Birthdays are an interesting phenomenon aren’t they?
There is the prerequisite build-up until the day arrives
complete with marching band excitement and yet
once the confetti is swept up and freed from your hair,
you realize you don’t feel much differently than the day before
or even last month.
This is how turning fifty has felt.
The months leading up to this big birthday have included
celebrating friends turning 50
and they have celebrated me.
I feel incredibly
rich from the experience.
Honestly I feel like I still reside in my 40’s.
Perhaps not 40, as I had an 11 month old tyke
at the time
and sleep was elusive.
Within that expanse, I felt ancient and
my dependence was more on coffee than
But that is another story.
So this exchange of decade zip codes
hasn’t shifted the core of me only added
two new digits.
I want to share what I am hoping to bring
into this landscape.
There will be no mention of hills
especially going over them.
Perhaps it is the introvert in me or that
I am a bit reserved and don’t often like
center of attention moments.
I tend to push away personal celebrations.
I have done quite a bit
of celebrating and it’s been good.
Celebration has reached down deep into my
soul and mended some broken places I
wasn’t even aware existed.
Often I downplay the “big deals”
in my life.
I have been wrong.
Isn’t it humble to brush aside offers to celebrate?
When I have proclaimed celebrating unnecessary,
I waved a flag with stitching
revealing I wasn’t important enough to laud.
Now to some of you, this might sound
preposterous because you are always
ready to form a conga line.
For others, you recognize the depths
You might even recall the silent ache when those big days or
occasions pass and you stumble upon
the fact that crickets are not festive
or a worthy companion.
Life in all its big and small ways
provides reason enough to raise a ruckus.
We are meant to be celebrated.
We point back to the Creator when
we raise a glass of cheer.
Let there be celebrating.
Most days begin with me at our table before
a large window with a strategically placed
bird feeder in one of the trees.
The other morning, between sips of tea and writing,
a squirrel was attacking the bird feeder.
I would pound on the glass
and the gravitational pull would hasten his return.
The feeder had been half full of suet but by the time he left to make
way for the birds, there was only a small chunk in the corner of
Okay this ticked me off.
Do you remember this photo?
This image was floating through my mind when birds landed
for their morning meal.
I was grousing about the shameless greed of that squirrel taking what
belonged to the birds.
Yet as I survey the birds,
I didn’t see a single one with their wings on their hips
They were getting their fill of food.
By the way they were sailing between feeder
and limbs, they seemed quite delighted.
There was enough.
Social media can be like a picture window
to lives we weren’t originally supposed to see.
Years ago, I wouldn’t know who got a book deal
or whose blog post was being widely circulated.
I wouldn’t have known how many exotic vacations
someone took or even what you did while I was
on the couch streaming a movie.
It wouldn’t be so easy to succumb to feeling
I don’t have enough or that I am enough.
The truth is people aren’t greedy squirrels
and none of us are going to stop posting
the beautiful moments of our days but
I want to live like a bird who considers
crumbs a feast.
We have a family saying from way back…
Be content with what God sent.
I am grabbing hold to the truth of being and
having enough until it is firmly planted solidly
in my soul.
Sometimes the best way to move forward is
to look backward.
There are two areas that continue to make my
heart beat, one faster and the other slower.
This word has played ping-pong in my spirit
I desire to be a person of welcome.
Many times those introverted tendencies take
over but at my core, I know I was created to
For my birthday,
I asked “the powers that be” namely my family for
It is designed to accompany something special which I will share
with you soon.
So this is me moments after Carl put the bench together.
If I am honest, I almost didn’t post this picture.
It’s not my most flattering picture,
I am not standing behind someone to show
only a partial view of me.
Our backyard grass resembles straw.
Heavens it has been a hot summer and
I do believe any make up I was wearing has
I am learning that welcome has nothing
in common with perfection
and looking put together.
Welcome is being open to showing your good and your
not so great sides.
Welcome is a bench made for people who are
dry in spirit,
I hope to sit on that bench
and I pray my neighbors will as well.
You are my neighbor.
More than any topic I wrote about on this blog,
the most read posts are the ones about rest.
I have talked about it for years because I was desperate
for rest of any kind.
A friend recently wrote me and said when she thinks of me,
she thinks of rest.
Now before you consider this clever wording as code for
meaning she finds me boring and promptly needs a nap,
it referred to conversations we’ve had about the supreme
importance of rest.
I plan to be greedy about resting and
consider yourselves warned,
I will continue to remind you as well.
You have come wrapped in packages filled
welcome and rest.
Thank you for the marching orders.
May the only arthritis I bear be in my knees
and not in my heart or soul.