Christian, gifts from God, Proverbs 31

On Turning 40

I have pondered what a post on the arrival of my 40th birthday would like like, and after much thought I felt a day in the life would provide an reasonable evaluation of where I have come and where I am going. It marks some of the changes in the world over these years as well as the changes within.

40th
I awaken several times thorughout the night and check Facebook and the flight status of my 14 year old son who is on layover in London. My 28 year old son messages me a happy birthday from across town where he lives. He touches my heart with his love and calling me mom. He has not come into our family in the usual manner and his acceptance of my as his mother is something I never take for granted. I fall asleep and am awoken by a text from my husband wishing me a happy birthday. I like my sleep and it’s summer break so I get to sleep in. I have married up. My husband is amazing, hard working and a morning person (but I will not hold that last thing against him.)

airplane
I check email and FB, returning messages to friends thanking them for their birthday greetings. I check the flight status of my 14 year old who is “sitting in a chair in the air” on his first international flight, heading to Kenya for 5 weeks to visit friends. I am a tad anxious for him to be safely on the ground. The phone rings and I climb out of bed, but not in time to catch it. I head back upstairs to put on jeans and a top so I can sit and read. I am barefoot. My husband has gifted me a book on my kindle called The Reason For God by Timothy Keller. I read the introduction and am excited to conitnue on with a chapter a day. I read a chapter in Amos and revel in God’s plan for social justice. I boost my vocabulary by looking up a word I do not know. I pray for my husband and four children. True to form God has ordained today’s Power of a Praying Parent prayer to be about fear. I pray especially for my child who is hovering thousands of feet in the air for him to not be afraid and I pray for my own fears. It is getting late and I head downstairs to the two children who are living at home and have not left the continent. They are having trouble finding something they want for breakfast and when it comes to breakfast I am a pickier eater than they are. I opt to make “brunch”. I burn myself several times as I make bacon and waffles. I freeze the rest of the waffles for future breakfasts. It’s cheaper and better this way, but not something I do often.

Barb 40th
By the time breakfast is over I have mediated several fights between my youngest two and have assisted with Algebra for my daughter’s summer packet. I sit down to a cup of tea and a piece of choclate (I’m 40 years old and it’s my birthday, so if I want to eat choclate in the middle of the morning I can!) Most of what I have eaten today is organically grown, often local, and in the case of tea and chocolate it is fair trade. This matters to me. I send and receive emails from work about my computer which I left at school to be looked at. Apparently, the computer was fine; it was the user who had issues. I’m a teacher not a technology guru. I consider if I will do some reading and teacher preperations today or if I want to put that off for yet another day. I continue to check the British Airways website for flight data.

farm share

At 12:30 we leave our house to go to the organic farm and collect our share. We meet up with friends and spend time picking green beans and herbs, selecting the pre-picked veggies, and wondering why we didn’t bring water on this hot day. I will take my plunder home and cut, blanch, freeze and otherwise prepare these foods for our family to eat now and througout the year. I do not however have a plan for what I will make for dinner tonight. Once home my mother stops by. She lives next door and wanted to wish me a happy birthday. I give her an extra cuccumber from the farm and she goes home for a minute to bring me back a recipe she clipped for me. I love cooking new things and I desperately want to eat all the food the farm has to offer in it’s beautiful variety. The children are not quite as excited by the prospect of eating kale and cabbage and things they haven’t heard of before like garlic scrapes. I overrule them. I am mom. Lunch is late, 3:30 PM, after finally getting word that the plane has landed. I am relieved. I am eating leftovers from last night’s unusual trip to a restaurant for dinner. I am eating things I would have gagged over as a child (artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms) and things you are never too old to enjoy like mac and cheese and french fries. I eat while doing research on human trafficking for the Justice Journey group that I started through my church. Once I conclude this post I will spend time in the kitchen with the farm share and a Netflix movie, bake myself my favorite snack of brownies, and and read a book. I might just start writing the much overdue (One and a half years overdue) annual Christmas letter that almost never comes out at Christmas. I will watch the US women’s Eagles rugby 7’s team 3rd place fishing match in the Rugby 7s World Cup. The game is weeks old and I don’t follow rugby much, but I am writing up a sports pin suggestion for my daughter’s scout troop and I wanted to see this game. I am not a big sports fan, but I love the teamwork of rugby, I loved when my kids played, and I love seeing women being strong. I am becoming a feminist. I intend to spend my night with my family and perhaps a friend or two. I will watch a chick flick. My husband will go to the church to help set up for the Wednesday night service. I will stay home. I love my church, but I am involved in other ministries and can not add this service to my plate. It was a long journey to this place I am at with my church and I am overwhelmed by the blessings. My husband will come home and not stay for the remainder of the verse by verse study through the book of Amos, he will do this because he loves me and wants to spend time with me. I am blessed all the more. I will undoubtably go to bed too late, but happy.

path
I have been many things in the past 40 years: Daughter, sister, friend, grandchild, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, student, youth leader, counselor, homeschooler, mentor, scout leader, and Child of God. I have learned, loved, journeyed, and grown. I could make plans for the next 40 years, but I think it best to say that the journey is what life is about. So I hope to do all those things and more. I hope to travel the world, love others, fight for justice, dream big, risk much, create, pour out my life, and passionately love God. I have witnessed my own journey thus far and it has given me the confidence to know that the next 40 years have so much unbelieveable potential to be tapped. I am excited for this crazy dance of life, for it’s pain and struggles, it’s joy and possibilties, it’s unpredicatbility. This is the great adventure!

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