Monday, November 30, 2009

Turning Forty

It is official. Today I'm 40. As one who has marked the major milestones of my children's lives with great enthusiasm, my children are marking this major milestone of my life with just as much enthusiasm. They are more excited about my birthday than I am! But, I wonder. Does turning 40 mean I have to grow up?

Honestly, I think becoming a grown up happens over time. It is a gradual process that doesn't suddenly occur because of some arbitrary date on a calendar says so. It happens day by day, as lessons are learned and choices are made. Maybe turning 40 is a big deal because many lessons have been learned and wiser choices are being made (hopefully).

I certainly like being on the easier side of the learning curve of life, recognizing how to avoid (for the most part) experiences that are terribly painful. I also like understanding the process of the seasons, knowing that though the cold, dark months of winter have frozen the landscape, spring is coming. No matter how hard the winter is or how long it holds on, flowers will bloom and summer's heat will bring the bountiful harvest of fall. No matter how painful life is now, or how awful circumstances seem to be, Jesus really is walking with me each step of the way and it really will get better.

My favorite lesson comes from my dear mother-in-law; it is never too late. It is never too late for learning, growing, or changing. So, whether turning 40 means I'm finally a grown up or not, I am not going to stop growing and learning. I am confident God is going to keep His promise to finish what He has begun in me and that in time I will be a perfect reflection of Jesus

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The value of thumbs

I was using a knife recently, a very sharp one! I slipped and the knife sunk into the fleshy part of my thumb. Thankfully it was my left thumb, but it is still greatly affecting my life! Suddenly, I am recognizing the tremendous value of thumbs.

I've never thought much about having thumbs. I've heard that thumbs are what set us humans apart from other creatures in the animal kingdom. But, it was of little value to me. I only have two thumbs and they don't get noticed that often. Suddenly, now that I am not using one of my thumbs, it is VERY noticable and creating difficulty in my life! Yikes - how do animals survive without thumbs?!

Have you ever heard the phrase, "all thumbs?" People say it when they are having trouble using their hands for whatever reason. It is generally a negative thing. After my experiences this week, though, I have a new perspective. Oh my goodness; I'd rather be ALL thumbs than have no thumbs! Right now I'm noticing my thumb more than I have for years. When I bump the injury, it hurts. If I use my thumb (or even my hand) wrong, it puts tension on the laceration and it hurts. For a while after I cut it, it just throbbed.

By God's grace, my thumb is healing quickly. I'll probably be able to go band-aid free in a few days. Suddenly, I see the value of thumbs and I'm very thankful for the two I have!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Christmas carols revisited

As I type this, I'm sitting in Starbucks, listening to the latest holiday release by Sting. Though it is difficult to capture, the strains of an old Christmas carol float in the air. The only difference is, this is a holiday album, not a Christmas album. The inspiring words of this Christmas carol, which was written to proclaim Jesus as the Savior of mankind is not a part of the melody.

As the holidays approach, my heart is deeply grieved. We have all the traditions that surround Christmas, but they are mostly devoid of the meanings they once held. People sing songs that have eternal value and significance, chasing after the etherial "meaning of life" never realizing that the meaning they are looking for is captured in the songs they sing at this time of year.

Our Gospel isn't hid; it is in plain sight, in the form of Christmas carols, "but the god of this world has blinded the minds of unblievers, to keep them from seeing the Light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." 2 Cor 4:4 ESV. People need Jesus. He is the answer to every question and the ultimate solution to every problem. But, those who are most desperate for the answers He offers are the most unable (or unwilling) to see Him and what He offers.

I pray that perhaps even through the "winter holiday songs" on the new Sting album, people will be pointed to the One who is the way, the truth and the life, and through whom you can know God.