Wedding RSVP

Last weekend Peter and I attended the wedding of a young woman who has a special place in our hearts. Besides being one of our daughter’s best friends, the bride spent a year living with us when she was in grade 10, so there’s some wonderful shared history in our book of memories.

Peter and I received the beautiful invitation in the mail a few months ago. We were honored to be included on the guest list. With eagerness we discussed the date and then promptly sent off our affirmative response. Yes – we would be delighted to attend the wedding ceremony and reception to follow!

The appointed day arrived. Family and friends gathered in the church to watch and wait for the anticipated arrival of the bridegroom and his bride.

Our spirits were deeply touched as the men filed out of the side room, took their places at the front, and then turned to fix their eyes on the big wooden door that would open soon to admit the bridal party.

The organ announced the arrival of the entourage at the back entrance. The procession began, the air filled with expectant and solemn joy.  Our hearts were moved as we witnessed the bride being escorted down the aisle to meet her soon-to-be husband. Dressed in a gorgeous traditional white gown, the bride’s smile radiated unspeakable beauty. With anticipation she joined her beloved before the altar of the cathedral, surrounded by a huge wedding party of 18 attendants plus several children who stole our hearts with their cuteness.

The liturgy that followed led us through prayers and responses, the exchange of vows and rings, and the kiss between bride and groom to seal the sacred covenant. Joyous music and celebration, smiles and photos, and words of greeting and congratulation followed as the crowd spilled out onto the street.

It was a ceremony to remember!

Later that afternoon, Peter and I found our way to the reception location. Upon entering the venue, we found a welcome table on which were laid out place setting cards, each inscribed with a name. Quite a few had already been picked up; we found ours with no trouble. Soon we were enjoying conversation with friends and a delicious 4 course dinner. There followed speeches and toasts, games and hilarity, chatting and catching up with those we hadn’t seen for a number of years. Music and dancing came later and carried on who knows how long into the wee hours of the morning.

It was a delightful day – a day I wouldn’t have wanted to miss.

As we left the banquet hall late that evening, I happened to notice again the welcome table at the entrance. There remained a few name cards that had not been claimed – for people who said they’d come but then for whatever reason had not shown up. It somehow made me feel sad inside.

A most sobering thought came to my mind.

Those people missed out – they responded positively initially, but then unfortunately something kept them away.

And then there were the loves ones who were invited but declined, never intending to come at all.

I realized that if I hadn’t RSVP’d to Saturday’s wedding invitation, my name card would not have been displayed on the welcome table, nor would there have been a place set for me at the dinner table. I would have forfeited a priceless gift and completely missed the joy of our young friend.

As a Christian, I see a powerful analogy here.

Do you know that we have all received a personal invitation to another wedding feast?

It’s the wedding feast of the bridegroom, Jesus, and His bride, the Church (you and me and anyone else who loves Jesus and desires to be included).

Like the wedding last Saturday, this one too requires a response from us: will we attend or not? A decision must be made.

I really hope you decide to be there.  I guarantee it’s going to be the best wedding celebration that heaven or earth has ever seen!

Have you made your RSVP?

 

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Forgiveness and a Cup of Coffee

The other day I was a jerk! I didn’t plan to be. I didn’t want to be. But I was. I behaved badly to say the least.

I was in pain, as often seems to be the case when our good old Canadian weather outside gets cold … and colder. My neck hurt, my shoulders were sore, my hips ached, and my knees protested. Being in pain unfortunately lead to me being a pain myself – particularly to my husband. I was not in a good mood. Peter, true to form, rose to the occasion, responding to my tears of self-pity and negativity with mercy. Instead of complaining about my complaining, he was patient, encouraging and forgiving. He not only prayed for me, he served me by cheerfully doing one of my household tasks that I find most difficult and distasteful — vacuuming.

Mercy: not getting something we deserve. I deserved rebuke, correction, and reprimand for my bad attitude. I received the opposite from my dh.

First thing this morning I was given another wonderful gift. I didn’t ask for it. But I willingly received it with much appreciation.

Peter made me coffee – my most favorite Saturday and Sunday morning beverage. It was so delicious, warm and inviting. It relaxed me. It spoke to me of good times, peace and love. It was given freely and happily. It was pure grace to me.

Grace: getting something we don’t deserve. I deserved nothing special from Peter this morning. I should have been making my dh a cup of coffee instead of the other way around.

Mercy and grace. Forgiveness and a cup of coffee. Two gifts – little things that are really big things of enormous importance. They can change a life. They did mine.

In my husband I see a tiny picture of the love that Jesus has for me … and for you.

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). This is mercy and grace at its best and most costly.

Not getting something I deserve (condemnation and death).  Getting something I don’t deserve (redemption and life).

What an amazing gift! What an incredible blessing!

p.s. My husband is an wonderful man. Jesus is even better!

 

 

 

 

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Those last few days

11225186_10153354377059055_7470420590283469256_o-111225186_10153354377059055_7470420590283469256_o-111225186_10153354377059055_7470420590283469256_o-1This week I am reliving those last few days before my Dad passed away one year ago.

Last October 20th found my dad in the hospital. He was pretty much bedridden and unable to stand unless assisted by 2 people. His lungs were slowly filling with fluid as his heart toiled to keep beating with the help of a newly inserted pacemaker. He had a cough accompanied by severe pain from a cracked rib as a result of having received CPR a week previous. At times Dad was delusional, at other times clear minded.

During one of his lucid times, after an evening visit accompanied by my mom and my sister, I lingered behind by his bedside after they had left the room. I drew near and looking my dad in the eyes I asked him if he trusted Jesus. “Yes”, he replied. I was able then to assure him that Jesus was with him to help him and look after him. I reminded him that he could talk to Jesus and that he didn’t need to worry about the future.

“I love you”, I told him. (We didn’t say that a lot in our family growing up.)

Dad gazed back at me, his eyes milky from poor eyesight, but seeing me just the same.

“You’re a good girl. I love you too”, he replied.

Those eight little words so touched my heart! They were my dad’s last and most precious gift to me.

I hope I blessed Dad in those few moments we shared alone — I know he blessed me beyond measure and for the rest of my life.

Dad struggled for the next five days. Family members were in frequently to sit by his side.

The night before he died, Peter and I took my mom to the hospital to visit. She tenderly held the hand of her husband of 68 years. We put lip balm on his dry lips and gave him a sip of water. We combed his hair and tried to make him as comfortable as we could. It was a moving and intimate time we shared.

The next afternoon my dad passed away. I’m thankful it was quick and he didn’t suffer. His heart just gave out as he sat on the edge of his hospital bed. The nurse laid him down, and he was gone.

Thus began a year of mourning and remembering. As each milestone approached, it was observed and then left behind as time marched on. An indelible mark was stamped on my mind and heart as I came to terms with the reality that I would not pass this way again with my dad in our midst. As a family we gave thanks for Dad on his birthday (he would have been 95), Christmas, Father’s Day, summer days when he would have been outside working on some project, mom and dad’s anniversary, Thanksgiving, other days when we thought of him “just because” … and now this time when we relive those last few days with us here in this life.

It’s been a long year for me: a year filled with tears of sorrow alongside the laughter of remembering my dad in better days. I am thankful for the man Dad was. He was a man of integrity who worked hard at everything he did. He was a man with faults and foibles like anyone else, but he was a dad who loved his family fiercely and left us with a rich heritage.

Oh yes, we had our differences to be sure. My dad was a perfectionist, and he had definite ideas on how everything should be done. We butted heads about certain decisions, had some arguments, and exchanged words on a few occasions that I’d rather forget.  But as I process my memories of Dad, and as this first year without him comes to an end, there is inexpressible comfort in being able to pour it all out, chaff and grain together. As one author so eloquently wrote, “sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.”

It’s what I’d like others to do for me when I’m gone. It’s what I now choose to do for my dad.

I love you, Dad. And I miss you. I think I always will.

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New Every Morning

morning-glories-20160831-1Morning glories are one of the most beautiful and easiest climbing vines you can grow in your garden or in pots. They are annual plants with slender stems, heart-shaped leaves, and trumpet-shaped flowers in pink, purple-blue, magenta, or white. Their romantic tendrils curl and twist around a pole, string or trellis lending an old-fashioned charm to any sunny spot.

Morning glories prolifically flower from mid-summer through fall. Each blossom unravels into full bloom in the early morning and usually begins to fade and wilt after a few hours.

As many of you can surely tell from my numerous photos on facebook of this amazing plant, I adore my morning glories.

I love the shades of color, the abundant greenery, their daily climb to new heights.

I love the spiritual truths they remind me of each morning when I go out to my backyard bright and early to count the fresh newly-born blossoms. I was greeted today with over 50 new blooms! I continually marvel at how delicate and astonishingly gorgeous they are. I ponder the brevity of each bloom’s life – here today and gone tomorrow.

Two truths from the Bible come to mind as I contemplate my back-yard beauties.

The first one is this:  “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

This earthly life, like the morning glory bloom, is brief and comes to an end all too soon. In this fallen world all of us are subject to eventual decay and death. Like the flowers, we flourish for a time, then wither and fall. This outlook would be bleak indeed if not for the hope that there is something – greater and stronger than death – that stands forever: the word of our God.

God’s word brings hope for the future. This is the second eternal truth.

The Bible declares: “ The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases; his compassions never end. They are fresh every morning; your faithfulness is abundant!” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

No matter what hand life deals, no matter what storms may come, the Lord’s kindness and goodness are always there. True to His word, He brings me to each new day, with a fresh and precious start. And even when death comes, He will raise me up. That will be a brighter and even more glorious day!

This good news is summed up in the very first Bible verse I learned as a child: “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.

So I continue to delight in my morning glories and in the picture they are of my Father’s faithful and everlasting love.

Morning glories … and the kindness and compassion of God … they are new every morning. What a blessing!

 

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A Walk to Remember

Yesterday I went for a walk with my 17 month old granddaughter, Madison Joy. It was a walk to remember.

Basically, Maddie set the course and I followed – keeping watch. She toddled around observing the big wide world  and experimenting with her place in it. Busy learning and tasting the delightful freedom of life out in the open, every once in awhile she’d check around to make sure I was still with her.

Down the lane she went. In her enthusiasm she got going too fast as children often do. She fell hands first into the gravel. Undaunted, she picked herself up and ran her hands over her pants only then seeking my help with an expectant glance.  I helped her brush her hands together to dust off the grit, then gave her a comforting hug.

That done, she circled around onto the grass and made off for her little ride-in toy car over on the lawn.  The seat was wet with last night’s  rain. Before I could stop her, Maddie sat down and got her bottom wet. Under loud protests from her I quickly lifted her squirming body from the car to dump the water and dry the seat. Then she got back in and had her fun.

Done with that, we ventured to the sand box for a few moments of exploration . She examined the slide, pushed the swing, and pulled on some daisies that were growing near the edge. Stepping over the wooden border, Maddie again took a tumble, this time with a somewhat softer landing. She didn’t need any help this time.

Up and off again, Maddie made her way around the house. After climbing the steps to the back deck, she noticed that her little chair had been blown over by the wind . With a sense for the proper way of things, she righted the chair and proceeded without hesitation to the other side of the deck. Semi-capable of walking down the steps on her own, she wisely realized her own limitation. She turned to me with an outstretched little arm imploring me to assist her. Hand in hand we navigated the steps to the level ground below.

Onward then to her daddy’s vegetable garden which she admired and chattered about with pointed finger and delighted face.

Navigating the bumpy hill around the septic system would have been a challenge to Maddie, so I gently redirected her around the hollows and rocks that would have been her downfall.

Rounding the side of the house into the hot sun again I suggested that it was time to go inside.  Maddie obediently headed for the front door.

The front steps being cement, wet with puddles, and hard on tender knees, I scooped Maddie up from behind and landed her just outside the front door. In we went, tired but happy after our outdoor adventure.

As we cuddled on the living room couch together, Maddie Joy leaned over in my face and planted her first voluntary toddler kiss for Grandma right on my mouth. My heart melted.  I love this sweet kid! I would do anything for her!

How like the Lord to give me such a wonderful gift: a parable of what He does for me every day on my walk through this life. He is my Father –my Daddy who never leaves me unattended. He’s always at hand to pick me up when I fall. He dusts off my bruised hands and encourages me to keep going. Vigilant, protective, He lets me learn by doing – succeeding, failing, not giving up. He is faithful to grasp my hand when I seek His help. Delighting in my delights, redirecting my steps when I need guidance, calling me to obey, My Father lifts me up in His embrace to bring me into His house. He draws me into rest and melts my heart with His tender, affectionate love. He is a good good Father whose own heart melts when I respond. He loves me! He would do anything for me!

Yesterday I was so blessed by my precious granddaughter.

Yesterday I was doubly blessed by my wonderful heavenly Father.

It was indeed a walk to remember.

 

 

 

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Betty lost her clothes

Betty lost her clothes the other day. Betty often loses her clothes. At the pool where we both attend Aquafit classes, it’s not unusual to see Betty wandering around checking the lockers in the change room because she’s forgotten where she left her things.

You see, Betty has problems with her short term memory. She has dementia.

People are pretty good about helping Betty out. We chat with her, reassure her, ask her questions and aid her in finding her lost possessions. Then all is well and Betty is off on the right track until the next time she forgets.

Betty got me thinking.

In some ways I am like her. I forget things too. As a Christian I sometimes suffer from spiritual dementia. I lose my way, I forget to put on my spiritual clothes. At times I can’t even find them.

What are these spiritual clothes?

There’s quite a wardrobe:

  • garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61)
  • a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3)
  • a compassionate heart, kindness, humility, meekness and patience (Colossians 3)
  • garments of praise (Isaiah 61)
  • the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, shoes of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6)
  • Jesus Christ himself (Romans 13)

When I am swimming through the deep and troubled waters of life – when the wind and waves strip me naked or leave my clothes in tatters – I need help. I need to be reminded that it’s in God that I find all I need.  His Word is the anchor that keeps me from wandering too far. Prayer helps to re-establish my bearings and corrects my direction. It’s from the community of other believers that I receive comfort, reassurance and assistance.

That’s how I find my clothes again … just like Betty.

Yes, Betty lost her clothes.

Betty taught me a memorable lesson.

I’m so thankful for Betty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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O Christmas Tree

I love my Christmas tree!

I love it because when I look at it I see many of the people I love.

I see my faithful husband, Peter, when I lift my eyes to the felt-on-cardboard yellow star so carefully stitched for the top of our very first Christmas tree as a married couple. Oh the stories it could tell of Christmases celebrated in our home over the years.

I see my mother-in-law when I look at the delicate blown-out and elaborately painted eggs hung by invisible thread.

I see my father-in-law when my eye catches a glimpse of the gold painted walnut shells dangling from red yarn.

I see our son’s surrogate grandmother reflected in the tiny knitted red and white Christmas stockings that adorned her gifts of handmade little-boy toques and mittens so many years ago.

I see a dear church family who welcomed Peter and me into their home on our very first Christmas away from our own loved ones. On my tree is the tiny white elephant that popped out of my Christmas cracker at their dinner table.

I see my giggling granddaughters in a creatively decorated foam shape with sprinkles and glitter and childish printing.

(In my mind’s eye I recall decorations made by my own children long ago.  These gems have been passed along for them to enjoy and remember on their own Christmas trees.)

There is so much more: crocheted snowflakes, little straw angels, spray painted pine cones, tiny red bows, miniature jingle bells – each with a tale to tell.

I see so much blessing, a multitude of lives and relationships, memories of days gone by – all adorning my Christmas tree. It’s a gift from God and truly, to me at least, a beauty to behold!

And underneath the decorations, supporting it all, stands an evergreen tree wrapped in lights.

The lighted tree is a picture of Jesus – the tree of Life and the Light of the world – a symbol of redemption and hope in a dark world.  There is no greater Christmas gift. My soul is humbled and grateful.

Many of us are familiar with the carol “O Christmas Tree”.  However, I think that the final verse is not well known or often sung.

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee!
Thou bidst us true and faithful be,
And trust in God unchangingly.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee! (traditional German Carol – author unknown).

Yes, I love my Christmas tree because every day of this wondrous season it reminds me of precious family members and friends.  It reminds me of the One, Emmanuel, who came to be with us and die for us that we might have eternal life in Him.

O Christmas Tree! How richly God has decked thee!

Have a good look at your own Christmas tree this year. What do you see?

 

 

 

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When All the Touchstones are Gone

A month ago my Dad died.

Almost 2 weeks ago we moved my Mom, who deals with dementia,  into a seniors’ residence.

Now we are beginning the lengthy process of tidying up and cleaning out the family home of 64 years.

Most days I feel like I’m dealing with all these life changes pretty well. Other times, like last night… not so much.

Last evening the grief and profound sense of loss snuck up on me again. It caught me off guard. It silently crept up from behind. Out of nowhere, it welled up within me like the gush of a geyser and spilled out with sobs and tears. I just felt so sad.

I feel like in the last month I’ve lost not only my Dad, but my Mom as well, and my childhood home on top of that – some “touchstones” I thought would always be there … but now they’re gone.

At times the grief washes over me like a powerful ocean wave. There’s nothing I can do except ride it out. It leaves me drenched, and weak, and breathless in its wake.

When I come up for air, when I’m in the trough between assaults, I can rest for a little while, treading water.  My eyes scan the horizon trying to guess when the next wave will appear. But there are no clues. It’s unpredictable.

This is when I realize, again, that something awesome and rationally inexplicable has happened. I look and see that through the swirling tide, while I thought I was holding tight to Jesus, in fact, He had hold of me.

Lord, I thank you that You have not left me helpless or hopeless. Thank you that You are the Rock beneath me – solid and always trustworthy. You are my Anchor, my Guide, my Comfort, my Deliverer. You are my Redeemer, my Peace, my Hope.

The poet T.S.Eliot called Christ “the still point in a turning world”.  Thank you, Jesus, that You are with me to keep me safe and secure when turmoil and change rages without and within.

The disciple Peter got out of the boat voluntarily in the Bible story (Matthew 14:29).

This time, I was pushed out of my boat. But I am certain that, like Peter, if I keep my eyes on Jesus, I can walk through this storm to safety. When my heart fails me and I am overwhelmed, Jesus is my strength. “God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.” (1 John 3:20).

Years ago a good friend gave me a wall plaque that has encouraged me many times. I went to look at it in our guest room again this morning.

When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2)

I know these words are truth in my life. I pray they are for you as well.

When all the touchstones in this life are gone, there is One that remains till the end.

 

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No More Goodbyes

I know that I know that I know that we are made for eternity. There’s a longing in every human heart for stability, for permanence, for things to be predictable and steady.  In the swirl and chaos of how fickle this life can be, all of us look for a rock on which to plant our feet – something solid, something dependable, something that will last. I see this in myself; I see it in others. It’s built into our very DNA as human beings. It’s how God made us.

A couple of months ago Peter and I were visiting our son, Simeon, his wife Heather, and their 3 beautiful little girls. They live far away in Kansas City, Missouri, so when we go to see them several times a year we often plan an extended stay of 10 to 14 days. On the last evening of our visit this past September, Peter and I were saying bedtime prayers with Sophie (6) and Alivia (4). As we were cuddling on the side of the bed, Alivia, put her warm little arms around my neck and said in her most endearing way, “I wuv you Gwamma and I wish you could stay heeoo fowever.” My heart melted – me too! I hate goodbyes!

Six days ago we had a funeral service and buried my Dad. My children held me as I wept. I just could not believe my Dad was gone. I didn’t want him gone! I wasn’t ready for the Dad-sized hole in my life. I miss him so much. I hate goodbyes!

The day before yesterday I drove my son to the airport so he could return home to his own precious family. When it came time to say goodbye, my heart tightened even as my arms wrapped my son in a fierce hug.  An “I love you”, and “Thanks for being here”, and then he was gone – through the doors and on his way.  I sobbed until I was half way home.  I didn’t want to say goodbye – I hate goodbyes!

In a few more days my siblings and I will be moving our  93 year old Mom to a retirement residence in the neighborhood. I’m sure she doesn’t want to leave her home of over 60 years. The house I grew up in holds memories galore for all of us. It will be a sad series of farewells as we dismantle the place a part of us hoped in vain would last forever. I hate goodbyes!

It’s at times like these that I remind myself that things haven’t always been this way. In our Maker’s mind things were never meant to be this way!

In the Garden of Eden there were no goodbyes until Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Then, because of their pride and rebellion, they became separated from the One who made them. The first goodbye was when they had to leave the beautiful and perfect Garden. Ever since then, the human story has included sorrow and pain and separation. Car accidents, medical mistakes, multiple sclerosis, crohns disease, congestive heart failure, and death are part of what we experience here and now. Every person and every family has its own heart-breaking list.

In the beginning, goodbyes did not exist. In the end, they will not exist either. Things won’t always be as they are now.

The Bible tells me that God is good. God is Love. He sent his Son, Jesus, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. Jesus is coming again to establish His Kingdom on earth. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. God himself will be with us.  He will wipe away every tear, and death will cease to exist. There won’t be mourning or crying or pain any more. Jesus will reign forever and ever.

For today, and for eternity, the promises of Jesus are absolutely trustworthy: “Never will I leave you”,  and “I will be with you always”.  What a blessed assurance: no more goodbyes! Imagine!

I love it!

 

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Good for Your Health

A most astonishing fact was recently drawn to my attention: birthdays are good for your health. Studies have shown that people who have the most birthdays live the longest!

As I approach yet another birthday, this truth is strangely comforting.

Last year at this time, I celebrated a landmark decade birthday – #60. I’m over that hill now, but I’m not over the hill, although some (who will go unnamed) would beg to differ!

My dad, at the distinguished age of 94, often proclaims that there’s nothing golden about the golden years. “Whatever you do, don’t get old!”, he advises me not infrequently.  My response: ” Dad, you know what the alternative is!”

As a child, I always found my birthday exciting. I remember counting down the days. I was filled with such eager anticipation that I thought I would burst like an over-inflated balloon! My mom and dad always made sure our special celebrations included cards and gifts, homemade layer cake wearing flaming candles, parties hopping with friends and family. And I’ve never grown weary of the heartfelt “Happy Birthday to You” refrain, sung in person if possible, but if not, then over the phone when I was older and the miles conspired to keep us apart.

Then somehow I got to an age when I began to feel vaguely sad, almost depressed, as my birthday rolled around again and again like an aggravating and persistent visitor. The years were flipping by with the regularity of the minutes clocked by my bedside radio.

Some people, in an effort to to jog my joy, have asked me, if it were possible, would I go back and relive a certain time in my life? Maybe, if you’re as old as me, you’ve been tickled with the same feather. My answer, perhaps disappointingly, is a decided no.

No, I don’t have any desire to go back, even though with each passing year I do look a little different in the mirror. My body parts complain a tad more with each turn of the calendar. My pace of life is decidedly slower than it used to be, but I like to think of myself as taking more time to “smell the roses”.  My mind isn’t quite as sharp as it once was. I do occasionally have … what do you call them … hmmm … oh yes …”senior moments”.

My spirit, however, is alive and young – perhaps more so than it’s ever been. There’s a flame of hope that burns.  I’m enjoying the life I have right now. I’m blessed.

The years behind are littered with mistakes, actions I’m ashamed of, words I wish I could take back, attitudes I should’ve corrected sooner. If it were even possible to turn back the clock, there are so many painful lessons I’d have to learn all over again – who wants to go there? And besides, my God has redeemed it all. He’s even covered all my future bumbles. When my heart makes a habit of turning to Him in humility and trust, He works all things together for the good of those who love Him.  Maybe not right away, but eventually.

My past also shines with memorable moments of joy and events that still make me laugh out loud. There are achievements to be proud of and acts of kindness forgotten by all except the One who sees in secret. There are cherished memories in my bank account that I don’t ever want to change or exchange.

So I’ve determined that I’ll focus on the present. In this life, today is really all I have anyway. It will never come again. It’s a treasure to be savored in the moment, unpredictable and undeserved, a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

With every passing year, my reasons to give thanks pile up: family, friends, a hope and a future, opportunities to influence another’s life, the constant companionship of One who has been with me since my beginning. In retrospect, I see countless times when I’ve been carried, protected, provided for, and blessed by the Lord. Looking in the rear view mirror, as I continue to motor along, I stand in awe at the sight of how God has guided and His angels have accompanied me on my journey.

Birthdays now remind me of God’s love and faithfulness. As the years pass, I know God does not forget me.  Though outwardly my body inevitably ages and health will eventually fail, inwardly by God’s Holy Spirit I’m being renewed day by day.  (2 Corinthians 4:16). Each birthday brings me closer to being in the eternal presence of the Lord Jesus. What could be better than that?

So I’ve decided to live with a grateful heart and welcome each birthday as it comes.

I’m so glad that birthdays are good for my health!

 

 

 

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Posted in Changes, Choices, Decision, Family, Gratitude, Hope, Identity | 2 Comments