Monday, January 16, 2012


Lord, You have been our refuge
in every generation.
Before the mountains were born,

before You gave birth to the earth and the world,
from eternity to eternity, You are God.

Psalm 90:1-2, HCSB

Photo by Big Al
Monday night Allen asked how it felt to be forty.

"I don't know," I said. "I don't feel old enough for that number. I guess," I hesitated. "I guess I feel like I've wasted a lot of time, not really done anything important with my life."

He nodded, having reached the milestone the previous year.

At the end of my first decade, I spent all my time at school, the piano, or the ballet studio. I dreamed of dancing with the New York City Ballet someday, even while my Barbies always seemed to be Ivy League professors.

At the end of the second decade, a different dream altogether lay about me, shattered by the stripping away of illusions about a community I loved and trusted. I didn't know what came next but spent long hours over the piano keyboard and the Scriptures trying to figure it out.

Teach us to number our days carefully 
so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.

Psalm 90:12, HCSB

My third decade ended weeks after our missionary endeavors. No one but me even marked the milestone because of greater concern over lupus diagnosis two days prior. I had no dreams for the future and no piano in our apartment, but Allen, Steinway, the Scriptures, and family supported me through.

My fourth decade ended with renewed lupus concerns but two months of slow improvement. I'm weary of chasing dreams beyond two very short-term ones: the possibility of a women's Bible study at a neighborhood church whenever possible over the next eight weeks and a tiny opportunity to serve our church by writing and editing for an in-house publication.

Then a minor amount of knee discomfort at midweek had me hobbling with a cane by Saturday and progressed to both knees Saturday evening. Now even those small dreams are back in God's hands, pending consultation with one doctor this afternoon and possibly another Thursday.

Psalm 90 formed my prayer the morning of my birthday, and I'm returning to it today, praying it for myself and for you.

LORD—how long?
Turn and have compassion on Your servants.
Satisfy us in the morning with Your faithful love
so that we may shout with joy and be glad all our days.
Make us rejoice for as many days as You have humbled us,
for as many years as we have seen adversity.
Let Your work be seen by Your servants,
and Your splendor by their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us;
establish for us the work of our hands—
establish the work of our hands!

Psalm 90:13-17, HCSB

I'm worshiping the Lord with thanksgiving, for He is good, and His steadfast love endures forever, and also for the following:
2701. Wonderful birthday celebrations with family last week
2702. High tea with Mom, sisters, and youngest nephews
2703. Sacrifices made of time, convenience, and effort to help me celebrate
2704. Birthday dinner with my love
2705. Fragrance of roses filling the house
2706. God's grace for post-holiday emotional slump
2707. A friend's birthday to extend the celebration
2708. Knees turning traitor at week's end
2709. Family and friends with experience to advise and equipment to help until I can see the doctor
2710. Allen available to keep me in line, resting
2711. Prayers of God's people, those I know and those I don't, bringing peace amid uncertainty
2712. Gracious, thoughtful gift on the way from a bookish crumble
2713. Assurance of God's promises, none missing their mark
2714. Wealth of books and magazines to help pass the time
2715. God's strength in weakness
2716. Beautiful, springlike weekend weather
2717. Doctor able to see me today
2718. God's unchanging mercies throughout the changing decades

Linking as usual to the community giving thanks at Ann's site
(Blogger is making mischief with the line and paragraph spacing. Sorry about that!)


  1. So glad to see the picture of your beautiful face, Christina! Happy 40th birthday. The 40s aren't so bad. :-) Blessings to you, my friend.

  2. hi Christina,

    sweet picture, and a yummy looking cake!

    i think it's very natural, as we pass a milestone birthday, to worry about whether we've done anything important with our life, and about whether we've wasted a lot of time. but i wonder..."for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." mightn't that mean that--if we are called to His purpose, if we love back (however imperfectly) the God who loves us so faithfully--then, God, in His graciousness and power, will see to it that *nothing* in our life---however much it might look like a false step, or a wrong turn, or a pointless detour--is wasted?

    i'm really sorry about your knees, and i'm praying that the consultation this afternoon goes really well, and makes another one on thursday unnecessary.


  3. Thank you, Lisa. Blessings back to you.

  4. Thank you, Chris. You are right, of course. I appreciate the reminder. The doctor believes the injury is relatively minor and caused by overloading the joints in my therapy exercises. How's that for irony? It appears Thursday's appt may be unnecessary except perhaps for a referral back to the therapist for a different batch of exercises, so that prayer may be granted. Otherwise, rest and waiting are the orders for 2 or 3 weeks. Thank you again for the encouragement and prayers.

  5. Search our some natural remedies for your knees. Alo Vera Juice is one, I take Cod Liver Oil, and Kombucha tea. I did a post about the tea: Here is the direct link (copy and past probably.)
    Milestones are those decade boulders we find in our path. Just don't beat yourself up and think you should have done more!!!

  6. Thank you for sharing what you've found helpful, Hazel. I appreciate the encouragement. Grace to you in Jesus!

  7. Search our some natural remedies for your knees. Alo Vera Juice is one, I take Cod Liver Oil, and Kombucha tea. I did a post about the tea: Here is the direct link (copy and past probably.)
    Milestones are those decade boulders we find in our path. Just don't beat yourself up and think you should have done more!!! You will be amazed what is written in His books about YOU!

  8. Hooray for a current picture! Hooray! Yippee! Yay!

    (I'm almost 38 but hopelessly immature.)

  9. Oh, you're 40!! Welcome:) What a beautiful picture and it looks like a delicious celebratory cake. Those knees. . . praying.
    Friend, God shines through you. He sees it, as do others. As long as we see Him, all those other potential expectations fade.
    I would love for my girls to be able to talk ballet and piano with you:) Smiled that your Barbies were Ivy League professors!

  10. Happy Birthday dearest friend. You are loved now and always.

  11. :) Being in front of the camera is not my favorite thing, so consider that my birthday gift to you. Glad you liked it.

  12. It's good to know you're there expecting me. :) The cake was excellent.
    Thank you for your prayers and encouraging words. I need both today.

    Perhaps someday I can share ballet and music talk with your lovely daughters. For now, it's nice to know of that common ground.
    Grace to you, friend.

  13. Well, apparently Allen and I misunderstood the instructions yesterday. The new therapy must wait for 4 weeks of joint healing, although I may be pain-free in 2 or 3 weeks. I'm not sure my back can stand that duration of inactivity at this point, so the second consult is back on the calendar for Monday, as the other slot had already been allocated to someone else. (The thanks for your encouragement and prayers, however, remains unchanged.) :)

  14. During our emails recently I thought how I'd love to see your sweet face, to put your smile behind your written words--and now I come here and find you just waiting with your smile and your beautiful face. I'm so excited! You are just lovely and I feel almost as if we've finally "met."

    My joy at seeing your face is only dampened by your current struggles with a body that continues to rebel. Oh, how I know that struggle! I will be praying more specifically now and trusting God to carry you (perhaps literally) through this season of challenge.

    And as for the all-too-common "have I done enough with my life?" fear, I have this to say: God only asks us to bring ourselves to Him and let Him do as He will. You, my dear, are ministering far and wide to all who are privileged to visit your blog here and I've no doubt that all who know you in real life are blessed, shored up, held together, and altogether *loved* when they are with you. And that, my friend, is no small thing. God asks us to love, and you are most certainly doing that.

    You have been nothing but Grace and Hope and sweet Joy to me and I count it pure Gift to call you Friend. May you feel Him near and strong in these days of weakness and hobbling. And may you know that you are loved.

  15. Oh, Happy Birthday to you! So wonderful to see your sweet face! And the big 4-0, well I think that's when life begins! :) God bless you.

  16. Oh, Happy Birthday to you! So wonderful to see your sweet face! And the big 4-0, well I think that's when life begins! :) God bless you.


Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.