Pursuing God on my birthday!

Heartfelt greetings to all of you precious women who mean so much to me! Your well wishes and prayers and comments and emails have bolstered me and I am truly grateful for your encouragement. I have lots of thoughts I have been pondering and articles I have written in my mind while in the shower or driving in the car, but they will have to be for another day!

Today is my 55th birthday! An auspicious birthday for me! I awakened this morning to cool breezes coming in my windows as I awakened and I lay in bed pondering my life. I am probably way over half-way through the time I will walk on this earth. I don’t know how many more years God will grant here for me to please Him, but if I wasn’t serious about it before, I want to be now.

I was with a sweet friend the other day in a small group of women that I meet with twice a month. She is a dedicated, idealistic, committed young woman. Yet, through her tears, she admitted, “I don’t really feel that I have grasped and understand what it means to be intimate with God. I read the Bible and I pray, but I don’t always feel comfortable that I have attained my goal. I don’t always feel the love of God to be real.”

Not too long before that, Sarah and another friend and I were in a prayer meeting with some older leaders at our church. A very sweet, godly man, said to us, “You know, I have walked over 60 years with God, but sometimes I don’t feel close to Him at all, and sometimes He seems right next to me. But one thing I know, He is always there and He is always good, even when I don’t feel close to Him.”

Paul said, “we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face.” I think the older I get the more I see how different God is than me or than I thought and yet how much bigger and more wonderful He is. Yet, With all the clamor of this world and busy-ness and promise of fulfillment through possessions, experiences, status and longing for more, more of life, we, (I), can spin my wheels on things that don’t matter and that won’t fulfill. Sometimes these things and my own Martha-ing around in life, hide the very presence that is surrounding me every day.

On occasion, I am a toddler in my behavior  and don’t know or understand what is going on and my heavenly Father keeps faithful, strong and true and responsible for me, even when I don’t understand–even when in my immaturity, I throw a fit or two. But He is still there–always loving–always acting in faithfulness.  I learn from God as my Father by parenting my own children. I have seen each of my children go through phases of life and always seeing things from their own perspective–sometimes loving Clay and me and sometimes feeling a bit distant from us wondering at our parenting and decisions we make for them. But in the end, they grow up and come to understand us as parents. It is amazing to me how wise we have become in the eyes of our older kids. But we were just faithful in season and so is God in my life–He is wise, steady in season and out.

So, I have resolved–again, this morning, that I want to keep trying to simplify, to focus, to hold on to that which really matters–my Lord and my God. I am going back to the basics–”The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” Proverbs 7:1

Jesus said it even more plainly, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3–this said soon before he was to be crucified. A very simple statement–to know the eternal God and Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ life was simple–no things (big house, car or chariot!)  or position or striving–only a simple man who loved and served and trusted His beloved Father. I am a pilgrim in this journey, and I certainly don’t have the all the answers yet, but I want to keep trying to get it right–putting aside the distractions but delighting in the “lilies of the field”, entering into the joy of my children’s laughter and antics, enjoying the delicious blueberry coffeecake I can smell that my daughter is baking downstairs, basking in the “I love you, Mom, birthday cards and whimsical gifts my children have sacrificed to buy for me, taking time to notice and enjoy the pink sunset that God painted across the sky again, loving those He brings my way,  celebrating life and seeking to know and love and glory in the God, the master artist, who so deserves my attention, allegiance and my heart.

So thank you, Jesus, that you have let me know you and love you and walk with you during these short years of my life. Let me know you and love you more fully every day until I see you face to face.

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  1. says

    You are speaking to my heart, Sally. I am 37 and I feel an overwhelming urgency to live simply and get back to the basics. I strive all the time to have a home that is peaceful and centered around the ONE TRUE GOD, but am guilty of cluttering our lives with things that distract us.
    We are in the very taxing process of selling our beautiful home – a decision we feel was/is completely prompted by the Lord. We are simplifying. Over the past year, I have felt hypocritical as I’ve told my family how very important it is to keep our eyes on the Lord and obey Him in all things. I knew all along that sacrifice would hurt just a bit, but honestly have felt so free in what we’re doing. My girls are 6 and 3 and I have loved watching my oldest soak up the lessons we’re learning about trusting the Lord and reaping the benefits of sacrifice. She is catching on quick and I pray this process will stick with her the rest of her life (all our lives, actually).
    Thank you once again for allowing God to use you to speak to me. Bless you!

  2. Heather Bradley says

    Happy Birthday Sally! Hope you had a great day with family and friends. Thanks for the encouraging words. I see a theme that we are all trying to simplify our lives-I too am going through this process since we left CO. It seems God is moving all of us in that direction.

  3. says

    Today is my husband’s birthday so I have been slinging around birthday greetings and hugs all day. Catch! Here’s a big hug and warm wishes for you. Celebrate every day. Praise God for allowing me to “know” you and thank you for the many gifts of honesty and truth you shower upon me. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (And for tomorrow: HAPPY UN-Birthday x 364 … or is it 365 this year?) ; )

  4. Joyful Juli says

    Happy Birthday, Dear Sally!!!
    AND many more!
    You are a blessing to so many…. Hope your day is joyful and blessed!

  5. says

    Happy birthday, dear friend! I pray you will have a wonderful, powerful, restful, precious, sweet year growing closer to the Lord. You are a wonderful example and have a realistic, transparent heart that so many find strength in companionship with. Thank you for putting yourself “out here” for us all. Hope you had a wonderful birthday and that all your working and planning is going well as it is directed by the Lord! Love, Misty

  6. Suzy says

    Happy Birthday Sally. May the Lord richly bless you and your family in this coming year. Thank you for all your encouragement via your books, conferences and emails. You have been such a blessing and help to me. Love Suzy

  7. Melanie Stefien says

    In the Spring of 2006 God sent a message. It is about the meaning of First is Last and Last is First. The message is this:
    In the morning I go to Heaven. In the afternoon I live my life. In the evening I die death.
    What does this mean? It means that Birth is Last and Birth is First. God also gives an example so that you can understand this better. Example: Mike Douglas died on his birthday, August 11. (note: Mike Douglas and Michael Douglas are two different people.)

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