Wednesday, February 10, 2016

40 Things I Love about My Forties!

Today is my 45th Birthday. I like my age, and I'm glad for every one of the 45 years I've lived. They'll be no whining about the fact that reading glasses are now a required accessory or that I can't pack away the ice cream like I used to. I love the changing seasons of life, each one bringing new hopes and dreams into focus. 

So as I hit the half-way mark through my forties, I thought I'd list 40 things I love about my forties--so far. Ready?

Thus far, in my forties...
  1. I learned to speak French!
  2. I fell in love with comté, vouvray, and fois gras.
  3. I saw both my boys graduate from high school.
  4. I learned to knit.
  5. I became a "grand voyageur" according to SNCF, the French rail system.
  6. I started seminary.
  7. I tried to write a book, and failed, but didn't regret trying!
  8. I went to Spain, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, and Greece for the first time.
  9. I started learning calligraphy.
  10. I went through a "dark night of the soul" and lived to tell about it.
  11. I came to terms with my apostolic and prophetic gifting, and gave up trying to fit into the "good Christian woman" box.
  12. I made the switch to an iPhone and did not lose my soul.
  13. I fell more and more and more in love with David.
  14. I got a Dutch God-daughter!
  15. I learned to love community prayer. I learned to need community prayer.
  16. I changed my view about the role of women in the church.
  17. I stopped driving (except when I'm in the States) and learned to rely on public transportation.
  18. I stopped buying clothes that are "Made in China." I started buying Fair Trade Coffee.
  19. I discovered Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises--and did them. And keep doing them.
  20. I learned to practice the discipline of Silence. Every. Single. Day.
  21. I became a "third culture" person. No longer fully American, yet never fully French.
  22. I kept running, even though I would have liked to have quit.
  23. I stopped eating or drinking anything with artificial sweeteners and greatly reduced my sugar intake at the same time.
  24. I became a church planter.
  25. I marveled at the wisdom of my young adult children. 
  26. I found that I love to read memoirs.
  27. I learned to wear scarves. And boots. And even bikinis.
  28. I made amazing friends at George Fox Evangelical seminary--Shout out to Cohort 14!
  29. I have a deepening appreciation of God's work in my life.
  30. I participated in the Leighton Ford Mentoring Community, which ministered to me in deep and healing ways.
  31. I skied in the Alps. Lots of times.
  32. I learned to make Tartiflette. Yum-o!
  33. I started putting honey in my tea.
  34. I lost a house, and realized, in the end, I didn't need a house anyway.
  35. I discovered the band Of Monsters and Men (Thanks, Graham!)
  36. I preached a lot. In French. But I also learned that I don't need to preach. My identity is no longer tied to my gifts.
  37. I crocheted an Angry Birds hat and a stuffed Hobbes (from Calvin and Hobbes). Those are my favorite things I've ever made!
  38. I  reached the expert level of Hot Shots Golf on the Play Station (Thanks, Chan!)
  39. I finally read Richard Foster's classic book on Prayer and regretted waiting so long to read it.
  40. I am less and less sure of me, and more and more sure of Jesus.