Doesn’t it seem like so often in our culture that as we age, we start to dread our birthdays? Have you gotten there yet? If not, good for you! I am days away from the BIG 4-0, and I can hardly believe it! I truly feel like I could be 25 still! Not that I am so young or feel so energetic, but it just doesn’t feel like I’ve been out of high school for more than 20 years!!! But no matter what it feels like, the truth is…. I’m turning 40!!!
And you know what? I am kind of excited about it! You see, about a year and a half ago, I found this post on one of my favorite blogs. In the post, the author discussed how she making a 40 by 40 bucket list.
My Own List!
Seeing how my 39th birthday was fast approaching, I thought, “What a great idea!” However, I was not quite as ambitious, so my list was a bit shorter! But having this date to look forward to gave me a drive and an excitement to get some things done! I wanted to arrive at my 40th birthday with pride in what I had accomplished.
So here I am, a little over a year later, having completed (for the most part) my little “bucket list” and I am quite excited! Over the last year I have taken some guitar lessons, something that I have wanted to do for a long time! I started working out again and shed a few pounds of baby weight (and yes, there’s still more where that came from! =). I also took an Illustrator class from the above mentioned blog and LOVED IT!!! To top it all off, I started this blog after praying about it for years!
And even though I still have room for improvement, overall, I’m pretty happy with my progress! I think my bucket list has allowed me to stop and appreciate the MANY blessings in my life, as well as look forward to all that is ahead!
So this year, instead of dreading counting my candles, I am going to thankfully count my blessings! So, let me tell you about just a few of the blessings that has been poured out on me over the past 40 years!
A Christian Home
What a blessing to say that I was raised in a Christian home. My mom took me to church and even placed me in a Christian school for most of my education. I know all of that took sacrifice, but I believe that my life would have been very different had I not been raised knowing the Lord!
Salvation & Abundant Life
I can’t even begin to express how wonderful it is to know that my soul is in God’s hands! I was saved as a child, and I know God has walked beside me through everything and “will never leave me or forsake me!” Amen! And once we are saved, God promises to give us “life… more abundantly!” How amazing it is that God isn’t just satisfied with our having a ho-hum life! He wants our lives to be full and fabulous!!!
And not only has he saved me and my husband, he has started saving my children! What an awesome God we serve!!!
Growing up, my family was not perfect. My parents divorced and there was addiction in my family but I believe that God allowed me to learn vicariously through many of those circumstances. Today, I have 4 beautiful children (I can hardly believe it!) and a Godly husband that loves me. Are we perfect? No!!! Far from it, but I am so blessed to have a family of my own and we are still growing and learning!
Another great blessing in my life is my church. Growing up, I always kind of thought that I would marry a preacher. Imagine my surprise when I not only ended up marrying a preacher, but one from a completely different faith than I had been raised! God had a special plan even if it was totally different from mine!
And now, one of my greatest joys is to work for the Lord in the church. If you haven’t yet found a way to use your talents for the Lord, ask Him to give you an opportunity! And then, you need to be ready, because God will put you to work! And you will be more excited and plugged into your church (and closer to Him) than ever before!
I grew up in town. It is a small town, but it was in the city limits. When I married my husband, I moved to the country with him, and although I am not a country girl naturally, it is growing on me. It is such a blessing to see my babies running around outside roping fence posts and riding horses. And when I do get a spare minute (which isn’t all that often), I sit on the porch swing and let some of the day’s stress melt away!
I am so thankful that God has told us that His mercies are new “every morning”. As a child of God this means that I can always come back to God and ask Him to help me start fresh! As Christians, I think that this is something that we should offer our children, our spouses, and our friends also!
God has given us so many blessings, but that doesn’t mean that we have to just stop and be content to stay right where we are forever! No! Let’s dream big dreams for God’s glory! Let’s believe that we can be used in mighty ways in our homes and in our communities!
One of my favorite quotes is…
I think it is so awesome to look back on our lives to see all of the wonderful surprises that God had in store for us! Things that we couldn’t have ever dreamed up on our own!
So, let’s continue to be excited about our lives! Let’s look forward to the next chapter that the Lord has planned for us! And let’s keep stretching ourselves so that we can be our best, for our Lord, ourselves, and our families!
Now excuse me, I have a new bucket list to write! 😉
Are there things that you have always wanted to do, but you thought you might already missed the opportunity to do them? Where would you like to be in one year? Please take a minute to share with us in the comments below!