It’s late, almost midnight, and I’m not tired quite yet. In seven minutes, before this even gets posted, it will be my 61st birthday. Well, I guess it won’t officially happen until sometime around 9:32 or so tomorrow evening. I always get reflective before my birthday. I think about the year in review and all the things that I have experienced. Some good – some not so good.
This is the first birthday that neither Janet nor I have any parents living. That’s a new reality for me. We’ve just moved and that has brought to the forefront the passing of time – after all, we have lived in our last two homes a total of 25 years. How different our lives look than they did a quarter of a century ago. Our kids are all older and our grandchildren as well. I’m more pensive than I was a year ago. I tend to carry the burdens of father and husband a little differently than I did a year ago. I feel like I have aged a little.
And ever since I passed the age that my father passed away, I guess I always wonder a little whether I am on borrowed time. That’s one of my dark secrets, mind you. This year, I will be six years older than my Dad was when he died at age 55 – back when I was 25. I wonder if my parents would be proud of me and the decisions that I have tried to make as a husband and father. Do we ever get over wondering if our parents would be proud of us? Sometimes, I feel a little lonely this time of year. It’s been a long time since I heard my parents wish me a Happy Birthday.
The birthdays also seem to be passing more quickly than they did years ago. I know people always say that, but I have found it to be true. I’m just not ready to be considered older. Admittedly, some days I feel older, but that’s not how I want to live my life. I think a little more about retirement than I used to. I even think the new house had a little to do with that. Kind of setting Janet and me up for the next season of our lives together. I really like the new place – already feels like we have lived here for years. And friends – how I have been blessed with good Christian friends. Accountability partners who know me – warts and all – and hold me accountable for my actions; and who call me out when I get a little off base. It would be tough to do life well without them.
But mostly, I reflect on how I am doing as a man of God and how I can be a spiritual leader of the family – in alignment with God’s direction for our family. I’ve got a long way to go – but I do keep trying to do better year after year. By the way, there is a little bit of excitement about my special day – kind of like Christmas Eve and wondering what the morning will bring.
Right now, it’s so quiet. And yes, it’s 12:13 am. I guess it’s here… What should I focus on this next year? What’s important to God about my life in the next twelve months? How can I be a better husband to Janet, the love of my life, who I have now known for 55 years? I couldn’t ask for a better wife – she’s s soulmate and that’s all there is to it. Not only did I choose her, but she chose me, and God chose both of us to be together.
It feels nice to grow older together. Comfortable, cozy, familiar, right… Through all the trials and tribulations, here we sit after all these years – the ups and the downs, the joys and the heartaches, the rejoicing and even the anguish as we have dealt with sickness and death, financial reversals and typical child issues – as all parents have.
Tomorrow evening is also the third anniversary of this blog. How many stories and memories have come flooding out on the pages of Transitions for the past three years! Sometimes I can’t believe that it is still going strong – it’s been a blessing and a discipline to keep me focused on my devotional time with God. But more about that tomorrow. I’m still reflecting this evening.
The verse for tonight is one I think about often. As much as I think about the past, I just can’t predict the future. And as I have said before, I am on a “need to know” basis with God. Usually God only reveals the next step to me. And that is sufficient – He knows the full story, all the days of my life – past and future – and exactly where I am on that journey. Truly, only God knows. From Ps. 139:13,16, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb – your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Wow! It’s still hard to believe that God knows every hair on my head and all the days of my life – how exciting, and how important I am to Him. By the way, so are you. That’s my encouragement this evening. You are important to God! He loves you more than you know. And my prayer is that you will take time to reflect on your relationship with Him and how you can do even better next year. Even if it isn’t the eve of your birthday – in the wee hours of the morning – at 12:42 am. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…