On Eagle's Wings

On Eagle's Wings
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31


Sunday, May 5, 2013

When I'm 64

"Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me?
Will you still feed me?
When I'm 64."
-Paul McCartney

64??? What happened?

As kids, we didn't have a birthday party every year, but the parties we did have are fondly remembered. Having a birthday in May almost always meant perfect spring weather and lots of outdoor fun. Neighborhood friends were invited to our house to celebrate and play such games as Drop the Handkerchief, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, and see who could drop the most clothespins into a jar. Our guests came bearing gifts of coloring books and crayons, paper dolls, jacks, jump ropes, or maybe a paddle board with ball attached by string.

It wouldn't be a birthday without Mom's special chocolate cake decorated with hard sugar candy decorations spelling out Happy Birthday, and served with ice cream! (It's difficult to see them in this blurred photo, but I know there were (or soon would be) six candles nestled down in some of those letters.)
My 6th birthday
(Notice all the girls are wearing dresses.)
Most birthdays were spent with family, and many of them with my Granny and Grandad whose birthdays were a couple of days before mine.  The photo below was taken on my seventh birthday. The pretty pink dress was a birthday gift from my grandparents, and I proudly held up my first "real" Bible, the present I had requested from my parents (and I still have that Bible).

(LOL - the picture wasn't developed until
October of that year.)

At 11 years, Mom suggested a "tacky" party to mark the occasion, and my friends were invited to come dressed in their best "scruffy" outfits. The party was a success, and I do remember receiving a copy of Heidi (a story I still love to this day), and a box of chocolate covered cherries (which I have to stay away from). My younger sister has a more distinct memory of this celebration. She and her best friend decided to enhance their "tackiness" by taking the one and only item of make-up I owned at that age, (a tube of "Avon Dawn Pink" lipstick), and smearing it all over their faces with a bobby pin! They not only ruined the lipstick by digging into it with the bobby pins, but really messed up their faces when they tried later to scrub it off with some kind of household cleaner!

Teenage years found me counting the days until I would turn Sweet 16 and be officially old enough to date. Then at 17, looking forward to being 18, the "magical" age that would enable me to make important decisions on my own, i.e., piercing my ears, wearing shorter dresses, going to movies, you know, all those things previously forbidden. ;-) Very limited vision! Freedom from school, work for a while, get married and raise a family of my own. Why was it always something in the future that we thought would bring happiness?

21 and married, and, all of a sudden, we are looking at 25 (an age which I never thought I would reach, for some unknown reason having an ominous feeling about it), the years are speeding ahead, 30, 40, 50, the BIG 60!

At 17, do you ever even think of the possibility that some of your dreams might end in disappointment? Too soon, I would have to deal with not only the realization of unfulfilled dreams, but also with the deaths of three of the dearest loved ones in my life, and my brother's horrendous experience with cancer ... all in the span of a few short years.

At 36, I learned that nothing turns out as ever expected. Life can change in one moment's time.
Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder. Is that really me?
Of course this isn't really me, silly! ;-)
And at 37, I re-learned that yes, life continues to change ... and always will.


Fast forward.

Happy faces!
(me totally unaware of a diagnosis I would
receive from the doctor that same month.
Thankful to say it's 8 years out now.)

Who knew this train trip through the Smokey Mountains
would take a scary turn and include an unexpected
care flight for my DH to a hospital in Knoxville?
We have been on many exciting journeys together ...
but just being with him is the biggest trip of all.
Good times. Hard times. How in the world could a person really learn about being thankful without the changes that life brings to all of us? The remembrances that God is good and faithful and with us throughout all of those? No matter what happens, always be thankful. For past blessings, for blessings yet to come, and during the difficulties.
Life is good and filled with so many blessings I can't count them. Not without its glitches and hardships, by any means. But it is richer, fuller; there is so much to be thankful for. The people I've known and loved, their impact on me, the things I have experienced in my life have given me so much.
(And one of the coolest things about getting older is that with the addition of so many wonderful people in your life from so many different parts of your life and your history, you get to celebrate MORE OFTEN! Lots of birthday lunches and getting together with friends. It's gonna be a fun next couple of weeks!)
That old Beatles song is a great one, and DH has filled out the form to say yes, he'll be mine evermore. But, in looking back over the years and all that has happened, the song I sing more often is much better than the one quoted above.
"I've had many tears and sorrows
I've had questions for tomorrow
There've been times I didn't know right from wrong
But in every situation
God gave blessed consolation
That my trials only come to make me strong
I've been a lot of places
And I've seen so many faces
But there've been times I've felt so all alone
But in that lonely hour
In that precious, lonely hour
Jesus let me know I was His own
Through it all
Through it all
I've learned to trust in Jesus
I've learned to trust in God
Through it all
Through it all
I've learned to depend upon His Word
So I thank God for the mountains
And I thank Him for the valleys
I thank Him for the storms He's brought me through
Cause if I never had a problem
I wouldn't know that He could solve them
I wouldn't know what faith in His Word could do."
 -Andrae Crouch
"He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God."
(Psalm 40:3 NLT)


Sweet Tea said...

What a "rich" post.
You have a great attitude and a wonderful testimony of God's love and plans for our life. My life story is much like yours, but you said it far better than I could. God bless you, Friend. You have been a real blessing and example to me. I value your friendship and wish we lived close to each other. Enjoy all the celebrating and have a WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY!!

Shelly said...

I am glad that it is the Lord who sees the end from the beginning and not us, because could we foresee all the hard times, I'm not sure we could make it through. But He knows and He never leaves us, never forsakes. I loved this walk through your life, and how your faith has remained so steady.

Happy birthday!!!

Chatty Crone said...

Gosh how do I love the meaning and the words you wrote. We never ever know what is right around the corner do we - and we need to love and live now. I am happy you are 8 years out and that your hubby is okay. Looks like you have a lot of great memories there. sandie

momto8 said...

happy birthday!
I enjoyed this post and the perspective! sometimes when I look back at all I've gone through I think, I never would have been able to go through those times if I knew ahead of time!!
and what beautiful pictures!!

nancygrayce said...

I so enjoyed your birthday post, and so true! I did a similar post when I turned 60...... It's just impossible that we can be this old!!! Happy Birthday and you look gorgeous! No worries about the age!

Melanie said...

Lovely post Nonnie!! Yes, life is filled with too many blessings to count! Happy Birthday to you my friend!!

Enjoyed this post very much, thank you for sharing with us!!

Geneva said...

What a gracious post ... I enjoyed every word. You've had a rich life indeed and your grateful attitude must be a blessing to everyone who knows you.

yaya said...

Happy Birthday and you look marvelous darling! I echo your feelings on getting older and also looking back to see how far we've come and how blessed, even in trial, we are. Hope your day and the days of celebrating to come are filled with health and happiness and family.

Marsha Young said...

A Very happy birthday, Nonnie, and many happy returns.

I was thinking of that very A. Crouch song while I was reading your post, and voila, there it was at the bottom. Great minds...I guess. :)
Blessings to you.

Decadent Housewife said...

So true, all your words.

Belated Birthday Greetings.
Best Wishes for the future.

Kay G. said...

What a wonderful post.
Your faith comes shining through!
Blessings on you and
I would suggest this: celebrate your birthday the whole month. That's what I do!