Last time I posted, I looked ahead to my looming birthday. Now I look back on it. It happened. I survived. And it was one of my best yet.
Both my husband and I were involved in ministering to others. We’ve discovered that the first weekend of November is a very popular one for church retreats. In the past, Steve’s gone to his favorite retreat, The Guys’ Thing, in Northern California, and I’ve hosted 34 college co-eds with Cru in our home—all on our mutual birthday.
I used to feel miffed that other activities competed with my celebration; then I resigned to the fact that, of course, you’d want to plan a weekend event on the one weekend when we “fall back” and gain an hour. And now, I welcome it.
Steve helped with an event called One Day with God at a local church. Select minimum security prisoners and their children–the often neglected casualties–were brought together for a life-changing day of bonding, fun, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
I spoke at a retreat, put on by a nearby church I’ve always admired (one of their pastors helps out with the local Cru group). A delightful former student I used to mentor directed the retreat and asked me to speak.
I loved being with the women; I have many new kindred-spirit friends now. One really fun thing we discovered is that many of their husbands were with mine, at the day for the inmates and their children.
As I prepared for the weekend, I prayed God would use my words—that they’d in fact be his words. The women tell me that happened.
The theme of the weekend was Being Renewed. I used water as a metaphor for renewal, and to illustrate the point, it poured all weekend!
I followed the Samaritan woman at the well throughout the series (John 4). Friday night, I spoke on The Wellspring of Life: Your Heart Renewed. The next morning the topic was Overflowing Streams: Your World Transformed.
As Steve embarked on his eighth decade of life (what?!) and I nestled in comfortably to my seventh, we turned the calendar page while giving to others. There’s no better way to celebrate a birthday.