I celebrated my 50th birthday this week. It was a celebration for I don't buy all the fuss about "getting older, over the hill, aches and pains," etc. I'm as optimistic as @Traceyy, the "glass half-full girl" and see this milestone as just that: a marker on the journey of life that gives pause to where one is and where one is going.
As such, I've spent some time reflecting and journaling on my life this week and will share these thoughts in the days to come.
- I have a growing faith - tested, questioned, but established and unbroken. It will stand the test of time.
- I have come to understand that I cannot prove God to anyone; however, I can endeavor to take others to a place where they might meet Him (Thanks to Erwin McManus for helping me with that understanding.)
- I am wonderfully made. That is, I am uniquely gifted and experienced to play a vital role in the Kingdom of God. By performing that role, He chooses to use me to hasten the coming of His kingdom to all.
- I am healthy. I am reasonably fit - I could jump on my bike today and ride 50+ miles, as long as it's in south and not north, Georgia. I am free of disease and chronic illness.
- I am blessed with the ability to learn. My base of knowledge is broad. I have earned an Associate Degree in Fire Science Technology from what is today Perimeter College, a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from Southern Polytechnic University, a Master's of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Regent University.
- I am emotionally healthy (subject to some debate, but I'm OK with that). I am aware of my feelings and emotions and, while I too often choose to ignore them, I am aware of the emotions of others also.
- I have a broad base of cross-cultural experiences. Serving and living in many countries and cultures, I appreciate what I have, what others have and the intersections and exclusions of the two.
- I am blessed with a family who loves and values one another.
- My wife has been "happy to be stuck with me" for 25 years. She chooses to overlook my quirk (there's only one: a belief that I have only one quirk) and loves me deeply. She has contributed to who I am by choosing to follow only one career path in our marriage and to find activities and jobs which bring her joy regardless of where my career has taken us.
- My daughter makes people smile - me most of all. Beautiful. Intelligent. Articulate. Zealous for life, love, faith and friends. She brings me great joy.
- My son is witty, compassionate, intelligent, handsome and curious about who he can and will be. He cares deeply for others. He likewise brings me great joy as I see him become a young man who will continue to become a man after God's own heart.
- My family enjoys one another. They go out of their way to spend time with one another.
- I am blessed to have had a godly mother. She died last year. I miss her, but she lives on in me and my family because she invested greatly in us.
- My dad is a hero to me. He provided a home that was secure for me and he taught me how to live my life by following God's desire for me, not His desire for someone else. I lacked nothing I really needed, because he provided.
- My brother and I are different. Our interests diverged years ago. Yet, I have no doubt that he is for me and will stand with me when I need him to do so. There's not much more one could ask for in a brother.
- I have an extended family that is large in number and diverse in interests. When we spend time together, I realize how much I appreciate and love them - all the while rejoicing that they are my extended family! ;)