On my 42nd Birthday

For the past several years I’ve started the year by going through Powersheets tending sheets. The tending sheets are structured to set goals and include asking questions such as:

  • What are the things that fuel me?
  • What will be most important and what won’t?
  • What are your motivations?
  • What are your fears?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What is the big picture? 
  • Where do you want to be when you are 80 years old?

Until this year the last question stumped me. 80 has felt so far away, and with so much life yet to live, how do you answer this question? This year I finally have an answer and it’s come in the form of two goals. A word and an image.

An Image

While processing the tending sheets we were at church and during worship, God drew my attention to a family visiting that weekend. The grandmother was worshipping so boldly, with her whole body engage. She wasn’t aware of anyone around her, her worship; was only for God. Within a few seconds of observation, I knew where I want to be when I’m 80 is right there. Worshipping God with my whole heart without a care in the world. Not only during worship, but I want God’s presence abundantly clear in my actions as words as well.

A Word: Authentic

I’ll likely fail every day striving for peace and harmony simply because people don’t like to hear the truth and even the simple act of typing out a Bible verse word for word will offend someone. However, authenticity is a character trait that reflects Christ in the ways I believe best lives out Mark 12:28-31 (NIV) which says,

“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.’”

When I consider the word authentic in combination with the question “Where do you want to be when you are 80 years old?” The picture that comes to mind is sitting on comfortable furniture with coffee asking a younger woman deep questions about her faith, listening, and pressing her to think just a little deeper.

Happy Corona Birthday?

I’m not gonna lie folks, we don’t do much to celebrate birthdays in our house. We usually go out to eat, there are a few presents to open, and we connect with friends and family other the phone. It’s sweet and simple which is great considering I don’t even remember how old I am some years. Remember that whole post I wrote about turning 38 only to have my mom call me and tell me I was actually 39?

corona birthday

This year, well this year it really stinks to have a birthday in March and it’s probably going to be the same for part if not all of April as well. But I’m not going to complain about Amazon delivery delays and not getting to go out for dinner because while those are disappointments, they are delays. Packages will eventually show up, some restaurants will open up for business, and our shelter in place order will open up someday.

Like many, I’m discovering the days are busier than I’d prefer, but there are also fewer distractions unless I choose to incorporate them into my routine. My Lent devotional through the lense of COVID-19 is encouraging me to reflect on questions like, “What does it mean to love your neighbor?” I’m focusing on my image and my word of the future rather than the stress of the day.

I’ve started our spring cleaning routine and we’re re-evaluating needs vs. wants. Our boys have grown out of another phase of life and the crafts we’ve hung onto for rainy days aren’t necessary. We finally unpacked the games we hastily packed this summer during our unplanned move, and we may even play them in the days to come.

My “to read” book pile continues to grow which is both exciting and frustrating. There are so many amazing authors publishing authentic work right now and I’m hungry to read and support other female writers. However, right now, work dominates my days and my mental stamina wilts in the evenings.

Is this a season of life? Is this the stress of the moment? Is this my forties? Only hindsight reflection will offer insights. In the meantime, here’s the 42. The year I press into learning more about how God pursues us and how he calls us to pursue him. The year I finally have a word and an image to answer the question “Where do you want to be when you are 80 years old?”

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