Happy Birthday! When you blow out your candles ponder over these things and whatever else your heart tells you to focus on.
40-something. You’re about half way through life, old BraveHeart. Half way.
So let’s live backwards from your 90th birthday cake. We should always Live backward from the end goal. Look at who’s in the room singing off tune on your 90th birthday — and who are you making room for right now?
I want to be the weathered woman of 9 decades, still excited about life and God and grace, hunched over her cake, looking around a room of babies slung on hips and grinning teenagers and the gathering of the generations. I hope they sing old hymns and new style praise songs. I want to sing Amazing Grace to this group and recite Psalm 23 by heart and count our blessings together and eat cake.
I envision a rising of accents and the richness of skin colours and a poverty of spirit that knows the luckiness of Jesus-grace, and I hear the raucous of a room of the gloriously rowdy and live your life backwards from that last birthday cake. (Ann Voskamp)
What are my priorities that will be celebrated at this 90th birthday party? These are the things I’m focusing on now. My principles for this 90 year life.
1. Keep young people around. Especially the little people. They see things you are bound to miss without them. Thank you Jordan for focusing on love, hugs, kisses, fun and sweetness. Making a small person one of your greatest priorities makes your life great.
2. Read! Read the Bible. Reread books that touched you when you were younger. Read things that show you how to be a more compassionate human being. Read up on a new interest area. Learn something new.
3. Stay in love. I’m holding on to this with all my life. Stay in touch, stay in truth and grace, and stay in the Story and, above all else: stay in love. Life is too short to move on to anything else. And mid-life is flat-out begging you: Risk it all. Risk large, risk now, risk your heart, risk for what ultimately matters.
Go back to school. Go reconcile. Go make it right. Invest in a dream that terrifies you. Do the hard thing that terrifies you. Start a business, a class, a soup kitchen, a friendship, a dinner club, a memoir, a church, a marathon, a family. Just start. Start over.
4. You life is art. Rake the risk and create! Risk is your friend who walks with you where you want to go. Risk is the friend who knows the way to where you want to go. Enjoy risk’s company.
5. Live into something bigger than you, that will require more than you, that will require faith and hope and miracles and God.Why waste your one life on any one’s small box?
6. Our God is a good God. Pray to Him. Make your life a prayer.Make your work your worship, make your days your doxology, make your life your liturgy, and make Christ your only King. Your work may burn up or cause you to burn out, but the prayers enfolded into the stacks of laundry, the stirred soup, the stairs swept — they will survive fire.
7. The cure to anxiety and an overwhelmed life begins with a daily overdose of Scripture. (Keep trying to memorize it)
Leave a Bible open to the Psalms by the sink, on the desk, at the table, eat His book every time you eat because the truth is: Stay in His Story to stay walking on waves.
What you focus on — is what you become like.
What you focus on — is what you become like.
Focus on good — and you’ll see more good everywhere to focus on.
8. Give more grace than advice.
9. You integrity is you only legacy. Hunger for integrity more than popularity, celebrity, or prosperity, — because your integrity is your only legacy.
10. Being broken is good. It keeps you soft and open and things can grow in soft and open spaces.
Let the rains come down into the soil of your heart, let whatever needs to rain simply come, and grow whatever He needs to grow, however He needs to grow it, because He reigns and knows what is best, and in our tender surrender, the glory of our God wins.
There may be another 40-something years left, there may only be another 16,425 days left.
And honestly? As many days, as moments, between here and 90, or as many remain?
At this 90-something party, I want to eat the cake of amazing grace. Pay attention to God. Pay attention to my family. Worship God in all that I do.
Be grateful, live given, show grit.
I am a part of that epic story just as you are a part of that epic story! Your life will be celebrated in glory because you were created and imagined by a loving, beautiful, glorious Savior who cares for you. (Psalm 139:23-24)
Have a piece of that amazing grace cake!