Most write birthday letters to their friends. This year, I am writing my own birthday letter to God in overwhelming gratitude. My heart is overflowing more than these words can possibly convey. Here is my best attempt:
Some countries count your age from the day you are born as one, and others like ours make you live a year before you count it. So, as I say I am 48 this last Saturday, I am saying God has graced me with 48 years already and I am almost a week into my 49th year. From a very early age, I knew each year was a gift. Because I have lost several people in my life way too young in my own arrogant estimation, I know well having those you love around you is a blessing.
I can’t for the life of me figure why God chose to bless me the way He has with a husband who still doesn’t know that I am not a queen after 29 years together; with grown children who still respect me even when the only reason they have to is because God commands it; for the best friends in the world who not only love me and listen to my endless ramblings, but put up with me like they even like me a lot. I have an adorable eclectic and most loving extended family whom I cherish, and who loves me, despite myself. And the list would be remiss without mentioning my faithful dog who sits even now at my feet and lives to please me. And the list really is complete without mentioning the closet kitty, though he is endeared to me in his own gastronomic way. I don’t know any other way to say it. God pours out His love to me in an outrageous way.
Some of you knew that Angie got to come to Houston for a visit. What she didn’t know was that it was party week at our house, so we went from one celebration to another, with a lot of down time in between. Just as you might imagine, she is one special woman. What you might not know about her is that she is as beautiful outside as in. There is nothing more endearing than meeting a heart first, then getting to know the rest of that person. Angie is the real deal—authentic through and through, with a love for her Lord, for laughter and joy, and a propensity to go to the deep stuff—though she can talk about lip gloss and shopping and Kevin the masseur with much exuberance as well. On Tuesday, my small circle of best friends took me to lunch before Bible study and it was such a joy. The highlight of my visit with Angie was to worship together at Bible study. There is nothing like singing and worshipping with this group of dear friends. I kept thinking of Simeon in the temple. “For now my eyes have seen Your salvation.” Each of these women, friends I count as best, have shown me the light of Christ Jesus. All I know for certain is I am one blessed woman.
Just as Simeon said, “Now your servant can die in peace,” if I did not have another day on this earth, I could die feeling my life was most rich and full as I recount the love and the joy I have known through these friends, this family, this life of 48+ years. Though I am not planning on going anywhere soon, whatever lies ahead in this life, should God decide to grant me more years, is what Cajun Louisiana people call lagniappe—a little something extra. Because what I have known already has been more than enough. And it blows me away to know eternity will be even better.