April 19, 2013


The number 40 has Biblical significance. The Israelite clan nibbled manna for 40 years, relying on the cloud by day and the fire by night. Jesus weathered 40 days of praying and fasting in the wilderness. Noah, Mrs. Noah, their sons and daughters in law endured 40 days and nights of rain.

When Dan, my swell husband, hit 40 a few years back, our friend Robyn wrote "Welcome to the Promised Land" on his birthday card. That sentiment stuck with me, anticipating my own fourth decade celebration. My mom has always listed her 40s as her favorite years. I have been hopeful and happy about this milestone. Maybe something wonderful is waiting for me. 

What happens in a span of 40 years that is so significant? We often set five and 10 year goals for our personal and professional lives. At the 40 year mark, what have I accomplished? 

The first two decades on Earth (ages 0-20) were solely about learning and growing. I was learning how to be a God pleaser, pursuing my education, and growing physically into a young adult. Paul reminded me that
When I was a childI talked like a childI thought like a childI reasoned like childWhen I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. I Corinthians 13:11

The following verse is playing in my mind today. I hear that smooth professional British gentleman that provides the audio for the YouVersion Bible App as he recites Paul's words again. These words best summarize my life from ages 20-40.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
- Philippians 4:12

My 20s were filled with struggles with contentment. I was striving or grieving in relationships. I was sensitive when I needed to be strong; I was stubborn when I needed understanding. God did not abandon me to my uneven walk. I kept seeking, and he safely delivered me into my 30s. The third decade was peppered with seasons of peace and seasons of noise. I met my goals: marry a smart, strong, witty, and kind husband and have three kids together. Done and done. So, how about that quality of life? Well, I must say that life is rich and sweet here in my world. (Note to self: do not blog on days when you want to scream and run away from home.) 

At 10, I was a fifth grade Pharisee.
At 20, I was engaged to Dan and focusing on my senior year at Auburn.
At 30, the Lord gave me a ministry assignment now known as Devoted Living.
At 40 . . .