Tag Archive | celebrate

Life is worth celebrating

I tried this year. I really did. I took my birth date off Facebook. I thought that would avoid all the fuss. Like I could just have a quiet birthday. Of course I would want my family and close friends to remember and they would anyway (well, most of them…). But this way it would avoid all the greetings from so many people that it makes it look like you’re a celebrity. Only you know you aren’t. So……no fuss, no noise, let’s keep it quiet.Birthday balloons

But of course some family members posted on Facebook anyway and before you know, everyone’s in on it, all your friends are commenting and liking and posting and sharing and wishing you a really happy birthday.

So yes! it’s my birthday! And it’s been a great day – in fact a great weekend. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to like or comment or send a greeting. Thanks for joining in the celebrations! Each of you has added to them, like one of the balloons in the picture. And I am thankful.

I am thankful for life and health and family and friends; for faith and joy and hope and love and freedom to enjoy them all; and for the reminder today that no matter how good this life may be and no matter how hard it may be, when it is all over, real life will only just begin. “But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

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30 years married!

Today Alan and I are celebrating 30 years of marriage. How can that be? Yes, I know, we were very young when we were married – just look at this picture! 20:10:84 Well, we weren’t that young – 25 and 28 precisely (and I’m not saying who was what!). But we were naive. We were in love and we knew we wanted to commit the rest of our lives to each other – but we didn’t know much more than that. I am conscious that, as we celebrate 30 years of marriage, we have one daughter getting married later this week and the other daughter getting married next year. What do I wish someone had told us as we were setting out on married life?

(1) Start as you mean to go on. The habits you form in the first year of marriage will be the foundation for the rest of your married life. We were far too busy in our first year and didn’t have enough time alone – something we had to catch up on later on. IMG_2376

(2) Be a good lover. Sounds obvious – but none of us are born good lovers. We have to learn how to love well. And i don’t just mean in the bedroom. Sometimes the best way a man can love his wife is to take over the kids’ dinner time or do the night shift with the baby so his wife can get some sleep. Learn to speak your spouse’s love language (if you don’t know which love language you speak, you can do an online questionnaire here) – otherwise you could be giving him beautiful gifts to express your love while he is giving you words of affirmation but you are not hearing each other, just like a radio with bad reception.

(3) Be a good communicator. It is an old maxim but it’s true – communication is the key to a good marriage – and any good relationship. Good communication involves listening as well as talking. And if you don’t communicate well outside of the bedroom, you won’t communicate well in the bedroom. IMG_2378

(4) Be a good fighter. Any relationship between two people will sooner or later involve conflict. Learn to fight well – to be fair, to be honest, with the ultimate aim of resolving the conflict. Learn what style of fighting you each have. The Marriage Course teaches this well – some of us are hedgehogs (who retreat from conflict) and some of us are rhinoceroses (who barge in full steam ahead). While it’s a good principle to not have a fight before bedtime, we learned that If you are two hedgehogs and are in the middle of something, it might be good to get it resolved while you can.

(5) Be a good forgiver. Relationships above anything else give us the opportunity to learn about ourselves and often we don’t like what we see – in ourselves as well as in the other person. We both thought we were not selfish people until we got married! But a marriage is a wonderful opportunity to learn what forgiveness looks like – learn to be generous and gracious in your forgiving. IMG_2374

(6) If you have problems in your marriage, talk to a trusted couple or to your minister or pastor or to a counsellor. Get the help you need – problems rarely just go away. (7) If you have a good marriage, celebrate it! Alan bought me a ring for our anniversary and the sales assistant seemed very surprised to meet a couple who had been married for 30 years. We have been blessed and we are thankful. Today I am thankful for God’s grace in bringing us together and keeping us together, using our marriage to teach us how much we need Him on a daily basis. I’m thankful for the man who has stood by me through thick and thin, loving me, encouraging me, stretching me and helping me to develop gifts I would not have otherwise done. If I had to do it again, I would choose no one else. I love you, Alan Wilson! IMG_2371

Celebrate!

This would have been my Mum’s 89th birthday, had she lived to celebrate it.

Part of me wishes she had. I want her to be here – to hear her laugh, to share a cup of tea with her, to have her worry over me, to celebrate her birthday.

But she is in a far better place – and she doesn’t want to come back here.

She is celebrating. She is enjoying a party such as she has never done before – a party in heaven.

With God the Father who is delighted to have her join the party, thrilled to welcome her home.

With God the Son who came to this earth and died on the cross to make sure my Mum would be at that party.

With God the Spirit who comforted her and counselled her and guided her all through the 87 years she lived on earth.

With the angels in heaven who threw a party the day my Mum decided to trust the Lord.

Why would she want to leave all that to come back here?

She doesn’t. But we will go to be with her. We’ll join the party. And what a party that will be!

No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, 
   Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— 
   What God has arranged for those who love him.

I Corinthians 2:9