Two Words on My Birthday
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
It seems to happen in the blink of an eye. One day you’re young and out to change the world, and the next day you turn around and six decades have flown by while you were simply living ‘one day at a time!’
Don’t scoff, my friend. If you haven’t yet experienced this phenomenon, your day will come (barring the undesirable alternative, of course). And when it does, you may find yourself — as indeed I have — in deep contemplation
“How have I spent this one wild and beautiful life?”
“For Your mercy and Your grace, Constant through another year, Hear our song of thankfulness, Father and Redeemer, hear! Keep us faithful, keep us pure, Keep us evermore Your own; Help, O help us to endure; Fit us for the promised crown.” (hymn by Henry Downton 1818-1885)
Today is my birthday – a significant one actually. Okay, there. I said it. Out loud. To all the world. And now I only have one more thing to say. Really. Two words on my birthday:
- Thank You, GOD, for the gift of Life and Health — and Your Grace and Mercy which allow me to go forth each day seeking to make a difference….
- Thank You, MAMA & DADDY, for making sure I was deeply loved, fully provided for and graciously launched into life with a Bible/Newspaper in one hand and a Map/Etiquette book in the other….
- Thank You, FAMILY. You might not have chosen me as kinfolk, but you have certainly stuck by me all these years and shown up at the most crucial times with casseroles, music, gifts and all kinds of advice…
- Thank You, MIKE, for choosing me and loving me sacrificially for 35 years. Wow. No words. You are the Love of my life always….
- Thank You, FRIENDS, who have the courage to sometimes say the hard things when I need to hear them, but who always remind me in countless ways that I am never alone….
- Thank You, COLLEAGUES in writing, speaking, teaching and ministry, because you indeed “know-what-my-life-is-like” as you push me towards excellence and integrity in response to my calling….
- Thank You READERS & LISTENERS of my many attempts at creatively communicating “encouraging words” that impart Life and Purpose and Power. My passion really is “helping you choose a life of serenity & strength!” As long as the doors keep opening, I’ll keep walking through — pen and microphone in hand….
- Thank You, JUSTIN, TIM, FIONA & TIM and MAGGIE & STEPHEN for allowing me the ultimate privilege of figuring out this whole motherhood thing as we grew up together. Thank you for Saoirse, Hugh, and Thomas – a delight in my life this day! You indeed are my deepest Joy, my greatest Lifework…. May you never forget these simple yet profound truths: “Life is hard. God is good. All the time.”
So today, May 23, 2018, my heart is full. My life is full. (and my stomach is probably pretty full too by the time you read this and I’ve indulged in some celebration treats). Birthdays have a way of bringing life into perspective, don’t they? No, my life did not turn out the way I always imagined it would (we all have so many more challenges and struggles than the world will ever see, don’t we?), but it did turn out exactly the way God planned and allowed. He is sovereign. He holds all my days in the palm of His hand. And He will be the One to lead me into the future as I fully embrace each new day, hoping there will be many more occasions to ‘prove the promises of God.’
“My work is loving the world… Are my boots worn? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.” ~ Mary Oliver “Messenger
I taught my children that when they receive a gift, the only proper response is “Thank you.” I have received the Gift of many years… and all I can say is “Thank You.”
under the mercy, Lucinda
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”
©2018 Lucinda Secrest McDowell http://www.EncouragingWords.net
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