Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My 60th Birthday – Jubilee!

"Set this year apart as holy, a time to proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live there. It will be a jubilee year for you, when each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors and return to your own clan. This fiftieth year will be a jubilee for you. During that year you must not plant your fields or store away any of the crops that grow on their own, and don’t gather the grapes from your unpruned vines." Leviticus 25:10-11 (NLT)

As I was reading my Bible I came across this Scripture recently.  These verses tell me that in the fiftieth year, God commanded that each person was to return to his family property: the land was not to be harvested; slaves and their children were to be released. On God’s calendar, the jubilee year was a time for celebration, restoration to wholeness, rest, and release.

2002 was my true “year of jubilee, but I think I was too busy with children and just living life to take time to have a jubilee!  This past Christmas (actually the day after ) I turned 60...and I think it will be my magic age! I have decided that this year will be my Jubilee Year...a time to renew myself and my relationships. I have chosen to liberate myself by celebrating the life God has given me.

This year I will renew myself. I want to explore more of the world around me. See and experience new and diverse things!  I will continue taking classes to better my art and my sewing skills.  I will learn and try new skills and activities. I plan to take better care of the body I’m in—there are really no replacement parts.  “So we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day.” 2 Cor. 4:16 (NCV)   I plan to take more naps and spend leisurely time with my grandchildren just listening to their ramblings about their life and interests.  I plan to spend more time doing nothing but holding my new grand baby...to take in her smell and the joy of new life.  I will let go of life’s trivialities, with those things that will not matter in eternity but I strive to have more patience with others.

I want to renew my relationships. My parents will not be with me forever. I will continue to learn from them and know my history.  My brothers, sisters and sister-in-laws are important to me.  I want to take time to speak with them about what is significant.  Know who they are and who they continue becoming and to watch as their children grow and change.

My girls and their husbands, they are my heart!  I will take time to listen to them...what is weighing on their hearts, what is important for their families and their futures.  Balancing that fine line of “advice” and meddling!  I will love each of them for who they are, who they are becoming.  Watching as each make life decisions for their families...and loving being part of their lives!

My husband, my love...I want to continue building on the foundation our 38 year marriage.  To solidify what we have and plan for our future, of times to come. More importantly, just as the ancient Israelites allowed slaves to go free, I will release those who have hurt me.  Letting go of what “lies behind...”

My friends...I am truly blessed with many “long-term” friendships. (I won’t use the words “old friends”!) Friends are the family we get to “pick” and the Lord has truly given me some priceless treasures in those He’s planted in my life.  I want to know them more deeply and continue sharing life’s joy and pain together.  

I hope to liberate myself by celebrating the life I have. Too often I can allow my mistakes and missteps to prevent me from living with joy. I want to be free to accept who I am, warts and all. I am not perfect—will never be perfect–but I am created to live in His perfect freedom. I will give the gift of myself to others, to serve others—I will be set free in order to celebrate others.

No one seems to know with complete clarity and certainty what their life calling is. I  hear people  talking about how to “find their soul.” I’ve always thought this was code to figuring out what they were going to do with their lives, who they want to be when they “grew up.”  I am thankful, because I’m not trying to find my soul anymore. I’m not looking for my “calling.”  I am honestly not trying to find much of anything I lack anymore. That is not to say I have gotten many of the things I thought I needed in my life. But, I did find my soul. I’m not sure when or where I found it, but I found it!  It also feels very complete. I made a conscience decision to be grateful for the things I’ve been given, which has been a lot.

I am not afraid of death anymore because I know that what I really want is on the other side of this life.  “Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.” 1 Cor. 13:12

So...all of this to say, getting older isn’t all that bad!   I will not stop asking and seeking (Luke 11:9) for a deeper understanding of who I am in Christ and what my place in His-story really is.  I will live with my freedom—earned after sixty years of toil—I will celebrate my year of Jubilee! (Even if it is 10 years late!)

Happy jubilee!