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fifty-five…and counting

I was asked by a dear friend to please do a “birthday blog”…so, since my audience awaits (at least one…)

This past Monday, I turned 55. A speed limit. Double nickels. I qualify for the 10% discount at Jiffy Lube. Five years past half a century, which means that I’ve already passed “middle age,” because I doubt I will live to be 110. Of course, my great-grandmother lived to be 99 and her daughter, my great-aunt, just turned 100. You never know…maybe I got the long-life gene. Suffice it to say, I’m heading well into my second half.

I was privileged to be able to go “home” to my parents’ house in Texas for a few days to celebrate my birthday with them and other family members. That Monday morning, I woke up, walked into the living room, as I did every morning. My dad was already there in his chair, my mom walked in soon after I came in…she walked over to my daddy, put her hand on his shoulder, looked at me with a quizzical expression and asked me, “Do we look old enough to have a 55-year-old?” to which I replied, “Heck, no!”…because honestly, they don’t. Then my mom said, “Well, you don’t look 55 years old.” #happyme

What does 55 look like? When I was little, 55 was ancient. Who am I kidding? THIRTY-FIVE was ancient. Fifty-five is getting younger all the time. And 55 came quick…getting older always does.There’s a saying that goes, “I thought getting older was going to take a lot longer.” Yes.

I know this much about turning 55: I refuse to look at getting older as a tragedy or as a “slippery slope”…it most certainly is not. I EARNED my laugh lines; I EARNED my scars; I EARNED any aches and pains. My prize for living longer and learning more and living deeper and experiencing struggle is grace, joy, confidence and gratitude.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten sharper and at the same time softer in the ways that really matter. As my older self, I don’t ask permission to be here; I don’t apologize for my packaging.

I will be my wonderful, older self and love it. I love my life, I love my people, I love this little silver I’ve been given.

Life is gorgeous. Like Maya Angelou wrote, “Life loves the liver of it.” I will be a big-time life liver, because this is the only one I’ve got, and I am already halfway through.

As I continue to grow older, God willing, I want to say with Paul, “It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.” (Philippians 1:20)

Here’s to a beautiful, life-filled, Christ-honoring second half!

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