40 reasons

My birthday’s coming up and my daughter keeps asking, ‘how old are you?’ So I’ve taught her to say ‘one, two, three, four -ty.’ Life’s too short to do the whole count.

Left to myself, I’d wail, ‘The best is over!’ But I have far too much to be thankful for.  Forty years in which I’ve known the Lord’s goodness. Forty years of being carried.  Forty years of manna and forty years of grace.  480 months, 2080 weeks, 14600 days, 350400 hours, 21024000 minutes and 1261440000 seconds – and in every one, the Lord has been faithful.

I’m thankful, that..

  1. I have all my own teeth
  2. the Lord has never treated me as I have deserved, but has loved me as His child
  3. He redeems the bits I always hated – and made some of them into the best parts
  4. His love is deep and unconditional
  5. For space and silence and sabbath rest – even in the chaos
  6. He has made me  – good!
  7. A loving birth family and a loving church family
  8. His Spirit who helps me when I can’t go on
  9. The first sip of coffee when I’m struggling to wake
  10. Joy in the little moments that aren’t planned or expected
  11. Right now, there is blessing; but the best is still ahead
  12. For my daughter, a miracle
  13. For the indestructible joy that comes only through pain
  14. That He is breaking me of wrong loves because He wants more for me
  15. He hears me when I weep
  16. Despite all that I have said and done, there is no condemnation
  17. He has made me to lean – on Him and on you
  18. For books; and the slowness of reading and the gift of entering another person’s world
  19. That my busyness is a choice; and there is always Sabbath rest
  20. There will always be enough – because He is
  21. I’m not the centre of the world
  22. He breaks whatever binds
  23. For candlelight and crosswords and gifts that aren’t necessary but bring joy
  24. In Christ, I don’t need to pretend
  25. I am not in control; and I never was
  26. Outwardly I’m crumbling; but inwardly I’m being made new
  27. My husband, who knew me, before; who chose me and keeps choosing me
  28. For friends; the ones I’ve known my whole life; and the ones I’ve only met
  29. Kindness when I don’t deserve it…that brings me to my knees
  30. Hard-won stillness
  31. The word that shows me Jesus, everyday, afresh
  32. I’m not who the world says.  Hurrah!
  33. The cat, purring on my knee
  34. Words of hope from other believers, like batons in the race
  35. I don’t need to know the answers
  36. There’s a place where I fit
  37. Music that points beyond what’s here and says the things I can’t articulate
  38. The courage of those who have gone before and finished the race
  39. God, who comes down into our mess; and takes us to be with Him
  40. The beauty of Jesus.


Thank you, Lord.

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3 thoughts on “40 reasons

  1. Awww. Happy, happy birthday Emma! <3
    (Though this makes us two different decades apart now- a sure sign of age, cos I'm still twenties ;-) Hahaha kidding – the age difference is constant hahaha)

    Has it been that long already, I thought I chanced upon your 35th birthday post once .. :D

    At 20-something with two root canals (ouch, wallet!), I reckon having all your own teeth at 40 is good (enough) haha. And *always* coffee, at any age. & Ruby! I definitely remember some of your posts before the time of Ruby … truly a miracle indeed.

    Eat cake! xx

  2. Happy Birthday Emma!

    I woke this morning to my iPhone reminding me that it was your birthday. Then, found out on your blog that it is your 40th. I like how, in this present moment, you can relate to forty years of being carried and cared for “in the wilderness.” Forty years of manna and forty years of Grace, that is Jesus! As I approach 59, the “Eeyore” in me has such a hard time remembering and accepting such good news, until I hear or read it again in the Bible and sometimes in a blogpost like this. I’m on the opposite side of the “age” spectrum from Dee above. So, today I’m grateful for the centering thought that your forty years represents: there’s always daily manna for us older folk, too ?.

    In our westernized world, we think of birthdays as timed journeys around the sun. But, I prefer how the Hebrew language asks someone his or her age: Instead of saying something like “how old are you?”, the phrase goes “how long are you a son or a daughter?” And, the reply is given as “I am a son/daughter for ….” Age is given in the context of relationship, rather than “years traveling around the sun.” With that in mind, Happy Birthday for being a daughter for 40 years!

    Much Love ❤️?☕️

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