my oldest child started driver's ed today. And I can't drop fear or the belief that I am in control.

Jen
Reply June 7, 2010

I'm not quite 30 yet (although last Thursday, June 3 was the 18 month mark til I'm 30 but whose keeping track? Not me ;-)), and I feel the urge to go into this world, the draw of showing Jesus through me. What keeps me from going is my family - not biological, but Spirit family - that keeps me from leaving. It's missing watching my friends kids, my "nieces", grow up. Especially the ones only weeks old. It's the fear that if I leave and come back, they won't remember me. The fear that I will leave and friendships will change. That others will draw close to one another and away from me.

It is fear that keeps me here.

Melissa Brotherton
Reply June 7, 2010

Happy Birthday! I turned 30 in April...and realized that the wisdom & maturity I though would accompany it is no where in sight. My nets that are holding me back are insecurity, jealousy and self-doubt. Oh, Lord, help me to lay them aside & confidently follow You!

deidra
Reply June 7, 2010

30 is great! It's the year of beginnings, I think. And yes, when I turned 30 (more than sixteen years ago!) I remembered Jesus...at the start of his public ministry. It makes the turning so sacred and wonderful and beautiful and poignant...all at once. And it is the year I started to understand me. Because of him. So many reasons to rejoice!

misty
Reply June 7, 2010

when my husband turned 33 he felt keenly his age. he felt it heavy and inspiring all at the same time. he felt very very mortal.
i turn 30 in 2 months time and i feel like deirdra that it is a time of beginnings.
i want to be cloaked in his dust as i follow him, but i am often waylaid by what i deem important in the moment. reminds me of the question my college pastor used to ask: are you living for the dot or the line? am i living to drop my nets or fish in a finite world?

Jenn
Reply June 7, 2010

Raising my children as I see fit, that is my net.

He asks, can you do so, I see fit?

ugh.

Yes, I can Lord but You are going to have to help because I am pretty tangled in this net.

Amber
Reply June 7, 2010

Ahhhh! This is great! Thank you for the birthday wishes. It's not actually my birthday, though. I turn 31 in August.

I just haven't been able to stop thinking about how much I love being 30. There really is a new level of friendship with Jesus, I think, and with being who He made me to be. I'm glad with him.

Cassie, I love what you said about letting go of the everydayness - the habits - to seek first the kingdom. I want this in my life so badly.

Kendal, those are two of the nets I keep picking up over and over again, too. If we follow Jesus, he's going to lead us to unsafe places, yet He is the only safe place. That's a hard one to take literally, and I suspect we get to learn that lesson repeatedly until we see his face.

Melissa, me too!

Lisa-Jo and Misty, Seth turns 33 this year, and I keep reminding him that this is the year Jesus gave His life. It's our little joke. We actually laugh because in a way I think we both hear God saying that he expects us to give our lives, too. Whoa. That's heavy. But we really do laugh - or I do, and Seth just looks at me like I've called him OLD.

Deidra, this year I've stopped fighting who He made me to be. I think that's why it's enjoyable. Also, I've come to terms with my cellulite, which I know is beside the point, but freeing nonetheless.

Amber
Reply June 7, 2010

Jen and Jenn, I seriously feel tangled in a few nets, too. Lately I just chunked some of them and along with the nets I chunked a whole lot of expectations I've given myself, like the ones you mentioned Jen. Every day I have to let go even of relationships, and strangely, it has made me a better friend - I hope. I'm still working on this one. Expectations ought to be toward God alone. I can say this now, but I'm not quite living it.

Jamie
Reply June 7, 2010

Lovely post. I've been reading a book called "Radical" by David Platt; you might enjoy it, too. It's all about living a life of radical obedience to Christ.

My 1st visit to your blog, and I've really enjoyed it so far. :)

Joy
Reply June 7, 2010

I agree..."with age, Jesus' words become more literal"...loved that. It's beautiful, really.

Miss you!! I'd love to catch up soon...

Prudence
Reply June 7, 2010

I had a conversation with God about a week or so ago that went like this.

"Lord, why are you doing all this NOW? Why are you calling us to things and places now? You do realize I'll be 35 in July right?" His response, "Umm you remember Moses right? And Sarah? How about Noah?"

ali
Reply June 7, 2010

amber. you are my newest friend. yours is the only blog i have ever paid attention to for more that about 2 minutes. i started reading it last wednesday in the afternoon...grabbed a roll of toilet paper (we were out of kleenexes :) and read it until 1:30 am when for some reason my computer wouldn't load any more of your heart snatching words. i want you to know that i feel more inspired and more encouraged to draw nearer to Jesus than i have in years. i can't quite explain it but i'll make an attempt...i have always prided myself on my honesty and openness...but your honesty challenges what i have been believing my honesty to be. on thursday i started to walk out the door to go to the grocery store with my little guys and went back in to grab my bible...i just wanted it near me. life is so weird right now...being a momma...so much of my focus goes to my kids and housework...and my sweet husband if he's lucky :)....i don't feel stressed out and its not even that i'm so terribly busy, i've just been feeling that something doesn't seem to feel right...or fit right...or something. i think its just that i haven't been paying much attention to Jesus. i miss him. i don't know him like i use to. but something seems strangely different after reading your words. you challenged what i've been calling honesty and made me want to sit nearer to my savior. thanks.

Elizabeth (@claritychaos)
Reply June 7, 2010

oh, and this is why I come here.

thank you thank you. I could read your words all day long.

and I call brain fuss 'mental crud.'

Seriously, though. Thank you for these questions and the beautiful imagery.

Teddi
Reply June 8, 2010

Hi Amber, just wanted to say that I ran across your blog and absolutely love it... I am adding you to my blog roll and will definitely be back. Thanks for your sincerity, honesty and faith. It really is inspiring.

laura@life overseas
Reply June 8, 2010

Amber, what a great post for me today. I am feeling the sting of what it means to follow Jesus, to drop nets. About six months ago, my husband lead us to move overseas to Thailand. For the first time in my life, I was living in a place where I was thrilled to be and could see raising my kids for the next 20 years. And, honestly, I didn't want to leave it--little girls in an orphanage or not.

But, then, Jesus spoke to me in His word, about a time when He was thirty and calling His friends to come. And I read in a commentary this question, "Isn't it interesting that the point when Jesus called those fishermen was the moment when their nets were the fullest?"

Pause. Full nets.

And it's painful to put down full nets of friendships and comfort, and honestly, it's hard, too, to experience the dust of the road behind the Rabbi. I am tasting the bitter loss today, as I miss friends and family and struggle lonely. But, but, thank you so much for the reminder of the Call. I sincerely needed that today.

Jennie Allen
Reply June 9, 2010

Hey girl! I think we should be friends- I am adopting. Waiting for a little boy from Rwanda, writer, grew up in Arkansas and God wrestler- loved your poem! :)

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