|Focus on the Family’s Odyssey Adventure Club is turning one, and they want you to celebrate with them! We’d be thrilled if you shared this great deal with your friends and followers!
Praise for the Odyssey Adventure Club:
“AIO has been such a blessing to me and my family. They were able to help me re-connect with my 6-year-old, especially on our way to school. It’s something we can listen to and have those special moments together. I’m so appreciative of what you all do and what you allow God to do in our lives.”
~ Christine, Mom from Fla.
“Today I am getting baptized because I want to show God that I love God and it will bring me closer to Him. When I accepted Jesus in my heart I was listening to Adventures in Odyssey in my basement. Adventures in Odyssey was a big part of my decision to be baptized.”
~ Claire Bivens, age 8
Members of the Odyssey Adventure Club receive:
In the coming months, members will also be able to look forward to:
Additionally, a portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations, such as Carry the Cure and Mission Aviation Fellowship, providing parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of serving others. The Odyssey Adventure Club hopes to spend another 25 years hand-in-hand with parents seeking to teach biblical truth to their children while inspiring the theater of their imagination.
For a few years, each birthday I’ve blogged about how I’m feeling about the new age I’m in. I’m a little late on this one, but here it goes.
I’ve noticed 44 is usually the last number on surveys and paperwork before a new age bracket begins.
It’s a small step forward to being closer to 50 than 40.
But for me, 44 isn’t a bad year to embrace.
I’m looking forward to the future while contending for it.
I’m believing God for promises He sealed to be delivered long before I was born.
I’m long past the longing for a baby to hold as my own, and starting to look forward to the day when I hear I’m going to be a grandmother (from Tom’s older children, when they are both married.)
We’re looking for a home that will be our last.
The place where kids graduate and move on.
Where we retire.
Where we entertain our kids and their families.
But first, there’s the now.
Entering new writing projects filled with hope and promise.
Waiting on other writing projects but coming to terms with it.
Trying new things, including a haircut my stylist based, of all people, on Miley Cyrus.
And I wear that hair, with the same attitude I wear 44.
The last couple years I’ve used my birthday to gauge what my new age looks like on me. Here is last year’s post.
Turning 43 feels like the clickety-clack of a roller coaster inching toward the top. It’s not old age, but it isn’t the youth that I felt was just yesterday.
Last year was a doozie. So much change. Loss. Grief. Transition.
But it wasn’t all bad. We took a family Disney cruise. Our kids are thriving in school. My husband’s work life is full of favor. Those hard times were opportunities to grow, and I receive that.
So here’s what 43 looks like on me.
1. The focus is clearer. I remember as a kid trying to look through binoculars. What setting worked for my dad to see a deer, I had to fine tune. Recently God fine tuned the vision He has for my life. I believe this is from Him because it is a flash of a vision that appears more and more. And it excites and frightens me. I want to wait on a bit before sharing, but I sense from here on in, what I do will propel me forward for this.
2. Finish strong. Where so much has changed, I am living intentionally. I give tributes to people now because neither of us is guaranteed another day. If I’ve given everything I had and God has released me, you won’t see me one second longer than He asks me to be there. Life is too short, and I’m kicking the dust off places and people that clearly have no use for me. It isn’t personal, unless you try to manipulate me to stay where God doesn’t want me. I try to pass on what I’m learning. Encourage. Mentor. Love.
3. Don’t take those small things for granted. Breaking my wrist and the long, painful recovery was not in my plan for last year. Every morning when I make coffee I’m thankful I can. For months I either couldn’t do it, or I had to prop my cast against the coffee maker to do it. I had trouble opening jars, getting dressed, showering. When someone is intentional about interacting with me, I appreciate it. Some topics aren’t fun, but people have the courage to approach me, anyway. I don’t take that for granted. I also don’t minimize grief and what causes it or the timeframe to finish. I don’t want to see anyone harping on the same event 20 years from now, but there were things in 2012/13 that knocked me so hard I wasn’t sure I could recover. My mind is constantly on, and most often thinking about appreciating things and people who saw me through.
4. How precious peace and joy are. These are experiences that separate the wheat from the chaff. Peace and joy are from Christ alone and on the kind of days where the wind whips and sand pelts your eyes, you know it’s Him when there is still a song on your heart. A covering that despite the heartbreak holds you steady. No one can buy that, and I had these things in abundance. So, so thankful.
5. Don’t take the bait. There’s a video gone viral where the woman in the newstory blurts, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” Last year brought so many situations that definitely had the potential for drama. I haven’t acted perfectly, often falling for the bait to keep the emotions high. I had a friend who knew some of the circumstances in my life and pointed out that I had baiters in my life. She shared she heard the term from Dr. Phil, and that baiters like toxic waters. What I find humorous is that people who know me in real life say they know what circumstance I’m talking about when I share what I’m seeing or learning on FB. Thing is, very few know all going on. Very, very few. So when a baiter comes along hoping to stir me up, I don’t want to take the bait. Seriously, ain’t nobody got time for that.
I don’t dare guess what 43 will be like. I sense full of opportunity. My word for the year is abundance, and I’m seeing that play out in different ways. But my eyes are wide open, heart is mending and expanding, and my steps are bold and with purpose to advance God’s Kingdom. If that’s all that happens this year, I say it’s going to be a great year!
Ah, the weekend. It’s a busy one for us. It’s for a good reason, so let me share.
Eight years ago tomorrow I watched my husband hold our daughter for the first time. It was a surreal planned c-section: the surgeon had music play and Bryan Adams “Everything I do, I Do it for You” was in the background. The doctor was a large man who confessed he sweats a lot so he donned a mask the others said made him like Darth Vader.
No matter, he delivered a daughter we had long waited for.
She struggled a few months later and for the rest of her first year. We nearly lost her. She had delays that professionals warned me would most likely put her in the category of retardation.
Those professionals always forget one thing before they come into contact with me.
They don’t know my God like I do.
I knew when she was in the womb that God promised she would be an overcomer. He doesn’t lie. She isn’t in any category but incoming second grader. Her medical team is down to pediatrician and endocrinologist. She doesn’t just talk, she sings. If a person can be a color she is glittery pink. If you need her defined by one word, it’s joy.
Removed from those dark days I now see that God didn’t cause those times, but He DID allow them. Not only did He heal our daughter, He grew my faith. I am not the same person I was. I guess to take the cliche, we are new and improved. But out of all it, God uses her and me as a mom advocate to show the professionals who the true Professional is.
And in the end, I have faith they will know my God like we do.
That makes me happy.
Another thing that makes me happy is when someone wants to know more about what I do. Jeff Rivera, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Gatekeepers Post interviewed me. I share basic tips on adding speaker to your writing resume. Would you please read and pass the link on? That would make me…happy.