Tuesday, April 28, 2009

15 & 50

So, 50 is on the horizon for me. Actually, it's not on the horizon any more; it's sort of just down the street a couple of doors, racing toward me with ever-increasing speed.

I thought approaching 50 would feel different than this. I thought 50 would feel like...well, being on top of the world. At the peak of my game. Total confidence. Success, and the near certainty of future success.

Instead, it feels a whole lot like I recall 15 feeling. Uncertain. Wondering what the future holds. Insecure even. Wondering which friends will still be friends in the years to come. Sorting out the difference between friends & acquaintances. Sorting through the various cliques trying to find "my" own. Wondering if I'll ever really succeed professionally and relationally.

Fortunately, there are some huge, gaping differences between 15 & 50. I'm all set in the romance dept.; our 25th anniversary comes just a couple of weeks after turning 50. She married way beneath her, for which I am grateful on a daily basis. Also, I'm good on the career thing; I love teaching college & love doing so @ Wm. Carey. And unlike when I was 15, my faith is certain & secure, thank God! I'm part of a wonderful church family. Finally, I now know that sometimes life just...well, stinks from my perspective, but that God is good even then. (At age 15, I discovered the "life stinks" part, but was not at all convinced until years later about the "God is good even then" part...)

But despite these huge, gaping differences, there are still a disturbing number of similarities to me between 15 & 50. Most of which have to do with my own small faith or insecurity or pansy-itis or whatever.

Or perhaps that disturbing 15/50 connection is God's gift to keep me straining toward the future. Pray with me to that end, won't you? Thanks.


p.s. - And thanks for indulging me a bit of slightly morbid introspection. A couple of years back, I coined a name for such musings, drawing from the description of certain youth as "emo": since I'm hardly a youth any more, (*sigh*) I call this "emold." *smile* Regrettably, it suits me on occasion. (Being about 3 weeks from turning 50 is most definitely such an occasion...)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Prom pics

Remember a couple of posts down about the passage of time & Anne's prom? Well, I had a momentary flash of...clues...& figured out to post pics again. Stevie Wonder sang it best: "isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?"
And who's the guy messing up my pics of my daughter for cryin' out loud? *huge grin*

Saturday, April 11, 2009

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her,and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm,all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax,and works with willing hands...She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household...She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy...Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land...Strength and dignity are her clothing,and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom,and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed;her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently,but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands,and let her works praise her in the gates.

You know how some people just seem to need more help with, well, life than others? It appears that I am such a person. Which is why I am so very grateful on a daily basis that some small number of years ago on this day, there was this beautiful baby girl was born in Mobile, AL. She is Daddy's girl to a large degree, not least in that she looks like him with those beautiful eyes. She was raised a country girl in Choctaw County, AL. I think she could probably ride a horse about the same time she could walk. She has simple tastes: loves to cook, to sing & play music, to study her Bible, to serve others. Mostly she wants to be in the background of life.

After high school, off she went to the University of Alabama for college. Her second year there, this rather odd dude transferred there from out of state, and moved in with some of her neighbors. They began hanging out & discovered that they shared a love for good music, football, basketball, softball, grilling, and other things. Went on a date. Then another. This June 2, she will have been married to him...to me...for 25 years.

She received a bachelor's degree in accounting from Alabama, which is typically a top 20 accounting program in the nation. In the nation. A very impressive degree to obtain. She then was underemployed to help put the oddball dude through graduate school. His M.A. program became a Ph.D. program.

Then it was off to Indiana for a couple years. A beloved son was born there. Another move to Hattiesburg, MS 20 years ago this coming July. A treasured daughter was born here. Amazing spiritual growth for the hubby; less for her, because she needed less. 7 years on staff with the faculty ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. Great challenges...

Illness--particularly 2 go-rounds with cancer for the hubby, financial struggle, financial success, job changes for both of them, a child moving out of the home, with the 2nd to follow this August, international mission trips--both with and without the hubby.

And through it all, a solid, steady faith and love for family and friends, reflected through those beautiful eyes and those tender, hard-working hands.

I, among men, am most blessed. Today is Lisa's birthday. Join me in thanking God for her, and praying for her, won't you? A thousand years of being thankful for her would not be sufficient for me...

Happy Birthday, Lisa! I love you! And I am so very blessed to walk this road together with you...and am absolutely a better man, a better husband, a better father, a better professor, and a better follower of Christ because of you.