My 40th Birthday Wish

Today I turned forty.

When I was a kid, forty sounded really old.  Now that I’ve made it to that “really old age”, it doesn’t hardly seem old at all.  In fact, I feel like I’m just getting started on life.  It’s just in the last year that I’ve discovered a real love for ministry, for writing, and for speaking.  It’s just in the last year that I’ve gotten serious about pursuing these interests and passions.  And it’s just in the last year that doors have begun opening, inviting me to pursue my dreams.

In the weeks leading up to this big day, I’ve been pondering an answer to the question I knew was coming.  The perplexing question?  “What do you want for your birthday?”

It’s not that we make a real big deal about gifts at our house, especially for the adults, but I knew I’d be asked.  And for several weeks, I’ve known the answer.  Only, I’ve hesitated sharing it with anyone, because sharing it meant I was going to have to be vulnerable, and accountable.  Two things that don’t come easy to me, or probably any of us.

You see, my answer to the question, “What do you want for your birthday?” wasn’t a gift I hoped to receive; it was a desire and goal for the year ahead.  It’s been a desire for quite some time, but a desire that has long been ignored, and quite frankly, avoided.  But, facing this first year of being in my 40’s, I have decided this is the year – even if it means being vulnerable and accountable.

Over the past several years, my life has become increasingly sedentary.  And as the hours have filled with urgent and important tasks, physical exercise has become a thing of the past.  My weight has increased, my stamina decreased, and my physical health and appearance have been negatively impacted.

What I really want for my birthday is to make this the year that I place my physical health and fitness among the urgent and important.  Everything in me knows that I will be more effective, successful and healthy as a mom, wife, pastor, writer and speaker when I make this choice.  Over the next year I will make sacrifices to include daily exercise in my day.  I will overcome my embarrassment about the kids seeing my sweating and working out.  I will choose to be active.  I will remember my choices are not selfish or a waste of time.  And by this time next year, I will participate in at least a half-marathon.

And to keep myself accountable and committed, I will be blogging my way through the year at  Maybe you’d like to join me over the next year.  There will be early mornings, long days, sore muscles, frustration and set-backs.  But there will also be health, stamina, energy, growth and revitalization!

They say getting started is the hardest part.  So, before I chicken out or change my mind, I’m off to get my first workout in.