Today I wanted to reflect on the past years of my life. What better way than to open the journals o f my past and share a few thoughts from the pages of my heart. Each entree is taken from my birthday at specific ages.
15yr.-"Hello Lord, I am trying to pack for Black Butte and winter clothes take up to much room. I am really going to truly dedicate my life to you each and every day. Please be patient with me. I have a lot to learn and it is so hard to always be nice. So I pray this year you show me how to be nice. Thanks Jesus."
16 yrs.-"Hello Lord, It's been a busy day and I just wanted to say hi. Thank you for loving me, you are my Savior."
17yr.-"My sweet friend, thanks for a lovely birthday. After having some family time I went and picked up a carload of Young Life girls and took them caroling. Thank you Lord for my life. Please show me how to make you real in my heart. I want to be open and honest with you always. Good Night Jesus."
18 yr.-"Here I am alone in this big ol' house. People often wonder how I can stay here all by myself. Lord you are my God. I can truly say I fear nothing but your power. So tonight Lord please watch over me and keep me in your care. Kirk and Karen are driving down from Seattle and then we are going to Black Butte. I am so excited and can't wait. These past few weeks have been hard and confusing. Thanks that I got off work early and everyone was so kind to me with gifts and cards."
19yr.-"Wow, I have not journal ed in such a long time. It takes to much time to write down the eventful things in my life. When I am in my grave, my grandchildren will read this and wonder what I actually did while growing up"
20yr."Today is so exciting. Before Jon caught the bus to go south to visit his family for Christmas he gave me a birthday card and guess what SANDI PATTI concert tickets. I was so excited. Had a big family dinner with lots of good food and gifts. Mom gave me this gold chain she picked up in Greece. I will never take it off. My life is so cool. Thanks God."
21yr." Statement of Purpose-Celebrate the life of God. Cultivate personal growth in Christ, and Communicate Christ to the world. My life seems so full and filled with much adventure. Jesus is Lord of my life. With Christ in my heart I will always experience joy. Thank you dear Father for giving me another year to serve you. I live at 1101 17th Ave. Apt. 201. I don't ever want to forget this address. I want to remember this address forever as it is my first home. I attend the Seattle Art Institute. I live alone, which does not bother me. I enjoy the quiet and am able to work without distractions. My apartment is rather charming. I can catch the bus to school. Mostly I walk rain or shine. Living at the top of the Seattle gives me a beautiful walk down to Elliott Bay. Going home to be with family for Christmas."
22yr.-"What a busy day. I was able to meet with a few of my Young Life girls. I miss them so much. I pray for each one of them Tricia, Kelley,Kim, Kathy,Trina, Caroline, Rashae. Jennifer. We all giggled and laughed and ate to much junk food. I love hearing the bits of pieces of what is going on in their lives. Lord thank you for Sheri Post. She is so funny and has a heart for You. Wow, what a busy day. Happy Birthdays are a lot of social events. My jaw hurts from laughing, and my stomach hurts from not enough good food."
23yr."I am a mother, and I am going to make this little boys life worth living. Help me to know how to love a baby. It's kind of scary to think that it will be my face that he sees everyday.
24yr. "The need for you in each day is great. I am so thankful that you are there when I talk with you through out each day. I may not write in this journal often, but everyday I do want more of You. My problem is finding that time to sit and meditate on your word. Maybe as the kids get older I will find a better routine. I am tired tonight. Being a mom is a hard job. I love you Jesus"
25yr. "I never thought I would be a mom who actually can delight in her children. I guess since my childhood was so rugged I assumed that I would struggle, yet God you show me that through You I can make a new life even for my mothering. Emily is humming away. I think she picked that up from Elliot. They are such great playmates. I love most the cheerful spirits they carry. I am so lucky to have been given this job, to care for two little kiddy-pies. Thanks God that my life counts, and that you are giving me the tools to love my kids. Now if I could just be a better wife life would be grand."
30yr. "I appreciate the kindness of and fun of friends. Many of my friends had a surprise birthday for me. Each person shared what I meant to them and gave me a gift with 30 things that remind them of me. My life has been enriched by each person and each personality. Thank you Lord Jesus.
35yrs. Today I cleaned the Cone's House. I am so appreciative of them helping me, by providing work. Sometimes it is so hard to have a quiet time with God. My head is so full and heavy and mind can not focus. Life has sure taken some turns that are very hard to understand. I open up my Bible and finally in the quiet of this morning and am able to read what message You would have for me. 1John 4:7:21 I know your love for me dear God, the challenge is relying on that Love. So many people question my circumstances, losing everything and now sitting here and finding myself thanking you over and over for your love, your grace, and your mercy on me when I am so undeserving. You are Lord of my life. Not the world, not the circumstances, and so I thank you for showing up always, even if I don't."
37 yrs. "Today I find myself in a deep pit of emotions. I can hardly write through the tears and hardly think through my next thought. Dreams!? Why do birthdays have this way of looking back, instead of looking forward. How redemptive your love is over my life. Losing both family and friends when all I need is that family and friends to come around me. I want to erase this entree so I don't ever have to look back at this, but then this is my story of You dear Jesus. You showing up when those who I long to be in a relationship with don't. David is kind. He holds my hand, brings me nice presents and takes good care of my heart. Ethan is a delightful toddler and both Elliot and Emily are so blessed in academics and music. Look around you Elizabeth, you have much to be grateful for. The world will fail you over and over but God is true to you always. Smile and blow out your candles."
38yrs. "I love being home with my boys. David is so supportive of me working from home. I look at this past year and just smile. I love playing with Ethan and watching his mind work, and even the trying moments are brief. I am still trying to figure out how to occupy him while I nurse Eric. Elliot use to act out while I nursed Emily so you would think I have this routine figured out, but I don't. I feel very young. Not approaching 40 at all, but more like I am 22 years old. Thank you Lord Jesus for birthdays. Yours is around the corner, so Happy Birthday Jesus. I Love you."
40yrs. "I think parenting is very hard with a normal child. It takes time from each moment of each day. It takes making a decision each time your child says or does something wrong. What I do and how I react or respond is going to communicate something to my child. Am I communicating approval, inconvenience, frustration, interest or lack of interest. Am I taking time to teach or to put away. Now add a deaf child to the equation. Lord I am not feeling so young these days. A new baby, a two year old and a deaf four year old is wearing me down. I am 40 years old today and as I read the words I write I realize that I have a huge responsibility with these little boys, and an even greater one to give my older kids the patience the care and the attentions, and to be a loving and supportive wife. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me is a passage I claim today. I know David will make my birthday special. As I reflect today I thank you Lord Jesus for this life you have blessed me with. Give me a happy heart, kindness, and patience. I love you Jesus."
These are just a few thoughts taken from the pages of my life. I will stop here so I can later reflect on more with birthday's to come. I love Jesus. I have loved Him, walked with Him my entire adult life. I have made some really good choices in my life, and have moments of really bad choices. Nothing I can say or do takes away the love and plan God has for my life. So this next year I pray that God continues to show me His plans and I am able to follow Him so closely.
Happy Birthdays are great days, it's a stamp from God saying I needed you here on earth to make a difference for my Kingdom. I pray Lord Jesus my life makes a difference. Love and Blessings Elizabeth