is for certain NOT what I thought I would be doing on my 40th birthday. June 5th is my own D-day invasion into my parents' lives. I rise up and call them blessed for having endured me.
Until my sister came along 4 years later, and then endurance took on a whole new level. (She doesn't read my blog.)
So here it is. The Elle 4.0 version. Completing thoughts with her own set of quirks, foibles, gifts and talents. I thank the Lord for this day and the life He has so graciously seen fit to give me. This morning while walking the dog (keeping a friend's pet a few days), I was praying and realized that I can truly thank God for the many joys and sorrows He has sent my way. And thanking Him with tears is okay too.
There have certainly been times in my life when neither of those ideas sprung from my heart. Maybe that is part of what comes with 40--a new maturity of thankfulness for the life God has given me, definitely it's own special gift.
That and I am still processing the movie Up I saw yesterday with the boys. An animated children's movie had me weeping in my seat as I watched the realities and work of grief and promises and enduring friendship. Watching the movie as a believer, I mentally reviewed my own life's griefs, promises and friendships and realized that to come to the end of life and not be able to truly praise God for His work in it....that would be such a huge loss.
I do not want that to happen.
My pool friend mentors told me the other day that these will be the years of increasing comfort within my own skin, my own thoughts and beliefs, and my own experiences. While I do not disagree with that, and I can see the truth of their observation, I do not want any decade of my life to be so self-centered as to be absurd and foolish. There must be a unique balance present. I'll be walking that road now.
I have an increasing responsibility to mentor younger women in marriage and parenting and life. The responsibility on some days is overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy for all the mistakes I have made and still make. But I see great value in being able to admit those mistakes and move forward. May the mistakes that mark my life be helpful warnings and instruction to others. I do not believe in hiding those things. The Day reveals them all. Let them be useful now.
Most of all, I want the next 40 years of my life (and more if the Lord allows) to be His entirely. I am tempted to backspace over that sentence and delete it entirely because what I know of the cost of that statement and what I do not know yet, are not shallow things. But they are worthwhile things, and I desire to live a life worthy of His calling.
Here is to the next 40, to the work of God in a feeble servant, to the grace of God in the life of a sinner, and to the glory of God in the one He has called and made His own.
I believe; help me, God, in my unbelief.