Today’s my birthday.
Over the years that has meant a lot of different things for me. Excitement. Anticipation. Disappointment. Anxiety. For at least a good decade (26ish – 36ish), birthdays seemed to mean little more than a reminder of what wasn’t. I wasn’t married. I wasn’t a mother. I wasn’t making some life-altering contribution to the world. I wasn’t fulfilling dreams or even taking advantage of opportunities right in front of me. I wasn’t fully living the life I had been given to live (this, I somehow just knew intuitively).
Year after year, I blamed the universe (and often God), for not giving me the life I was “supposed” to have…the life I even thought I somehow “deserved.” Part of that time, there was a veneer of confidence as I stubbornly tried to make my own way by earning degrees, starting a business, focusing on a career, building a social profile, etc. In the end, it was in vain. A lesson taken straight from the wisdom of King Solomon: I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. (Ecclesiastes 1:14).
First, full disclosure: I do not have kids.
Over the course of life I have helped raise many as a nanny and am P.A.N.K. (Professional Auntie No Kids) to three nephews and four nieces as well as Aunt Chelle to many wee ones across the country. It’s fun. And, while there was a time that I wept over whether or not I would ever rock a baby to sleep, I now embrace this life that God has given me whole-heartedly. I even consider it a “bonus” that I get to sleep in and eat ice cream for breakfast if I want to!
All that said, interesting that God would give me this little nugget of insight into the whole parenting thing.
First, a bit of context: I’m a fundraiser. A common saying shared among those in my profession is “you can’t take it with you.” Or, if you prefer, a more picturesque version, “you never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul.” So out of nowhere one day last fall, I began thinking about this: other than STUFF, what else do we try to store up here on earth?
Scott Schofield works in a family court helping spouses, siblings, parents and children work their way through a variety of legal thickets. He loves to write, but his Accepting Responsibility blog: www.acceptingresponsibility.com is currently on hiatus until inspiration returns. Scott and his wife Nancy are empty-nesters living in Michigan, where he is an avid reader and fitness enthusiast. He worships weekly at what has come to be known as a “mega-church”, where on one Sunday a month he serves as greeter, saying “Good morning!” several hundred times. Scott’s greatest achievement is being named “World’s Best Grandpa”, a title verified by the coffee mug he has possessed for the last five years.
He stood at the bottom of the long staircase with a glass slipper in his hand. She slowly descended. Cinderella was no longer wearing the stunning blue gown she had worn at the ball.
The tattered dress she now wore was made no more colorful by the once-white smock that covered it. Gone too were the diamonds and pearls.
Smudges of fireplace ash had replaced her makeup. Cinderella knew her foot would fit effortlessly into the shoe he held; of that she had no doubt. It was something else that caused her concern. With each step down the stairs she wondered: “Look at me. I’m not a princess. I’m just a plain country girl. This is the real me. Do you truly love me? Will you take me just as I am?” Continue reading
Mary Jackson is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an athlete and most importantly, a child of God whose heart’s desire is to glorify Him – even if only He sees. She and her husband, Morgan, have traveled to nearly every continent of the world where they have seen countless lives impacted by experiencing God’s Word in the heart language through the ministry Faith Comes By Hearing. She lives a life that counts in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
My husband and I love hiking in the high country of Colorado. We go every summer. I’m a big fan of nature and God has shown me many aspects of His nature through the outdoors. He has also taught me many lessons. This one is about the beauty of wildflowers……..
His creation ALWAYS astounds me, blesses me and humbles me! I think it’s the wildflowers that always get to me……they bloom right where they are, beautiful and radiant whether they are seen by any eyes or not. Their existence is brief but beautiful and most often ONLY witnessed by God alone. Their sole purpose is to glorify Him! Continue reading
Not long ago, I was honored when a friend asked me to be part of a special gift for her daughter’s 13th birthday. She was compiling a keepsake book and had asked some friends to share some encouraging words. What a blessing for her to have. What a blessing for me to write.
To Macy (on this milestone birthday):
At 40-something, single/never married and the most content and happy to serve Jesus that I have ever been in my life, this is what I WISH someone would have told me at 13…
The Creator of the Universe made YOU in His Image because He saw that it was good to do so. He made YOU with incredible forethought and special design to do things on this earth and have experiences and be in relationships that only YOU can do and be in. Continue reading