My wish for each of you….

Amazing to me that we are already at December 22 and Christmas is only 3 days away. So much of life passes quickly and I can’t quite believe we are approaching 2011.

I got to thinking about those of you who I know read my blog and the many I do not have a face for. I began to reflect on what I wish for each of you….even if I am not sure exactly who you are. Let me share some of my wishes for you….

I desire to live fully in the moment…I wish the same for you.

Living in the moment free’s us up to enjoy what we have, right now. I know what can be lost living in the past or worrying about the future. I hope you will choose to live fully in the moment at some point every day.

I desire to live with a sense of adventure and risk but also to be content and at peace…I wish the same for you.

I believe that living with a sense of adventure and risk calls us to live at the edge of our comfort zone. I try to find some space there every day, space where I am thinking, acting, believing something risky or adventurous. But if I live only in this space, I miss the gift I can experience of contentment and peace. Lots of things in life are not right or just and much of what I see (and sometimes experience) is unfair, but I am learning to develop the space in my own heart, mind and soul that is about peace and contentment, even when my circumstances are difficult.

I desire to live with a generous spirit but to hold enough that allows me to provide for myself and those I love…I wish the same for you.

I am learning the balance of giving to others and ensuring I am wise in what I keep for myself. This has to do with my financial and emotional reserves. It is my hope that you will not cling to anything out of fear, but risk giving away what you find yourself clinging to. I pray that if you give so much away, ignoring your own needs, that you will risk saving for yourself and those you love.

I desire to live a healthy and balanced life…I wish the same for you.

I am learning about healthy and balanced. I know that this looks different for everyone and where I need healthy and balanced is likely different from where you need to focus. It is my wish that you will identify a key area or two and start to make changes….changes that will bring you the delight of living in a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

I love the feeling of family, friends and fun, of laughter and understanding. I delight in shared heartache and joint celebration. I enjoy the power of community, the after glow of good connections and the power of solitude. I hope that in 2011, my day-to-day will hold some of all of those….I wish the same for you….

Goodbye to 40…

Hello to 41…

It is my last day of being 40. Better than the last day of my 40’s! I am excited for a new beginning.  I know that when I wake up tomorrow it is not like anything new really begins,  but I am at a point where I believe so much is unfolding in my life. When I started this blog in August, I wrote the following:

I realize that I am journeying through some pretty significant places in my life right now….turning 40, realizing that seeking God does not always mean finding Him and so grateful that finding Him still gives me a sense of amazement. i recognize that God is calling for transformation of my heart and in that process I am shedding extra weight and discovering and uncovering my body….I enjoy the mystery of each day more than the predictability and I love the way life unfolds in the most unexpected of ways.

I would say that today as I look at turning 41, so much of those words still resonate as true. The journey I am on right now is leading me to be more content in my heart. I understand more what it means to trust God with my life and yours. I feel less of a need to rescue and invade other’s lives and more willing to enjoy where I am at.  In that I can wonderfully enjoy the experience of sharing what others  invite me to.

I am more confident that God is everywhere and yet more amazed at where He reveals Himself to me. I love the conversations I have with my nieces and nephews, ages 4 to 17 (since Johanna isn’t talking yet) that reveal to me the freshness of life and all it holds.

I enjoy waking up each morning ready to live the mystery of the day, wondering what I will reflect on at the end of each day that I never expected when I ventured out the door.

But hear me say this, my journey is far from all joy and celebration. I see and experience the depth of the valley and know all to well the cry of my heart and have shared in the tears of others.  Life is not simple and it is not by any means easily understood nor explained. I expect that to remain true all thru my forties, fifties, sixties and beyond.

But this is true as I turn 41….

I am grateful for the journey of my heart, the truth of God’s promises and the faithful example of my parents about how to live in Faith. I am blessed by family and friends who are willing to love me and allow me to share in loving them. I am passionate about my work and so thankful for the relationships I have enjoyed over the years from Sylvan Christian, Holland Christian, Calvin College and Western Michigan University.  Then there was children’s ministry at Sunshine Community Church, my first Social Work job at Three Rivers Area Hospital Hospice,  facilitating children coming home through adoptions with All God’s Children International, serving alongside my soul mates in Open Hearts Ministry, through the blood, sweat and tears of my Fitness North community and in faithful day-to-day service at Visiting Angels of West Michigan. I am a fortunate woman who recognizes every day the goodness of God in my life.

And I will continue to live fully in my 41st year. I have high hopes and a vision for myself and a few other things. I would imagine that life will bring a variety of events, emotions and experiences in the next 365 days…I hope many of you will share in much of that with me.

Every morning as I come down my steps, I see these words…Awake my soul and sing….that is my hope for this coming year!