my belated reflections on my 40th birthday…
the word that comes to mind is Abundance.
The months leading up to my 40th birthday, I would more accurately describe with words like loss, brokenness and pain. Thankfully, God did not leave me there, but brought me to a place of seeing the Abundant love he has lavished on me, the Abundant grace and mercy He has shown me, and the Abundance of people in my life he has blessed me with who love and support me.
I’ve had some great opportunities to process this advancement of my age with family and friends in the recent past and presently. Some themes have emerged. One friend said, “Turning 40 gives you freedom to finally be an adult.” Yes! it does. It also calls me to be one. I have not fully embraced that reality in the past. I am an adult .. whether I always want to be or not!
The final arrival of my 40th birthday has also signified for me an opportunity to ‘reset’, to turn a corner, to do things differently. A new beginning of a new chapter of life. For some it may be just another day. For me, my 40th birthday falls at a time where I’m excited (and perhaps a bit scared too) to make some changes.
So, back to abundance .. I like this word and what it means and represents. I realize I live more often in scarcity. Expecting less of myself, assuming less of others, and worst of all, not seeing the abundance that I’ve been given by God.
It didn’t take me long to find many references in scripture to God’s abundant love and mercy that he gives to us.
Here are just a few.
Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind.
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The psalmist speaks again and again of God’s abundance, in His love, His mercy, His power.
Jesus then speaks in John 10:10 of how He has come to give abundant life.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
- present in great quantity; more than adequate; over-sufficient.
- well supplied; abounding.
I have definitely discovered in new ways this year, God’s abundant love for me .. in that He knows me completely and loves me anyway. The abundance of His grace in giving me what I do not deserve, eternal salvation because of the gift of His Son who paid the penalty for my sins; past, present and future. And the abundance of mercy He continues to show me daily .. saving me from myself, my selfish choices and messes .. His mercies are new every morning .. I have known that and needed that.
So, as I mark this 40th year of my life and all that it has brought, I’m happy to celebrate God’s gift of abundance in my life.
I am so thankful for my amazing family, and many dear friends.
I’m happy I was able to celebrate this special birthday with some family and friends this weekend!
Some snapshots of the evening . . .
drinks in the kitchen
getting food set in the dining room
my mom and sisters were a great help and support and was so special to have them celebrate with me!
My dear friend Donna, with Jon’s help, planned a surprise .. she arrived, from California, just minutes before the party started .. I still can’t believe it! Was sooo happy to have her here!
Cheryl and Kelley .. college and high school friends came out from the burbs to help celebrate!
our game was a ‘white elephant’ gift exchange in which I provided the gifts .. accessories of all sorts from friends’ closets and Good Will.
so blessed to have so many dear friends all together!