A Letter from Thirty-Year Old Me to Thirty-Year Old You

By Jessica Wolstenholm

My precious girl,


As I write this you are fast asleep in your crib, covered with a soft pink blanket, your Frozen soundtrack playing quietly in the background. But as you read this you will find yourself in my shoes – a midday break from whatever you call your work, sneaking in a few moments for rest and reflection.


I want to write this to you now – right now – as I’m in the midst of the same phase you’re in so that none of how I feel right now is lost over the years. I want you to hear me as a mom to a daughter writing from the place you now stand in. Hear me loud and clear, sweet one, because I bet we feel so similarly right now.


I’m tired. My body is tired from being eight months pregnant with your baby brother, tired from chasing you around all day, tired from getting up and down off the floor playing legos with your big brother. I’m tired of laundry and tired of cooking and sometimes I really wish we lived in a house with no stairs to climb. I’m tired and I bet you are too. And I want you to know it’s ok to admit that. You, like me, are human and we have limits. Being tired and being honest with yourself about your level of exhaustion is more than fine. It’s healthy and it keeps you honest about your humanity and the fact that you need Jesus every step of the way.


I never feel like I’m doing enough. I feel the constant drone of “one more”. One more load of laundry, one more event to say yes to, one more email to answer. And there’s also one more of good things too. We could always read one more book, snuggle one more minute, walk around the block one more time. But at some point you have to say enough and saying enough is ok. But more than just realizing your limits and saying enough, I want you to believe that it’s ok. Sometimes no is the best yes if it saves you from feeling overwhelmed by life’s demands. Do what you feel like you can without taxing your soul and then say enough. And believe that your enough really is enough.


I second-guess myself constantly. Should I be doing this, did I do that right, why did I say that in that way? And while some self-reflection is always in order, being your own worst critic is hardly a good way to live. When I find myself in this silly pattern of thinking in circles about things I can’t even change I try to remind myself that the Lord promises wisdom to those who ask, and since I’m constantly asking, He is giving that wisdom to me and I can trust that my responses to life’s scenarios are spirit-led. Constantly ask the Lord for guidance and trust that He is giving it to you and don’t beat yourself up over your humanness and assumed poor choice making. Trust the Holy Spirit inside of you and know that, with Him as your guide, you are walking as well as any woman can.


I fall into the stupid trap of comparison and criticism almost daily. It’s the worst. As I scroll through my facebook or instagram feed (are those even a thing anymore?) I feel the barrage of comparative thoughts. Oh gosh her outfits are so much cuter than mine … Oh I totally would have done a better job at making that thing … and on it goes. It’s sinful and ugly and no … just no. I challenge you, anytime you start falling into that sticky trap of comparing yourself to the online life of another, pray good things for them. Instead of thinking an ugly thought, give thanks for a way that person has blessed your life. And then double tap or leave a really kind comment. We are capable of celebrating the life of another woman without being threatened by her. Try it. I think it’ll make you feel pretty free. I know it has done that very thing for me.


My daughter, life is far from easy. I don’t know what your life looks like right now – the details of your relationships or your work or how your choices have affected where you are – but I hope you hear me speaking to you from a place of love. I wanted to share these things with you because I want you to know that I have been there – am currently here – right where you are. And I hope you can draw wisdom from my nowness directly into yours. I hope you will be honest about your tiredness and your limits and all the ways your mind works against you. And I hope you will remember these words from thirty-year old me straight to the heart of thirty-year old you and I hope they will help to make you better, to navigate your life a little easier, and to depend on the Lord more and more every day.


I love you forever and am always here for you,