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Mt. Baker at sunset night before last. I love this place I call home!

Today is my birthday and a time to reflect and contemplate, as well as to celebrate and rejoice and praise God for all that I have come to know in my life.

Life is a beautiful, wonderful journey that often takes a lifetime to fully appreciate. We humans can be so quick to make judgments about the “goodness” or “badness” of events, circumstances, decisions, and even of our fellow human beings. And yet, how often do we find, when looking at things and people in hindsight, that our judgments were misplaced? So often we discover the things we thought were most tragic actually revealed a turning point that poured out blessings and peace and joy in our lives.

I am learning to slow down and allow myself the grace to ponder and wonder and wait with joyful anticipation for the Lord to reveal Himself in every situation and every person I encounter. I am finding that I truly am blessed in unexpected ways when I choose to wait on the Lord with a heart filled with faith – even a little, like faith the size of a mustard seed.

It is having an interesting effect on my life, this realization of waiting. I find that there is a much greater supply of tenderness and desire on behalf of others. When I see a fellow sister or brother (or child of mine) suffering and struggling with life, I so want to be able to make it better instantly. And yet, I am learning that to rob them of the struggle and the strength that struggle is meant to develop in their in lives, is like a death sentence – the death of faith and hope and joy. Remember the illustration of the butterfly? If you ease the struggle of a butterfly as it fights to emerge from the cocoon it will die. It will not have the strength to fly and find food and make its way through the breezes that can assault its very being.

I have quite a few loved ones who are struggling with finding their way, their wings to fly and live and flourish in this life. It is so difficult to continually remind myself that I am not what they need in the struggle. Instead, they need to find the strength of God right in the midst of their struggle and pain and frustration.

And so, I am learning to pray and intercede like never before. I am learning to be quiet and listen to the whispers of the Spirit before I give voice to my requests before God.

Now, before you go thinking, Wow! She’s got it together, let me assure you I have my own struggles and challenges and times of doubt and fear and uncertainty. Thank God! For it is in my own humanity that I find the means to intercede for others – the means to understand and identify and hope with others on their behalf, even when they cannot do so for themselves. And I know that I have sisters and brothers who are doing the same for me! They hold my hands up for me when I have no strength left. They continue to pray for me when I do not have the ability to pray for myself. And most importantly, I have a Savior who identifies with me and with all that it means to be human. He is always interceding for us and for our realization of what it means to experience His salvation!

And that is what community is all about. That is called interdependence. That is called being the Body of Christ – truly and genuinely! I wonder if you know this kind of community and family. My hope is that you do, and if you don’t, I hope you find it soon.

Blessings of grace and mercy abounding all over YOU and your life, on this my day to celebrate! I choose to celebrate the unique expression of God in YOU!