Words of My Life 1: Celebrate
So much celebrating. 50 years on staff with Cru and 70 years of life on earth!
It started with a small gathering daughter Debbie pulled together in Texas—mostly long-time friends, some I have hardly seen in decades, others more frequent visits. A very sweet time. I felt loved and remembered.
I arrived home on my birthday in time for the Orlando Corporate 5K race/walk. Steve always opens the event in prayer, and this time he invited me to join him on the platform, informed the crowd eager to run (or walk, in my case) that it was a milestone birthday for me, and thanked all 18,000 of them for coming to celebrate with me. Really fun!
As the 400 plus Cru runners and walkers finished their race and arrived at our tent for dinner, I was wished well and long over and over. A yummy chocolate cake appreared, followed by fireworks over Lake Eola. Though the fireworks were probably for the race, my friends all agreed they were a fitting end to my birthday celebration.
However, I believe every birthday merits at least a week of celebration. And a milestone birth anniversary and a serving the Lord jubilee warrant significantly more.
So the party continued two nights later. My husband invited 100 of my closest friends and family for a little Texas-style celebration. Yummy food, two beautiful cakes and kind affirmations from many people. Especially from my husband, who was almost effusive in his affirmation and encouragement to me. So sweet, so humbling.Then my three sisters came for our biannual get together, landing on top of my double celebration. We had such fun—talking, eating, shopping, sightseeing, walking on the beach, working puzzles and playing games. A delightful week together, with numerous mentions of my birthday and our ages.Which brings me to “what next?”
Celebrating and remembering are wonderful. I believe God celebrates us and we should to0.But soon I have to go on living. And when you celebrate the milestones I have, you have to ask some questions:
About the years thus far: How do I feel about the years thus far? Highlights? Lowlights? The in between? Who are the loved and loving people in my life? What do I wish had been different? What am I most pleased with? Those kinds of questions.
About the years to come: How many? I don’t know? What dreams and passions to I still have? What matters most to me—to be, to do, to be remembered for? How much energy do I have? What is God calling me to be and do with the rest of my life?
I’m asking these questions over time—of myself, of those close to me, and most of all of God.I hope to share the answers I hear over the next year—I believe in year-long celebrations. God seems to be giving me key words of the past, present and future, and at least once a month I will seek to write up how I believe these words will influence and be lived out in the future. Perhaps God will use some of my words to speak to you.
What about you? What can you celebrate? What is God saying about your future?
C 2014 Judy Douglass