Tuesday was my fifty ninth birthday. When I said the number fifty nine what was the image that came to your mind? The image that comes to mine doesn't fit the person I see in the mirror or the way that I feel. In my mind, fifty nine is old and gray and grandma-ish and cotton aprons with sensible shoes. In my mirror, right this very moment, fifty nine is color-treated hair casually pulled back in a loose pony tail, adidas running shorts and a cotton tee. My mind can't wrap itself around this whole contradiction between the fact that I am swiftly approaching the six decade mark of my life, and the feeling that I am not an old lady. Then again, I watch the current news and long to go back in time to the good old days when we sang God Bless America in school, respect for elders and those in authority was the rule not the rare exception, hard work was expected and hand outs were for hardship and the truly needy, and childhood was full of imaginative play without the media and societal bombardment of sex and confusion and strife that no little one should have to worry about. That's when I feel old, when I catch myself longing for the simpler times of my childhood and wishing that for my grandchildren.
This birthday week I've been wrapped up in the comfort of home and family and friendship. The week began with time at my oldest sister's where I had the privilege of speaking to the women at her church. Sharing the Word always fills me up full, even as I'm pouring out to others, and I always feel like I'm in the sweet spot of God's will when I'm doing so.
On the afternoon of my birthday, my husband and son-in-law flew to Ghana, West Africa in order to arrive there in time for my husband to preach and teach at a pastors' conference. Lunch with my sister, time with my oldest granddaughter, many sweet cards, phone calls, emails and Facebook messages made me feel well loved and celebrated in spite of my husband's absence.
My oldest daughter and her two sweet girlies took me to lunch and antiquing the following day for my birthday celebration with them. We ended our time together with the perfect summertime treat, root beer floats at the A&W. Later that evening, my second born came over with our youngest grandson and we walked to the park. He said, "Nana is pretty" with a little coaching, yet I somehow believed it when he said it. (Do you remember those innocent times as a little one, when you thought your mama was the prettiest woman in the world and that your daddy was the strongest man in the world?)
Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend who is also celebrating an August birthday. We've both had our eye on these crazy colorful, warm and thick, cotton socks, anticipating them keeping our feet toasty this coming fall and winter. We each picked out the pair we wanted, then bought them for one another for our birthdays. Later that afternoon a friend who is moving to Texas came by. We sat in my living room and visited for a couple of hours before I had to hug her goodbye. At fifty nine, I can look back and see many wonderful friends that God wove into the tapestry of my life for a season, and then they, or we, moved away or moved on for one reason or another. It will be interesting, in eternity, to see the final picture of what God was designing and the purpose for each thread, each relationship that He brought into my life.
I've been quiet on the blog and other social media this week. I've enjoyed giving myself this birthday week to savor time with friends and family and to, basically, do what I want. Perhaps next week I'll get back to a normal schedule. Or maybe not. I've got one year before I turn the big six zero, and I aim to make it a good one, one wonderful day at a time.