Got a call this morning asking if I felt wiser. Took me a moment, but I figured out that was their way of saying, “I know you had a birthday yesterday.”
I don’t know about wiser, but I can say yesterday (#52) was an illustration that I am certainly better at acknowledging my birthday as I age.
Last decade my “go to” celebration was traveling to run a race: ’11, Snickers Marathon; ’13, Tuscaloosa Half; ’17, Little Rock 10k; ’18, Mississippi 50k; ’19, Rhode Island Marathon. No race or traveling this year. Just let it flowed.
Instead of running elsewhere, I enjoyed a midday run sporting my birthday gift to myself:
Other treats of the day involved free food: a chocolate cupcake that appeared on my desk, then a Firehouse sub and a Chick-fil-a shake courtesy of their mobile apps (you should get them if you don’t have them).
But the best gift given to me was from an unexpected source. Through sign language in a movie, God gave me clarity about a project that has been shelved for a couple of years. And it came out of nowhere. I wasn’t looking for it. But it was quite clear and brought peace. Makes sense that God gave me the best gift of the day.
If this is an indicator of what’s in store on birthdays the rest of this decade, I’m in. Better and Deeper! Let’s Go!
When possible, it’s fun to run a race around my birthday. Last year for #50, friends joined me to run a 50k in Mississippi. That trip prompted me to decide to run a full marathon this year-my first since 2012. So for full #5, I found a race in Westerly, Rhode Island. Checked off state #18.
What a nice choice! This is a great shoreline city in the Ocean State.
And I booked a terrific Airbnb only 10 minutes from the race startline. Thanks, Bob and Gina!
Not everyone would choose to run a race on a 3-day birthday weekend. But whatever helps you celebrate well, don’t forget to do it.
Monday I joined the 50 ranks. Whatever that’s supposed to feel like, I’m pretty sure I don’t. By age 50, you’d think I’d feel pretty sure about just about everything. One thing I am most assured of is I’m sure I don’t.
Yet in a reflective mode, I challenged myself to list what I’m most assured of about life after living 50 years. These five things topped the list:
- God is Right-He’s right about himself, and he’s certainly right about me. He’s right about good and evil, love and hate, holiness and pride, the present and the future, and power and humility. The depth of my submission to his “rightness” is the depth of my contentment and peace.
- There’s More Than This-Although there’s a lot to enjoy about God’s earth, life is more than what I can see, taste, hear, touch, and feel. An eternal perspective reveals the “more” and keeps the visible in its proper priority.
- Less is More-Specifically less noise, less doing, less collecting of stuff replaced by more listening, more being, and more margin.
- Giving and Receiving are both important-Yes, Paul mentions in Acts that givers are more blessed. I don’t disagree with that. My caveat is that I can’t just keep on giving and giving and resist receiving. I have to receive in order to give. Both are important.
- A godly life results in no regrets-“I want no regrets when the horses come for me.” -Margaret Becker
What are you most assured of?
Last week was a step back in time. My mom and sister Debra joined me on a roadtrip to Illinois. Final stop, Beecher City, population 500. This was a delayed 80th birthday trip for my mom to visit her twin sister and brother-in-law.
Last time I was in Beecher City was probably before I started kindergarten. What would I know, but it appears not much has changed. For instance, to our surprise at the gas station, we received full service. I can’t remember ever receiving that. Anywhere.
We enjoyed the disconnect from the rest of the world for a few days. My mom and aunt enjoyed seeing the home they grew up in (cover photo above) and their high school and even catching up with classmates from their elementary one-room school classmates. A taste of yesterday. In this place. A meaningful week to start a sabbatical month.
Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love…Psalm 33:8, 18
I read these verses this morning, the day we celebrated our mother’s 80th birthday.
She stands in awe of God. She fears him. She hopes in his steadfast love.
His eye is on her.
Happy birthday, Grandma Lola!