On Getting Older and Understanding Grace

praying for grace


My birthday is coming up this Friday (And if you want to get me a gift, you should totally click that “moving to Canada” button over there).  Ahem.  Anyway, I’ll be a whopping 29.  That’s right, go ahead and bemoan me for how very young I am.  I suppose, like all tortured, misunderstood souls (pffft) I’ve always felt a bit older than my calendar age.  Maybe it’s because I married in the 11th grade.  Maybe it’s because I had a baby at 17.  Maybe it’s because I became a grown up so much younger than most people so it feels like I should be practically middle-stinkin-aged by now.


Whatever the case, I feel like I should just be able to go ahead and claim 30-somethingism. After all, my other-half has already been in the club for a couple of years so that makes me an honorary member or something, right?


Why be so eager to join the old-lady club?  Because here’s the curious thing about 30 somethings that I’ve noticed: They are shout-from-the-roof-top sort of proponents of grace.  Jamie The Very Worst Missionary curses about it, Carlos Whittaker tattoos about it, Shaun Groves sings about it.  The People of the Second Chance ride it around town like a pimped out grace-mobile.


And I think I’ve figured it out, why 30 something’s are so in ever-gracin-love with grace:


They’ve been alive long enough to need it.

Or to really, truly realize they need it; to realize that we’re all just one dumb decision or reaction away from needing a get-out-of-jail-free card. Basically, they’ve lived long enough to make some whoppers of mistakes.  And making mistakes, particular ones that you swore you’d never make, ones that you previously judged other people harshly for, sends your self-righteous paradigm crashing to the ground like a modern day tower of lolspeak Babel.


So when you see or hear of others transgressing the same dumb crap, you’re more likely to put a consoling arm around their shoulder, than an accusing finger in their face.


Because, let’s be honest – life, and love, and the future, and God were so much more black and white back when we were babes.  When we were ignorantly vibrant young 18 or 20-somethings.  We thought we knew what we stood for and what we believed and what we deserved and what we’d never do.


And then life got gray.  God got gray.  The future got so gray we couldn’t navigate it even with our Holy Spirit fog lights on.  And we bumped into a lot of dumb, painful crap while we stumbled around in the dark.  We stubbed a lot of spiritual toes.


But when the fog finally let up, when the tornado of inexperience and assumptions finally released us – we could see again, and much more clearly, in fact.  We stepped out of our spiritual blindness like Dorothy into Oz.  Things weren’t as simple or as black and white anymore, but they were better.  Brighter.  Life, and God, and the future were suddenly in freaking technicolor.


And by that point we also generally had little people pitter pattering around us, dancing for our affections.  Or something.


Anyway.  Grace.  I get it.  And I get why 30-somethings get it.


And because I’m so graceful now, I promise to wait around patiently until you get it, too.  I’ll even have band-aids ready for your stubbed toes.




  1. 33. Amen. :)

  2. I’m right there with you! I’ll be 29 in a few months too but feel like I’ve been in my 30s for a while now!

  3. Love it. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    • Jessica says:

      The only way that comment could have been any better is if you had cursed in it. ;)


  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!! Happy Birthday!!! Glad to have another brilliant 30-something out here who gets it.

  5. I’m 38 and though I’ve never thought of it exactly in the words you did, yes! I have lived long enough to screw up in a whole lot of HUGE ways & now I understand grace SO much better than I used to! Thanks for expressing this do well; I loved this post.

    And happy almost-birthday. ;)

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks. I can’t wait to be a “real” 30 something. My favorite, most grace-extending people all fall into that category or above. : )

  6. Hi Jessica,

    I’m came across your blog via a retweet by Shaun Groves. It’s my birthday on Friday too! Hope you have a great day. I’m going to be 37, so the big 40 is within sight now, gulp! Totally get the grace thing. Sometimes my mantra is “grace, grace, grace!”

    • Jessica says:

      That Shaun, he even extends grace through his tweets. ;)

      Glad you clicked over. And oh lordy, when I’m 37 my 11 year old will be 19 and my 3 year old will be 11. I don’t even want to think about that! Lol.

  7. happy happy technicolor birthday … grace IS a wonderful birthday gift!
    … and this is one of your best posts!
    beautifully done!

    • Jessica says:

      Aww, thanks. And a technicolor birthday theme is a pretty good idea, actually … :)

  8. You passed. I’ll officially think of you as 30-something from now on. ;) You hit the nail on the head, really. And I’m almost 40 (in a year and 4 months) so I am all prune-y with grace by now. LOL

  9. I suppose this isn’t a good time to mention that I will be 70 on my next birthday, huh? (Early happy birthday and may you be a 30-something very soon…a year, at least!)

  10. First of all…who are you calling an old lady?!


    This is definitely one of the best posts you’ve ever written. And to prove that great minds think alike and 30-somethings (or honorary 30-somethings) post alike, I have my own grace lesson learned going up tomorrow. We seniors do like to dwell on Grace now, don’t we? :)

    Happy Birthday old lady.

  11. amen! grace has {literally} been amazing me in many ways over the last 6 weeks. i’m 30…. actually closer to 31. the bracelet that i’m wearing as i type this? it says, ALL IS GRACE.
    need i say more? :)

  12. I love this post. And I think you nailed it. I was also in that weird camp of people looking forward to 30. I have friends who dreaded the day and tried to hold on to 29 with all the might their manicured little nails could muster. I was working for a ministry at the time, and honestly I was so easily dismissed because of my age. I felt like at 30 I would *finally* be taken seriously.

    I have been “in my 30s” for four years now, and I love it more every year. (Don’t hold me to that when I reach 40!) I really could not agree with you more about the grace and the black-and-white aspects; I was such a know-it-all in my 20s! I cringe at some of the things I said and did. But grace covers pride as well, thank you Jesus.

    As for how old your kids will be when you get to 40, eat it up! My mom was a baby when she had me, and I can say that adult children throw way better 40- and 50-year old birthday parties for their parents than do teenagers. Plus, you will be a young & hip grandma one day (and now I have officially gotten ahead of myself).

    • Jessica says:

      I’ll be honest, I had my eensy panic about it last year when my husband turned 30. I think it sort of got it out of my system a couple of years early. Now I really am looking forward to it, and for some of the reasons you mentioned. I want to be included in the more mature and wizened camp!

  13. 29 (about to be 30 in a couple months!) and grace is all that has gotten me through.

    Do you think it might be our generation? I don’t want to sound like older people are NOT graceful- but that our generation is a banner of the grace of God in response to some of the things the church has believed and done in the past?

    Just random thoughts. Happy Birthday!


  1. […] a great and humerous post on why all us 30-somethings love talking about Grace, visit Jessica’s site. Love […]