Yesterday I turned forty. Forty. I don’t feel forty. I am still stunned by the truth of this milestone. Not that it’s all bad. I wouldn’t want to sacrifice what I now know just to look young. But if there was a way to have the wisdom of years and the smooth and creamy skin of youth I’d certainly go for that.
But I was blessed by a wonderful weekend. The sun shone bright both days, Will and Nate won their basketball games, my mom and my sister flew in from Michigan, I received many phone calls, emails, cards, texts, and Facebook posts, and the moms from my boys school threw me a fantastic fortieth fiesta. Caitlin was part of it too, because, as a teacher, she’s an integral part of my school community (unbelievable, I know). It was a very special group of women who are trying to follow Christ and raise their kids in a place where they are known and loved. It’s somewhat of a by-product of the school model that the families grow so close. But many of my very best friends are from their school, and did they ever make me feel loved!
Based on the above photos you can see the setting was over-the-top beautiful. The hostess obviously has serious skills and if you’d like to hire her, I may be able to work something out. They had my favorite salsa in the whole wide world, margaritas, sangria, and yummy mexican for a sit down dinner. They served a decadent chocolate cake, and played lots of Michael Jackson. Clearly these incredible ladies know me well.
They passed around a sombrero (the fanciest, cutest, heaviest sombrero you’ve ever seen) and the wearer shared thoughts and memories about me. I cannot convey how much I will always treasure these beautiful, generous, kind, encouraging, and wildly affirming words. The whole night was a gift, a gift that would be impossible without a loving and fun community. In fact, my face was cramping up most of the night from laughing so much and I had to massage out facial kinks mid-party.
There could be no better way to turn forty!
Hebrews 10:22-25 says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
So grateful for the love I was shown, for the community I am a part of, for the meeting together and the spurring on and faithful encouragement. I am indeed blessed.
I hope that you too know the gift of community, and that if you don’t, that you’ll seek it, that you’ll pray for and pursue a group of godly friends. Like anything else worth having it takes intentionality, and maybe even a bit of discomfort and vulnerability in the process. This weekend was a great reminder of why that process is always worthwhile!