Birthdays…

I’m thirty-twelve today… sounds better than forty-two, don’t you think?

I’ve heard so many phrases about age:

  • You’re only as old as you feel
  • Age is just a number
  • You’re not getting older, you’re getting better

You can probably add a few to the list as well.  I don’t particularly agree with any of the phrases – I have my own philosophy about birthdays and, while I’m not thrilled with being another year older, I think that changing my attitude about each passing year will make a difference in each notch I get to make in my birthday belt.

You see, today I realized that I have likely passed the half-way point of my life.   The Center for Disease Control tells me that women in the U.S., on average, live to be around 80.6 years old.  Sure, I may see a few more years and live to be 90 or more… but the odds are against me. The question I ask myself isn’t “how many years have passed?” Rather, it’s “how many years do I have left to make a difference?”

I’ll try to explain.

For me, the first twenty years of my life were spent being pretty self-centered. The next twenty years of my life were spent changing diapers, working to put food on the table, feeding kids, cleaning up after kids, doing laundry, taxiing children to various events, etc., etc., etc.  These all are important, and they DO make a difference in the  lives of others (primarily the children…) – but I’ve reached the conclusion that life is about far more than just keeping up or getting by. What about the next twenty to forty years?

For me, life is about being completely filled and completely emptied each and every day.  I don’t want to meander through my days with a mindset of mediocrity.  When I wake up each  morning, I’m reminded that I may not have tomorrow, so I better make today count!  I’ve been given a personality, gifts, and talents that God has entrusted to me… little old me… to make a difference in the lives of others.  In fact, Colossians 3:23 tells me that I should “work willingly at whatever [I] do, as though [I was] working for the Lord rather than for people.” (New Living Translation). If you are a follower of Christ, you understand the impact of this statement.   It’s like God is saying, “Hey! Don’t be a slacker!  Do your best no matter what you are doing or who you are working for!  Do everything like it’s for Me!” 

Like the manna that God gave to the Israelites (you can find this story in Exodus 16), I believe we are to use the gifts God has given us without reserve.  God gave just enough manna for each day to the Israelites, and they were to hold nothing in reserve (v. 19), but instead to rely on God for the next day’s gift… and the next… and the next. You see, if we empty ourselves each and every day – by giving, by encouraging, by using whatever “gifts” we have been given – we are truly living out a life that will make a difference.  A life that will impact others and, in the process, leave a lasting legacy for those who may follow in our footsteps.

So, am I sad about turning thirty-twelve?  Well, maybe for just a moment – but I’ve got a lot to do and only about 38.6 more years to make a difference, so I can’t linger in sadness for long. I have a legacy to leave, after all.

Be blessed!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kace
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 14:14:15

    I love you and I love this new blog. 🙂

    Reply

  2. LAPenick
    Jan 18, 2011 @ 19:24:40

    Jody,
    I SO resonate with this communication. As a fellow “blogger”, I wrote on this entitled “Life is Short”. Each day we wake up, we have received the gift of a new day by His grace, and we are to live it for Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, and with the talents, abilities and resources He has given us. How many opportunities have we missed in a day because we were too self-absorbed? How many of us live in automatic pilot without real spiritual sensitivity to everything that goes on around us? Live it for Him, and we will get to make the impact He wanted us to make in the first place.

    Keep writing, friend!!

    Blessings,
    Lee Ann

    Reply

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