Exactly eighteen months from today, I will turn forty.
About eighteen months ago, God started talking to me about destiny.
I think I finally heard something he's been trying to say to me for a long time.
For lots of years I thought that if all I had to show for my adult years was a lasting marriage and four wonderful children, that would be fine. Afterall, that's all I really want.
Or so I thought.
When the Lord started speaking to me, he showed me just how fast they would all turn eighteen and move away from my home to make homes of their own. I want that for them. That's very healthy. Very good. I love them. I love caring for them. I can't imagine a life where I don't meet all their needs and wear them as accessories.
I just don't want to be lost when that happens.
I could see myself getting lost. I felt hopelessly lost for the first few years of marriage. I loved Andrew madly. My heart's desire was to help him, encourage him and honor him. I just didn't know how all that fit into the life I brought to our marriage. It was a very difficult transition.
I think I stayed a little lost while I was birthing at least two of these many small children I have.
I decided on that day God talked to me about my destiny that I would not spend another year regretting that something did or did not happen. I would quit using the phrase, "One day..." so much.
I began to get serious about writing. Praying for opportunities to speak. Believing that God would somehow find a way to use me. Ordinary me. Longing to be used by an extraordinary God. Amazing.
This spring I started getting speaking engagements. Those dreams are becoming reality. That part of life is very excited to see forty. The speaker/writer in me is ready to move forward.
Another goal I have but had put to the side because, "I really don't have the time for it," is getting in shape. I'm not gonna lie here. I want to look great. I want to be in awesome shape. I want people to gasp in shock when they hear I'm forty. Shallow I know but it's the truth.
I don't just want to look great either. I want to care for this body. I want to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly and have stamina to keep up with my life. I want to play with my grandchildren and great-grandchildren and live to be at least 100. My dream is to see at least three generations praising the Lord with their lives.
With all those goals in mind, I began running a few weeks ago. It just took me about two weeks and my desire to return to the gym was back. I'm already a little stronger and don't want to miss my workout. I am praising God for that!
All that said, for my fortieth birthday I don't want to just go out to dinner and indulge in a big piece of chocolate cake. Nor do I want to have an eighties party with five friends.
I want to do something I would never, ever do for any other reason. I want to do something huge to prove to myself that forty is not too late. That it's not the beginning of the end. I want to prove to myself that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to in the years to come.
So, in 2010 I'm running a marathon in Chicago! Yes, me. Me and my love/hate relationship with running. Seriously.
Right now I can run three miles. A very small start. Actually, I'm not even sure how long a marathon is. I think I need to add about twenty miles or so to my route. But that's okay. I'll figure it out and keep pushing for the goal.
This is where I need you, bloggy friends. I will desperately need your encouragement because I can't do this on my own. I don't want to stop. I don't want to fall short. I need a good training program. Because you're smart, I'm betting you have some advice for me along with your encouragement.
This is just my announcement to the world that Forty is coming after me and I'm not going down easy. It's going to be better than thirty, better than twenty and the start of the best years of my life!
In your face, Forty!