Each year I share my thoughts as I celebrate another birthday. This year, 52. I don’t even remember much of 51. Turning 50 was anticlimactic because I really wanted to enter the decade with a bang. Instead, the country shut down and it was so new no one was doing the drive-by celebrations.
So, what’s 52 to me?
This year my God-given theme is reclaim. I get that 52 is a non-year celebration wise, but given last year was so rough and I never got to enjoy 50 with anyone outside my house, I’m re-claiming 50. I often talk myself out of doing things, but not this year. I reserved an event with two friends I serve closely with who have had my back in the last year.
I’m also having red velvet cake. Let me elaborate. I will be making and eating my mom’s famous red velvet cake. This cake is so good I refuse to eat anyone else’s. I’ve tried before, and I’m always disappointed. Her version was so beloved she sent it to her nephew in Afghanistan. Although my presentation isn’t as good as hers, I have mastered the taste. This seems like the year to enjoy a piece. Or 3.
Other than that, 52 holds hope. For my family, this is the year our youngest graduates high school and starts college. After all she’s been through with her health, what a cause for celebration. Our son gets married. I prayed for his wife before I could even conceive. It’s such a praise to see God’s faithfulness. Tom and I will take a trip back to Lake Placid as a delayed 25th anniversary trip.
For my writing, I’m so excited. I feel like previous works were my training ground and this new series, Surrendering Hearts, is the real deal. The idea came from watching This is Us and wondering how did the showrunner and writers keep track of all the details, and, my sister asking me about writing a story involving unique birth stories. The Hart sextuplets each get their own book with a surrender story. They are trying to find their identity apart from their siblings and discover a love as great as what their parents shared.
Jordyn is up first with Anchored Hearts. She wrecks me. As the oldest sextuplet, she’s taken on a leadership role within the family. Now that they are grown, it’s time to give that up, and she’s scared. Control is important to her but as life spirals, Jordyn’s faced with letting go. Her journey is one I relate to way more than I thought.
I have a prequel story featuring patriarch Paul Hart and his neighbor, Shelly Hoffman called Unwrapping Hearts. There’s also a sneak peek of Anchored Hearts. Both are free downloads
Birthdays are also a time where I reflect on what’s going well, and what needs improvement. Compared to last year, everything is improving. My focus is back so I’ve returned to working out. I rarely drink pop now, and that’s HUGE. I’ve cut down on my chocolate consumption. These are huge victories for me. The frustration is I don’t see a lot of change on the scale, but at 52, there’s a lot of grace. I realize what challenges I have, and I try not to take advantage of them and invite gluttony into my schedule. It’s hard. I often struggle with what I see in the mirror. Yet, my passion is to make sure the girls I mentor understand how beautiful they are. Well, that truth needs to cover me.
I don’t see me starting anything new at 52, but that’s God’s deal to work out. I’m not thinking about trying a new craft or project beyond releasing Anchored Hearts, researching Repairing Hearts, and starting that book. I do have a goal not to travel much beyond Lake Placid. Last year I was on the road most of the year. It took a lot out of me and I’m still recovering from that. I love being home.
I sense there’s a lot I will see this year that will be things I prayed about in the past. Some of it will be easy, and some not, but my job will to encourage. Honestly, that won’t be as easy as it sounds. So far everything I’ve prayed about and shared with loved ones has come to pass, and they weren’t on the same page. I see that happening on a huge scale, and there will be masses, I believe, who will need encouragement even though they rejected prayers and encouragement in the past. Ah, 52 will give me maturity, right?
So that’s where I’m at. Gray hair. Huge bags under my eyes. Menopause alive and well. Recovering. Reclaiming. Writing. Celebrating. Learning. Praying. I’m ready for you, 52!
Happy birthday to you! I enjoyed reading your reflection. I love that you are reclaiming 50. And your Mom’s red velvet cake sounds wonderful. I pray 52 is good to you!
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Happy Birthday, Julie. The cake sounds amazing. Enjoy your day.
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