Today I turn 46. I think that safely qualifies me as middle age. I have no crisis at present, but they’re relatively easy to manufacture, so I can put that off for a last minute project – like cramming for an exam.

birthday2014Over the last few days, my inner gratitudeometer has been knocking the far side of extreme thanksgiving and contentment. It’s easy when I look across a living room with my family in it. Other things that keep the gauge to the right:

  • My awareness of God’s depth of love and care for me
  • Sunsets in Blacksburg. Or sun rises. Basically anytime the sky turns pink/orange with mountains around.
  • New friends, good conversation and a decent-tasting meal.
  • Star Trek pajamas that I received for Christmas.
  • That Sam got a speeding ticket and it wasn’t a wreck. His phone call had the bad news tone, and that’s not fun when you know he’s been traveling.
  • A daughter who loves being on the JV basketball team and doesn’t complain when her playing time is impacted after missing practices and games over break.
  • Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 8.54.01 AMCold weather. I expect snow, and we’ve not had a significant, accumulating snowfall yet, but I expect several before winter’s end. If we don’t get some, the needle will waver from the right side of the gauge.
  • My church. And I mean the people who call themselves Northstar. I’m preaching today on my birthday, and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. It’s a humbling honor and privilege and a deep calling upon my life. I love experiencing God with these people.
  • Hearing spontaneous stories of God’s goodness. I was in a car dealership last week and got to hear the wonder of God’s gracious activity from a sales manager.
  • Good books.
  • Affirmation from family, friends and strangers. I’ve become more aware that encouragement/affirmation is one of my “love languages” this past year.
  • Peanut brittle from Juanita’s for Christmas from my parents. Last year, they mistakenly sent some to Darrell Cook and left me out (which he made sure to bring up occasionally), and they made up for it this year.

We ate at Ryan’s for lunch today. You can be a hater, but where else can you get donut holes on the buffet or a steak cooked just like you like it. And the back hallway by the bathroom smells like cupcakes.

This evening, I spent several minutes scrolling and smiling through the new digital Hallmark – Facebook – reading well wishes and kind notes. I jumped over to Google+, expecting a few there and compared to over 100 on Facebook, on G+ I had two. Womp womp wah. One day, I’m telling you all, Google will reward those who use + with a 100 shares of its stock – or something like that. I doubt it would have to give away more than 100 shares if my timeline is any judge.

So happy birthday to me.. and thanks to all.

On this day...

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