my 48th year

I’m turning forty-eight this week … again. Let me explain. For the past year, I’ve been telling folks that I’m forty-eight. I’m not kidding. Somewhere in the madness of this last year called My Life, I lost a year. So when my birthday rolls around on Thursday, really I’ll have gained a year. Make sense? Me neither. Safe to say, I have another twelve months of being forty-eight, and it’s likely to be my most productive year ever since I’ve been granted these extra 365 days of fruitfulness.

Ah . . . the blessedness of an extra year! I know. Not really, but it’s a delightful consideration, is it not? To wake up and realize you’re not as old as you feel?

Somewhere along the way, I stopped counting my years. Candles on the cake (after nearly five decades) don’t garner as much enthusiasm as they once did. Turning double-digits and turning twenty-one were milestones met with eagerness. Back then, I had an entire world in front me. At forty-eight, there’s a whole lot of world behind me—a lot of life lived, enough experiences had, mistakes made, memories collected, and highlights celebrated to fill several dozen scrapbooks.

How much more can there be?

So much more.

Consider the possibilities of an extra year. With an extra year I’ll be able to . . .

  • Have the conversations I meant to have.
  • Write the letters I meant to write.
  • Make the calls I meant to make.
  • Pray the prayers I meant to pray.
  • Give the love I meant to give.
  • Send the gift I meant to send.
  • Drive the miles I meant to drive.
  • Invest the time I meant to invest.
  • Do the work I meant to do.
  • Pursue the dreams I meant to pursue.
  • Speak the truth I meant to speak.
  • Plant the seeds I meant to plant.
  • Share the fruit I meant to share.
  • Afford the grace I meant to afford.
  • Offer the apologies I meant to offer.
  • Extend the kingdom I meant to extend.
  • Enlarge the Jesus I meant to enlarge.

Indeed, a delightful consideration. With all of these extra days added to my year, I’ve been granted the rich benefit of more—a second chance of sorts, a way to re-invest my energies and my heart in the right and good direction. There’s nothing to dread. There are only opportunities to embrace. Another year, when cast in the light of sacred potentialities, is the gift that keeps on giving long after the cake has been eaten and the balloons have deflated.

This is the blessed do-over of my 48th year. I’m so grateful for another opportunity to live the life that I meant to live last year and to do so alongside the Giver of Life who graciously grants me this privilege.

Don’t dread the candles, friends. Instead, count them. Remember them, and then get busy living the life you mean to live. I’m so honored to share my 48th year with you . . . again. As always …

Peace for the journey,

24 Responses to my 48th year

  1. I just love this Elaine! So fun to realize that you still have that 48th year to live and as you said- a kind of 2nd chance to make those days rich and meaningful and honoring for God’s kingdom! A refreshing insight and creative approach that inspires me to ponder my days and make them count!

    • I know you’re busy doing just that, Jody! Thank you for being here and adding your voice. I’m so glad that our paths have crossed … in this my 48th year, both then and now;)!

  2. Happy, happy early birthday. My husband’s BD is today, so I will always be able to remember yours since it falls one day after his. I love this post. Such a beautiful reminder that every day is a gift. I think I will keep this post so I can read it again in just a couple of months when I have the BIG birthday. This is the year I turn $49.95 plus tax!!!!!!

    • Send sweet Greg my special birthday wishes! When he blows out the candles on the cake, give thanks for the years that God has given him to share with you.

  3. Oh, friend, how I wish we were celebrating your birthday together…you know we would be at the nearest Starbucks, for sho! May your special day mark the beginning of wonderful opportunities and the making of happy memories, and may God pour out His blessings upon you…today, and always. It’s going to be a busy year for the Olsens, but one filled with lots of joy. Bill and I look forward to spending some of that time with you!

    Have a piece of cake (with a scoop of ice cream) for me…love you!

    • Well, we’d have to drive 30 minutes to find a Starbucks, Beth, but it would be worth it if I could spend those moments with you. Heck, a thirty minute drive for a Coke would be time well spent if spending it with Beth Endean. Love you!

  4. Awesome, awesome,awesome Elaine!!! Love that there’s always SO MUCH MORE!! Reminds me that I need to purpose to do those things that I ”think” about doing but never get done! I hope you have a wonderful birthday my sweet faithful friend!

    • I can picture you now, Marilyn, strapping on that apron and stirring about your kitchen -making that batch of biscuits and canning those jars of pears. You are the faithful one, friend, so very faithful! Thank you for giving me a ringside seat to your faith over these last years. What a joy to call you my friend.

  5. I love it! Sounds a lot like that Jubilee Year in which slaves and prisoners were freed, debts forgiven and the mercies of God were particularly manifest. May it be THAT kind of year for YOU, Elaine!

    • Oh that I will be faithful to forgive debts and extend God’s mercy to everyone I know this year! This would be great gain.

  6. Love this! A whole extra year! lol I kin of do that too. I am always projecting ahead to the next year soo much that the year I am in somehow gets lost. I am facing the BIG 60 in September and so therefore have been calling myself that for a while now. Drives my daughter wild, lol. “Mom”, she says, “you will be 59 for almost six whole months yet. SAVOR every minute of it!” She’s soo right of course. Your list of things possible is such a good one! HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweet Elaine! May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you now and for many, many years to come! HUGS, Debbie

    • I’ve really been thinking about this list, Debbie. I can attend to a few of these, even today. My thought is to keep it in front me the whole year through. Thank you for being here and for the birthday wishes!

  7. Loved this lesson, Elaine. And might I also add, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I have a birthday this month also, and I will be 60. (It’s a number that makes no sense to me, by the way). But, I’m taking your advice and not dreading the candles (and I’m putting away the fire extinguisher). The Lord has great purposes in store for both of us. He has so much MORE!!


  8. Happy birthday Elaine! I had to laugh about your thinking you already were 48 for the past year. You did gain a year so enjoy! I love your list. At 61 I think 48 is young so it’s all a matter of perspective I guess. But there’s no retiring in God’s Kingdom so we can encourage one another to press on in His Name.

    I hope you have a very special celebration for a special woman.

    Blessings and love,

    • Thank you for my “flowers” and for your kind thoughts here. Yes, I’ve gained a year. I can’t tell you how much this delights my soul!

  9. Oh to be 48 again, I’d have my hubby but only 1 grand girl, I’d have my brand new job, but seven years less experience, I’d be reliving the pain of (that dreaded season) – No thanks!! I’m grateful for 55 and the days of blessing, the after’s and not the before’s, although the before’s helped to mold the after’s! Yes, I’ll take 55 and be grateful! I pray your 2nd 48th is more blessed than the 1st!!! Love to you!

    • So happy to spend it with friends like you, Cindy. You really are a shining example of how to make each day count. I appreciate you!

  10. I’ve been known to do a bit of detrimental rounding up myself, so I know the “aha!” that attends the realization that comes with “more”. Lately I’ve been doing something totally opposite, living in the timelessness of eternity. I’m not sure why, but the fact that God does not have a calendar or watch intrigues me. The only trouble I have with it is the mirror. I’m thinking of getting rid of it.

    Your list of extras is precious. Live it lively!

    Love you,

  11. I love this writing. I did that my 55th year, I lost it and when I gained back I was very surprised. This will be my 60th year. Doesn’t bother me but to have a 40 year old son, now that is an issue. (I decided he needs to take me out to dinner and pay for it)
    love your blog. It is simple and very ‘nice’.

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