Is there Life After 40? ~ You bet there is!

Isn’t the title of this post funny? Here and there you see things titled this way and I have to chuckle. I mean who says that the joy of life stops after a certain age? Like do we just shrivel up into a corner of existence once we reach 40, 50, 60 and so on? I don’t think so. Today I am celebrating 42 years of LIFE on this earth. Join me for a bit of reminiscing and encouragement for you and me.

Larissa of Prodigal Pieces is celebrating Life After 20 | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #aging #women

So, what’s with this over-the-hill thing? Yes, I realize I’m only 2 years over my own personal hill. tsk. But, let me tell ya, I’m not coasting down to some miry age pit. I am on a mission to make this “second leg” of life the best.

A GLIMPSE INTO THE PAST

Yes, my first 40 years were some of the most rewarding years because I was learning and growing as we all do. My blessing of wonderful parents, siblings, and extended family made it so that I cherish it all. Especially because I chose to give my life to Jesus at the age of 18. Then, like many, once I finished my grade school years, I headed to college. My college career time wasn’t a typical four year stent. I started out commuting to a radio campus of our state school, took a year off, and then transferred to a different school out of state.

Next, I graduated college with honors in 2000 with my bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal & Organizational Communication with a minor in Business. I also completed my work not only an honor student, but also married to my highschool sweetheart, JC, from our junior year on. He too, initially started at a different school and transferred as well, though I was a year ahead of him. At this point I was ready to take life on. Little did I know how much the next 20 years of my life would play an integral role in who I am today.

MOTHERHOOD

As the years crept closer and closer to 40, I kept getting reminders by well-intending folks (particularly when I turned 30) that life is about to change. I kept thinking…really?? Honestly, I will admit that my 30’s were the hardest years I’ve ever lived, but full of joy at the same time. By the time I was 30 I have 3 children ages 5 under and had nearly lost my life during my second pregnancy. That was a wake-up call I will never forget. Also, later my youngest of 3 was having much difficulty in her diet. We’re talking battling doctors, a trek down a elimination diet path, and some other family stress thrown in to make it all worse.

Then, by age 33 I have 5 children and was feeling pretty blessed to have them all healthy and happy for the most part. It was in this time that we hit some hard times financially. I happened to find a large dresser for free, fixed it up, painted it and sold it. That afforded us a happy trip to the grocery store and began my journey to help remedy our situation. Having the medical issues we encountered had cause us to accrue debt. You can read about our journey to debt freedom HERE.

Larissa of Prodigal Pieces shares her first ever dresser makeover | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #furniture #diy #home #homedecor

DEALING WITH GRIEF

However, it’s also at this time that my family and I had the most extreme loss one can imagine. As some of you know I dealt with subchorionic hematomas from my 3rd pregnancy on (a large bleed between the lining of my uterus and the embryonic sac). Sadly, our 6th baby, a little girl, had her life cut short by the bleed breaking my bag of water. She was perfect in every way, just my body quit on her.

Couple mourning loss of baby girl | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

I really have no words even know to describe those times, but let me say, you never forget the very real pains both physically, mentally, and spiritually. In addition to that loss, in the next year or so we lost another baby just before Mother’s Day. A good description is feeling like my happy little world was crumbling. Many questions of WHY left me feeling empty. God was and is my ROCK and REFUGE.

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, MY God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. ~ Psalm 18:2

Larissa of Prodigal Pieces celebrating life after 40 | Come share in her journey at prodigalpieces.com | #prodigalpieces #midlife #mom #entrepreneur

My two sweet babes are now blooming in heaven. What a reunion that will be someday. What sometimes drags me down is I have a hard time remembering the good times that were also occurring during the hard times. Stress has a way of wiping out memories of joys, and I feel robbed of some of my children’s childhood moments. Though I focus on the now and is why I so often mention looking for that pause button. Time goes by too fast. Thankfully, I am here though my life was threatened to be wiped out. I am LIVING.

Pink Peony Bud Beginning to Open Representing Stillborn Babies Stories Yet to be told | prodigalpieces.com

A NEW JOURNEY

I began my blog 6 years ago this past Mother’s Day. Honestly, I was going to throw a big party on here to celebrate and show thankfulness for how far God has brought me. However, I was sick over that time and lost all steam I had to get it done. Can you believe I’ve published over 500 blog posts? Yowza! That’s roughly 85 posts a year. {{mic drop}}

Larissa of Prodigal Pieces Doing Blogger Math | shop.prodigalpieces.com

God has allowed me to use my degree in the best way I could have ever dreamed possible. My job as a homeschooling mama and wife comes first. And I also count my blessings that I am not stuck in a corporate world battling egos and timelines. I make my own schedule and get to share my passions with you. Isn’t that amazing?!?

Another realization I’ve had is that I am also here to mentor to young moms who may be facing the same trials. I have had so many reach out to me with heavy hearts as they are dealing with the same kind of hematomas wondering whether their baby will make it. The only reason they found me and my story is because I have a blog. I am happy to say that my kind of case was more rare than common. I celebrate when they tell me they get to hold that chubby baby in their arms.

Then, there’s also those struggling with hurts or finding purpose and the emails and messages I receive are telling me they found hope by following what I do. What an enormous blessing!! I feed off of that kind of feedback. It fuels me to continue on when I want to quit. Sadly, I can let one negative comment out of a thousand throw me off at times, but then I pull up my big girl panties, give it to God, and carry on. He is so good and faithful to have my back every time.

So, here I am ready to tackle each day as it comes. Not counting down to 80 or playing into that admonition that my life is slowly ending. Rather, I say…LET’S DO THIS!!

There is life after 40 and Larissa of Prodigal Pieces shares her journey to embrace LIFE | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #midlife #women #mom #momlife

THE FUTURE OUTLOOK

I may be facing more wrinkles, the onset of gray hair, and my racing stripe varicose veins, but one thing is for sure…I earned every bit of it. With humility, grace, and pride I continue on. One of my future focal points is my health. I’ve been dealing with a shoulder injury for the last couple of years that is telling me it’s time to change things up. My entire right side of my body is out of whack which has caused me to be the least fit I have ever been in my life. Honestly, I’m embarrassed it’s gotten to this point, but I intend to remedy that. I need to get in shape for my life’s longevity, but also have less stress for sanity’s sake.

Subscribe to Prodigal Pieces DIY Channel on YouTube | prodigalpieces.com

My children are growing faster than I can blink and I know this is a glorious time of my life. To hear them bustling about, sharing in my daily life, and being my best friends make this a phenomenal time. JC and I are so blessed.

I am focusing on taking time to stop and smell the roses, savor, and just be. Do you crave that too?

Smelling Rose Bud Azalea | Focusing on the important things in life | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #midlife #health #happiness #women

My family and I are nearing the point of making some major changes. We are looking for God’s guidance to make the right choices. Our home renovation is nearing completion which will be such a HUGE relief on our time and finances. We’ve had some offers we can’t refuse as they are answer to prayer. We feel fully blessed at what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short time. Being able to tackle our home, our debt, and get ahead is an amazing achievement all by the grace of God.

Gorgeous White Rhododendron | prodigalpieces.com

FINISH STRONG

I invite you to follow along in my (our) journey. My goal is, as always, to inspire you to new ideas and adventures of your own. For me, hearing from you here on my blog, via email, or social media interactions shows how wonderful it is to have support and friendship. Thank YOU for being there to encourage, uplift, and laugh…because I believe laughter, along with prayer, is the best medicine.

I’m on the other side of this proverbial hill and encourage you to see your own hill as motivation to finish strong, hit it hard, and, most importantly, enjoy the ride. There is much to be thankful for. Sometimes it’s just taking the time to see what’s before our very eyes, don’t you agree?

Celebrating the Joys of Life After 40 | Join Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #women #aging #life

Encourage others by pinning and sharing. So many are looking for hope for their life journeys. Uplifting each other reaps the best rewards.

Is there life after 40? You bet there is! In many ways, life is just beginning. Join me as we focus on the joys of midlife | by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #midlife #womenover40 #momlife

Up next, I’m back to TRASHURE fun with this footboard my brought me. Any guesses as to what it will become? See HERE.

Cast-Off Footboard Before Upcycled Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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Read more on my life perspective of life after 40:

My story of determination and finding God in the hard times by Larissa Haynes of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comHow a Family of 8 Paid off over $11,000 in Debt in 18 Months. Debt Free is the way to be. | prodigalpieces.com

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68 Comments

  • Tamara Creel

    Happy Birthday!

    June 4, 2019 at 5:45 am Reply
  • Frances Batson

    Happy birthday.

    June 4, 2019 at 5:55 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you.

      June 4, 2019 at 6:06 am Reply
    • Magdalena

      Happy BIRTHDAY, sweet Larissa 💝💐

      June 4, 2019 at 7:43 am Reply
  • Tracey

    Happy Birthday sweet Larissa! I am so thankful God has brought us together through these squares called social media. God bless you and your family as you spread His goodness and grace through your testimony 💗💗💗💗

    June 4, 2019 at 6:27 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Isn’t it amazing how we can connect? I’m happy to call you friend, Tracey. Thank you!!

      June 4, 2019 at 8:18 am Reply
  • Kim

    Happy birthday! You are such a blessing and encouragement. I am farther along that hill than you are, so I can safely say, that hill is as long as you make it. Enjoy the ride, simetimes it’s smooth, fast and exhilarating, other times rough and bumpy, but it’s all part of the ride the Lord gives us. Hoping this next year, whatever it holds, is full of joy and blessings.

    June 4, 2019 at 6:41 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I couldn’t agree with you more. We have much to cherish each day since no one knows their last day. Sweet hugs to you!

      June 4, 2019 at 8:19 am Reply
      • Sheryl Danner

        Happy birthday sweet Larissa🎂 Yours was the first blog I followed, and I have learned so much from you. I’ve even taught my husband a thing or two about rehabbing furniture! But your love of God and family is what I admire most, and having lost a baby myself, I know from experience that love is what gets us through the hard times. You are a blessing in my life more than you could ever know, and, as I am about to turn 70 (😳) next month, you are spot on with “taking time to see what’s before our very eyes”.❤️

        June 4, 2019 at 8:37 am Reply
        • Larissa

          You have truly made my day, Sheryl. Thank you for hanging with me on all my crazy adventures. it is my pleasure to share. Sending you sweet mama hugs. Happy (early) birthday!!

          June 4, 2019 at 12:02 pm Reply
  • Denise

    Happy birthday, Larissa!! You have a beautiful heart for God & I love following your blog! God bless you & your sweet family!

    June 4, 2019 at 7:05 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You’ve made my day sweeter, Denise. Thank you!

      June 4, 2019 at 8:19 am Reply
  • Dawn Dramis

    God Bless and Happy Birthday!

    June 4, 2019 at 7:22 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much for the love, Dawn. 😀

      June 4, 2019 at 8:19 am Reply
  • ColleenB.-Tx.

    Wishing you a Very Happy Birthday. I hope it’s filled with good times, lots of laughter, fun memories… and, of course lots of cake!
    Nope, life does not have to stop after a certain age. The secret; stay active. I will be turning 70 in October and I try to be active as much as possible; just a bit harder getting up from the floor. 🙂

    Larissa; this is Your day; enjoy it and make the most of it (milk it for all it’s worth) 🙂

    June 4, 2019 at 7:27 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you!! haha! 😀 You sound much like my maternal grandma. We called her the Energizer Bunny because she just never stop. I see much of her in me. You keep on going, young lady!

      June 4, 2019 at 8:20 am Reply
  • Mary Barber

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am well past 42, in fact I am facing my 78th year in July. My life has been filled with both joy and sadness. I lost a baby who was only 5 months in my womb, but like you, I will see that little one someday in heaven. God blessed us with 3 healthy children who have given me grandchildren and great grandchildren. My husband went to his heavenly home 17 years ago but God sent me another and we have been married 14 years. I love my life and my age. I am blessed with good health but I am ready to go ‘home’ when God calls. Happy birthday, my friend. May God bless you on your special day and always.

    June 4, 2019 at 7:37 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Sweet mama hugs to you, Mary. What a day that will be when we get to finally be at rest with those we love. I’m so happy to have the hope and promise. Thank you for the love.

      June 4, 2019 at 8:21 am Reply
  • Bonnie Kleindl

    Happy Birthday!!

    June 4, 2019 at 7:46 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Crazy how time flies! Thanks so much, Bonnie.

      June 4, 2019 at 8:22 am Reply
  • Mary

    Larissa I have about 16 years on you and I can honestly say, there is definitely life after 40! Happy Birthday my mentor and sweet friend. I believe it only gets better as you go on. We now have the time and confidence to pursue whatever we want. We also have wisdom which we lacked when we were younger. I’m looking forward to your new phase in life. And I pray that all goes well with your future plans. 80 posts a year is a lot, especially the ones you do which are all major DIY projects! You go Girl!!! <3

    June 4, 2019 at 7:57 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are proof for sure, Mary! 😀 You too, are a role model for me because of your vigilance to family no matter where you are. Hugs!!

      June 4, 2019 at 8:22 am Reply
  • Cindy

    Larissa Happy Birthday. I hope your day is filled with fun and happiness. Reading your story was amazing.

    I admire you for keeping and having faith after many challenges.

    Keep creating and sharing.

    Cindy

    June 4, 2019 at 8:20 am Reply
    • Larissa

      My absolute joy to share. Thank you so much, Cindy.

      June 4, 2019 at 8:24 am Reply
  • Susan Homeroad Stevenson

    Happy Birthday my friend! You are having a full life full of ups and downs. You are a beautiful, talented, young woman with a lot more exciting and amazing years ahead of you! Take it from this 60 year old, The best is yet to come!

    June 4, 2019 at 8:24 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are an inspiration, Susan! Thank you for the well-wishes and encouraging words. They mean so much.

      June 4, 2019 at 8:26 am Reply
  • Judy Newell

    Happy birthday, Larissa. You are one of the very few bloggers that I actually read the whole article instead of just looking at the before and after pictures!! That’s because you are an inspiration in so many ways and I enjoy your stories. I am always impressed by how you can see the potential in an old item. Thanks for giving me the incentive and knowledge to tackle some makeovers of hand-me -down family furniture. May your new journey bring you even greater happiness and success.

    June 4, 2019 at 9:14 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That is awesome and funny! My mom does the same thing. I’m delighted you are with me to share in my DIY adventures. Thank you for the encouraging words. They truly mean so much.

      June 4, 2019 at 12:04 pm Reply
  • Cheryl Atkinson

    Hi Larissa. Happy Birthday! I do enjoy your Blog and I think you are the sweetest person. A wonderful mom and a Woman of Christ. I hope the next 40 are a Blessing.

    June 4, 2019 at 9:20 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you bunches, Cheryl! Your hug is felt from here. {{hugs!!}}

      June 4, 2019 at 12:05 pm Reply
  • pam

    Happy birthday! I really enjoy your blog. Lots of inspiration here. Have a great day! pam

    June 4, 2019 at 9:38 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Happy dance!! Thank you so much, Pam.

      June 4, 2019 at 12:05 pm Reply
  • Jo

    May all of your birthday wishes come true!! There is lots of life after 40 and after 50 too! My birthday is coming up on the 14th. So I’m a fellow Gemini. I knew I always like you! I’m heading back to school to finish my BS degree in September in addition to a full time day job and running my maker business on the side. (or is it my day job that is now my side job?!) You are one of my most favorite people on line!!! Big birthday hugs enjoy your day!

    June 4, 2019 at 9:41 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Happy birthday, Jo!! June babies are the best…just sayin’. 😉 Congratulations on the endeavor. Learning only stops if we allow it. Sending you hugs!!

      June 4, 2019 at 12:06 pm Reply
  • Diana Segura

    Best wishes today especially and always!

    Diana

    June 4, 2019 at 9:55 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Such a treat to hear. Thank you, sweet Diana.

      June 4, 2019 at 12:07 pm Reply
  • Abby

    Happy Birthday!!!!! I enjoyed reading about you 😀

    June 4, 2019 at 9:56 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It truly means much to hear. Thank you!

      June 4, 2019 at 12:07 pm Reply
  • Gwen

    Happy Birthday Larissa!
    I’m guessing that you’re going to make a shelf out of that footboard! Looking forward to it, whatever it becomes!

    June 4, 2019 at 9:58 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks!! You are kinda close, kinda not…I did repurpose it though! 😀

      June 4, 2019 at 12:07 pm Reply
  • Tess

    Happiest of birthdays, Larissa! You have given your readers many holy moments! Thanks for sharing your story. It is powerful. I know you love God as you fill your life with joy. I turned 70 this year, but feel the best in a long time by the grace of God. Continue being your best self! Thanks for all your ideas and inspiration. I love repurposing and bringing furniture back to life!!

    June 4, 2019 at 10:37 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I truly am savoring it as we just never know when is our last day. Being in the moment is where it’s at. 😉 What a testimony you have to God in your life. Congrats!!

      June 4, 2019 at 12:08 pm Reply
  • Rita

    Happy Birthday Larissa you are a joy to all!

    June 4, 2019 at 10:39 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Your words are so touching. Thank you for being a light. 😀

      June 4, 2019 at 12:08 pm Reply
  • Kaycee

    Congratulations Larissa, you are taking on “the hill” with God, grace, and wisdom. Go forth and conquer! You have shared your heart with us many times and I admire your courage in doing so. You inspire me more ways than you could ever know. I am so grateful to have found your blog and I thank you for all that you share with us everyday!!
    Happy Birthday blessings to you friend! 😘

    June 4, 2019 at 10:40 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I often tell God that if what I’m going through will help others at some point, then so be it. It isn’t my favorite thing, but I’m all about making the best of what we’re given. Thank YOU for being such an encouraging soul. Hugs!!

      June 4, 2019 at 12:14 pm Reply
  • Marie

    Sendig birthday hugs your way Larissa! I have 19 years on you and I can assure, there is definitely life after 40. 50, and heck even after 60! You know how much I admire your devotion to family, uber talent, and all that you accomplish and do so so well. I am cheering you on and shouting You Go Girl from the sidelines. Celebrate YOU today because there is lots to celebrate! xo

    June 4, 2019 at 11:03 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are rockin’ it in so many ways, Mary. Thank you for being an awesome friend.

      June 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm Reply
  • Wanda Adsit

    Happy birthday beautiful girl.

    June 4, 2019 at 11:32 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You deserve a hug for using the word, “girl”. tee hee. Thank you, Wanda.

      June 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm Reply
  • kelly kayfes

    Happy Birthday Larissa! I’m turning 56 this summer. I’m here to tell you, life gets better every year. I’m so much more comfortable with myself now then I was in my 20s and 30s. I have grandchildren and I get to sit back and watch what wonderful Men my little boys turned out to be. The best is yet to come, enjoy!

    June 4, 2019 at 11:35 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Wahoo!! Age ain’t nothing but a number…right? I am the same. Having been so close to death made me blow off everyone else and carry on…with chin held high. I’m so happy for you!!

      June 4, 2019 at 12:18 pm Reply
  • Kathy Daley

    Happiest of happy birthdays,Larissa! Your testimony, talents, and gifts are a a treasure!! Praying blessings for you as you bless so many.

    June 4, 2019 at 12:19 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Sweet thanks to you for the happy, encouraging words. I am so blessed. Thank you.

      June 4, 2019 at 12:25 pm Reply
  • Judy Burnside

    I hope your birthday is filled with blessings especially designed for you! I so appreciate your willingness to share your faith and express your gratitude for God’s grace in our lives. Your creativity is such as inspiration to me, and I hope you will soon find relief from your shoulder issue, so that you can continue what you are gifted to do. I think too that life after ….(whatever age!) can be amazing – a chance to use the gifts God has designed us with in new ways to enrich the lives of others. May this coming year be filled with treasures to fill your soul. Hugs!!

    June 4, 2019 at 3:33 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You are such a delight, Judy. Thank you so much for being a light and spreading joy. What fun it is to continue sharing what I do. Thank you.

      June 5, 2019 at 5:22 am Reply
  • Becky

    Happy happy happy birthday Larissa! I always forget that I’m a mere 4ish months older than you. 😊 ’77 was a great year!!! Thanks for sharing your story with all of us! God has been good… to both of us. 😊

    June 4, 2019 at 5:19 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You’re a young lady too! 😀 hee hee. Thank you so much, Becky.

      June 5, 2019 at 5:22 am Reply
  • Sarah

    Happy Birthday, Larissa! Keep shining! Hugs!

    June 4, 2019 at 7:51 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Sarah! 😀

      June 5, 2019 at 5:23 am Reply
  • Cherie

    Happy Birthday Larissa – you were born the same year I got married !!! Your posts are always inspirational and help me to remake/remodel small pieces of furniture I pick up here and there or are gifted to me. Hope you have a fabulous day. CELEBRATE !!!

    June 4, 2019 at 9:36 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Wahoo!! How fun is that?! I am so delighted to hear it. Thank you!

      June 5, 2019 at 5:23 am Reply
  • Olga

    Happy Birthday Larissa! All the best to you and your family!!

    June 4, 2019 at 10:25 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you bunches, Olga! 😀

      June 5, 2019 at 5:24 am Reply
  • Donna

    Happy birthday and thank you for sharing your life with us. Life will always be full of happiness one day and sadness and trials the next. You have done so well with your blog and I admire your strength and attitude. Love your page and wish you nothing but the best.

    June 8, 2019 at 7:26 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for your encouragement, Donna. Your wishes are felt. 🙂

      June 9, 2019 at 5:17 am Reply

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