Milestones are those moments in your life when you realize that you have achieved something of significance. We have all had milestones in our life, no matter how young or old we may be. That's the neat thing about milestones - we get to make them whatever we want. Think about it. I am sure that if you reflect long enough, there are many milestones you have achieved over the course of your life. Typically, these are times when we take a moment, sigh, smile to ourselves, or even feel a little gitty on the inside.
Today is a milestone in my life. I turned 50 today. I have to share, that ever since I was diagnosed with cancer, I take each birthday as a special gift from God - another year that I was given that I didn't think I would have. Another year with my family, my friends; another year to do the work our Dear Lord believes I can do. Yet I see the "decade" years as being fairly significant. So this one was extra special. Yet, I didn't realize the love and laughter the Lord was truly going to provide for me on this special birthday.
My wonderful family and friends, totally behind my back, have been sneaking and planning an entire birthday weekend. From Friday night until tonight, we have been celebrating! An incredible dinner at a wonderful restaurant, which I thought was for our immediate family, was joined by my brother's family from Virginia and long-time friends from New Jersey. Yes, they all weathered the weekend traffic and came to New Hampshire to celebrate. So many laughs, and tears, were shared around the table. Saturday brought another afternoon party with our family and close local friends. A beautiful day of summer fun was had by everyone. All of this was one surprise after another.
As the weekend continued, I couldn't help but speak to my Lord and give thanks for all of those around me; those that worked so hard to make it a weekend for us to remember for a lifetime. My husband, my mother, my children, my friends, all made this a time of celebration. These dear people supported me through much in my life, sickness, death of loved ones, pain & suffering in love. Yet, these dear people were now also here in laughter and joy, happiness and love.
The reflection continues today. Our Lord provides. There will be darkness and sadness in our lives. Jesus tells us that in John 16:33. Yet, he also promises peace. With peace comes joy, and happiness. Once again, reflect with me. Maybe you are going through difficult times now, struggles that you aren't sure why might be happening to you. Take heed in the Lord. He will help you, strengthen you, provide you hope. We need to have the Simple Faith that he asks us to have in him and him alone. When we do, he shares greatness and love greater than we could ever imagine. Love in places, people, and times we might least expect it. When his love shines through others, take hold of it. Grab on to it. Don't let it go.
To all those that read this blog that celebrated with me this weekend, I thank you. I thank you for the memories we reminisced over and the new ones made, the laughter we shared morning, noon and night, and the smiles that never seemed to dim. Most importantly, I thank you for the love you have shown me, for God lives in each of us and shines through us all. Blessings and hope to everyone - here's to your milestone!!
"No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." (NIV) 1 John 4:12