Friday, August 26, 2016

Happy Birthday to ME!

My good friend, Debbie Moutsos, inspired me to wish myself a Happy Birthday. Next month, she’s giving herself a 65th birthday party. I love that! Debbie isn’t waiting on a celebration. She IS a celebration and she’s just looking for a place to land. That’s the way I want to celebrate my birthday, too! I AM a celebration because, on this day, I'm celebrating God’s goodness in selecting my Mom and Dad to give me life. They didn’t plan me. But, God did. Mom had determined my 12-years older sister would be her last, but “God’s ways are so much higher than our ways”.

I checked on a date calculator app to see how long in days I’ve been here on Planet Earth. At the time of this posting, it’s 24,837 days. 2 hours 50 minutes. That’s a pretty sobering exercise, especially in the consideration of “What have I done with those days?” I like to think that I’ve done a pretty good job as a wife, mother and grandmother and I’ve been able to grab the hands of dear friends and helped them in some ways. I like to think that I’ve left some footprints in the sand that might cause others to follow them. That’s who I’ve been so far.

I realize that I am in Act III of my play, and I seriously think about how I can make the most impact in every day I have left. If you follow me at all on my blogs and messages, you’ll know that I do my best to live in the moments, making most of the moments and sharing as much good news as I can in those moments. I’ve read in God’s Word how He will make me flourish in old age. I’m counting on that – not that I consider this ripe number of 68 as old age because I still feel like I am in the prime of my life. My son called me yesterday and asked how I was doing and my reply was “I am so thankful to be so healthy, strong and still ALIVE!” He told me he was glad I was, too.

Here’s the deal. As I am moving closer and closer to the end of my play, I’ve determined to NOT be burdened with anger, worry and being cynical. Who wants to hang around that old gal? I want to stay free-spirited. I want to have a spring in my step, full of vitality and life. I don’t want to give up, throw in the towel, complain about all that and this. I don’t want to be grumpy and cranky and the one that no one wants at their party. I want to be the one they celebrate. I don’t want to be a boring old person. I want to be sure to die living and not living to die. I want my family to go “Wow – she LIVED!” I’m not dying until I’m dead. I’m making sure I’m living every moment. Just like Jesus said on his last breath “It is finished!”, that’s when I’ll be done – not one second before then. I’ll be finished when I am finished. I’ve had an awesome life. Could you and I sit down and have a pity party about all the up and downs, in and outs, twists and turns of our lives? You better believe it. But, every day the past gets cloudier and cloudier because I’m refusing to go there. I’m forgetting those things behind.

So, here’s my goal for this grand new year. To praise more and worry less; to celebrate more and complain less; to forgive faster, to forget past mistakes, to encourage and cheer others on more, to reach out and touch more, to give warm hugs and high-5’s more, to learn more, to give more, to be more thankful each day God gives me. To add a lot more into the dash (-) that’s between my birthdate and exit-to-heaven date. By the way, I’m so thankful for those 24,837 days in the past….but each day added to that number just gets me closer to that exit-to-heaven date…..when I’ll slide into heaven with my arms up in the air, yelling “What a Ride!”