On December 21st I turned 50. A half a century of living. Some call it a milestone, others call it “over the hill,” no wait, that was 40. Some call it just plain old! When my parents turned 50, which I really don’t remember, I was a self-absorbed teenager, so it really didn’t have a lot of bearing on me. It didn’t seem to bother them, or at least they didn’t say anything to me about it. So, I guess it must not have been a big deal for them at that time. It’s really not a big deal to me now, I’m just thankful for another year at this point!
I think about SO many things on such a deep level this time of year. Maybe I have a bit of the Seasonal Affective Disorder some people talk about, I didn’t use to think so but now I’m not sure. I try to keep my mind more focused on spiritual things, especially in the winter, and also try to keep physically active as much as possible.
My Dad died at 51. I knew that was a very young age to pass away and now that I’m hopefully a year away from that, it REALLY seems young! In fact, his death in 1976, was the week after Christmas. This time of year always brings that memory to the surface, or at least it hovers somewhere below the surface in some way, even though it was more than 30 years ago. Naturally, I think about my adoptive Dad more at this time of year than any other. I have to confess, I really don’t remember a lot of details about him. I know he was a hard working man and loved his wife and loved me. He was active in church, read his Bible, loved God and loved others. He didn’t require a lot of “things” and I don’t ever really remember him complaining or raising his voice much at all. My mom is still living. She’s 85 and never re-married. I think about her at this time of year a LOT, especially now that she is getting up in years. I love my adoptive parents and I am grateful to God for placing me in their care here on earth.
Now that I’m into my 50’s I really don’t feel any differently. My friends who are already 50 and beyond say just wait, you’ll feel it soon enough! But I have to confess, my thoughts are, “After what I’ve been through, I’ll take anything!” I’m grateful the Lord has allowed me another year on this earth! The older I get the more staying on this earth seems less and less of a priority. I guess you’re supposed to feel that way as you age. It’s not that I have a death-wish or anything, it’s just that through and since my illness, I’ve come to realize how fragile this life is and hanging on to it, especially as a Believer, isn’t something that is that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. As long as the Lord allows me to live in this foreign land, I’ll gladly do it while I seek to serve Him, treasure Christ and hopefully impact the lives of others in some small way.
Since my birthday falls so close to Christmas, I start having this major collision of thoughts about Christmas and life, time on this earth, the future, the past and a host of other things at this time of year. It’s a time of retrospection for all of us I know. The passing of another year, the shortest days of the year. Time with friends and family can also cause us to become sentimental or in my case, melancholy and VERY emotional.
This year has been different from past years too. I don’t know, I’m in the “Christmas Spirit,” whatever that means, but as quickly as it comes and as fun as the build-up to Christmas is, I’m ready to see it go too. I think maybe I’m more excited about the beginning of a New Year and what the Lord has in store. Yes, I’m going to enjoy Christmas and treasure the time with my family, the gifts and being with friends. But in the back of my mind I’m already looking ahead to next year.
There are going to be a lot of new challenges and several pivotal events in 2011. Our oldest will be going to college, our youngest will start driving, we’ll have some major financial decisions to make (if you feel led to pray about those it would be greatly appreciated and needed), I’m attempting to launch some new musical and ministry ventures, and I’ll be heading toward the 3 year mark of the transplant.
Well, I’ll stop. This has kind been a “stream of consciousness” post. Thanks for reading and I pray you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a Christ-filled New Year!
Until next time!