A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No Regrets

Wow! Two birthday "gems" in one week! What an encouragement! It's almost like God sent me two birthday cards!

I try to live my life so that I will have no regrets. I don't always succeed. But there are several things that I will never regret:

~Giving my life to Jesus Christ.

-I am free to just be myself because He has changed who I was

-My life is always level, even when my circumstances are not

-I am free to love and be loved without restrictions or expectations

-My future is exceptionally bright

~Giving up thoughts of med school and marrying a certain dairy farmer.

- What a gift this man has been to me. I thank God everyday for him

~ Raising my children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

~Finding joy in being a servant even when no one knows what I did

~Allowing God to be my good shepherd, a perfect father, and my best friend

Because of these things, there is goodness in every day, even in the midst of troubles and trials. I can honestly say that I am happy, even when there is sadness that comes along. And it was all made possible when I decided to let Jesus Christ take over. His love is perfect love. His wisdom is all-wisdom. His mercy is without regret. His power is unmatchable. His presence is like no other. NO REGRETS! NO REGRETS!

(J. R. Miller, "The Beauty of Every Day" 1910)

Some people come to birthdays regretfully. They do not like to think that they are growing older. But there is no reason for regret, if only we are living our years as we should live them, as we may live them.

years--are a dishonor. Years filled with sin--are blots in the calendar. We should be ashamed to come to a birthday at the close of a year of idleness, indolence, neglect, or unfaithfulness. Jesus said we must give account for every idle word we speak. It will be an unhappy reckoning that we must make, after an idle year, or for idle hours and days in a year.

But there need never be a shadow of regret in coming to a birthday, when we have lived our best through all the days. If we go through a year walking with God--we shall come to its close with enlarged life, with nobler character, with richer virtues--in every way a more godly man or woman.

Growth is a law of life. When growth ceases, death is beginning. God counts our age, not by our birthdays--but by the advances which His eye sees in our inner life. Growth, too, is not marked by height or weight or by accumulations of money or property or earthly honor--but by an increase in godly character.

Sweetly, Beautifully, Stronger and Christlier

In just 4 days, I will be half a century in age! I don't feel nearly 50 years old (except after I have cleared 12 properties of snow, or spread 12 yards of mulch, or totalled myself on my total gym). Then I feel more like 80. But it seems impossible that I have lived 50 years! I think that most of us, at some age before 50 grow comfortable with who we are, and since that part of us never changes, we just feel the age we were when we came to that place of comfort. So I feel more like 35 than 50.

In that 50 years so much has happened--color t.v., man walking on the moon, the personal computer, digital technology, wireless/push button phones, answering machines, cell phones and the list goes on and on. Even on a personal level, so much has happened. Along with the normal milestones-driving license, college graduation, a career, marriage, children, etc., there have been the more difficult times of cancer, life changing injuries from a car accident, losing a parent, 4 miscarriages, and leaving the country life that I loved to be in ministry-something I thought I would never or could ever do.

I have found myself over the last few years really examining what I have accomplished in life that really matters and pushing myself more and more to make every day count. I'm trying to steer clear of the teasing, the old age birthday cards and comments, and the morbid black 50th birthday decorations.

Just yesterday, I recieved this "grace gem" in my inbox. They don't know I'm turning 50, but since I believe that nothing in my life is a coincidence, it greatly encouraged me and is my prayer for the years that I have left.

(J. R. Miller, "Devotional Hours with the Bible" 1908)

It takes a great deal of grace to grow old sweetly and beautifully. It is not possible to carry the alertness and energy of young manhood, into advanced years. Yet if we live wisely and rightly all our lives--old age ought to be the best of life. We certainly ought to make it beautiful and godly, for our life is not finished until we come to its very last day.

We ought to be wiser when we are old--than ever we have been in any former years. We ought to have learned by experience. We ought to be better in every way--with more of God's peace in our hearts, with more gentleness and patience. We ought to have learned self-control, and to be better able to rule our own spirit. We ought to have more love, more joy, more thoughtfulness, to be more considerate, to have more humility.

Old age never should be the dregs of the years, the mere cinder of a burnt-out life. One may not have the vigor and strenuousness of the mid-years--but one should be every way truer, richer-hearted, holier. If the outward man has grown weaker and feebler--the inner man should have grown stronger and Christlier.
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