christian living

Reflections on Fifty and My Bucket List

embracing-50On Thursday I will be half a century old. It’s nice to be turning 50 when my gray hair is considered the new blonde. I now have a legitimate reason for my “blonde” moments. I recently learned from an infomercial that there is a name for the wrinkled skin on my neck, hands and legs. It’s crepe skin. Fittingly named after crepe paper. I have continued to notice changes in my aging body, but some things are better left unwritten. If you’re a woman of 50+ you probably know what I’m talking about.

The Lord has blessed me in so many ways these past 49 years. I have seen and done what some only dream about:

-My first overseas mission trip was to a Muslim province in Paris, France. I saw the great works of art in The Louvre and looked out from the Eiffel Tower. I prayer walked and ministered to Muslim women there and the missionary working among them.

-My husband and I experienced our first overseas mission trip together to teach in Mozambique. From that we would end up serving as missionaries for three years to Mozambique and Zimbabwe while we lived in South Africa.

-My parents visited us and we went to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. How breathtaking!

-I’ve watched elephants and giraffes cross the highway in Botswana.

-Almost monthly we drove through Kruger park in South Africa to get to Mozambique. I have seen the Big 5 up close in a field not a cage. Just not all at one time.

I went to a Chicago Bulls game when Reggie Theus played. I’ve been to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen tournament at Chicago and watched as SIU played. That is an event I will never forget. I’ve seen Elvis and KISS in concert and numerous Christian artists.

Writing has always been a part of my life. Some things that happened from my writing:

-In 2nd grade (yes, I’m going back a few years) I wrote a little essay about the circus which won me tickets to the Barnum & Bailey Circus at Carbondale.

-I compiled a book of miracles from the members of a church I was attending. It was just for the church’s use but I did send it to my favorite Christian radio talk show host at the time. Her name was Debra Peppers and she had an afternoon show on KJSL in St. Louis. She did a live phone interview with me about the book.

-I wrote for a local Christian newspaper that my almost 50-year-old brain cannot remember the name of.

-I had a poem published in our state Baptist newspaper.

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have noticed that I have become a little obsessed with writing haiku poetry. It is, indeed, an obsession. My mind just thinks in lines of 3 with 5/7/5 syllables. I have been writing a series of them as my pastor preaches through Hebrews.

I am married to the most loving, humble, kind and hard-working godly man that I am in no way worthy of. While we didn’t start our marriage as Christians, I am so thankful the Lord chose to make His saving grace known to us. This year we celebrated our 30-year anniversary.

I have had my share of trials; but the Lord has always brought me through them. I trust that however many more years the Lord has for me He will continue to show Himself faithful.

Here’s my bucket list for the next however many years:

-Return to South Africa on vacation to visit our dear friends and hopefully have opportunity to visit our friends in Mozambique.

-For our South African friends, Joseph and Wilheminah Mahlaola along with their children, Tikfah and Phoebe to come all together to the states to visit with us.

-Go to New York City with my friend Lori and stay one night at The Library Hotel.

-Zip line through the Shawnee National Forest. (Hey, I’ve got to start somewhere for my first time.)

-Have a child-free weekend retreat with a group of my sisters in Christ.

-Attend a Spoken Word event.

-Go to Colorado with my husband in the middle of winter to stay in a nice cozy cabin with a fireplace warming and the snow falling.

-Try a spin class.

-Write an e-book of devotions from the book of Hebrews incorporating my Haiku poems. (It will be a freebie because I doubt anyone will buy it. Some people think Haiku is some Japanese dish.)

-Go on a mission trip deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains to share God’s word with the women there.

-Take my mom and granny on one of our WWW (Wild Women Weekend) getaways.

Well, that’s a start. More like a pail list than a bucket. It’s 10:00 which is past my bedtime. This not quite 50-year-old needs lots of beauty sleep.

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