My fifty-first year was short, but mighty. It’s been my favorite so far. I did a lot of living, a lot of learning and a lot of loving in the past three hundred sixty-five days.
A LOT OF LIVING
January brought our fourteenth trip to Belize. We think of it as our home away from home. I climbed Mayan ruins for the fourteenth time, and saw the country through the fresh eyes of my youngest son and nephew.
In March, I conquered my fears, and pushed past preconceived notions, when I flew Etihad Air to the Middle East. In Oman, I trekked sand dunes, swam in the Indian Ocean, and ate the best food I have ever eaten in my life. I was mesmerized by the brilliant fabrics, frankincense wafting in the air, and the gorgeous doors of hospitality.
In the UAE, I took in Dubai from the bird’s eye view of the Bourj Kalifa.
I saw an indoor ski slope in a Dubai mall (AN INDOOR SKI SLOPE!!!), and stood in the hush under what must have been thousands of butterflies in the Butterfly Room.
Covered from head to toe, I toured the magnificent Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
June brought our thirtieth anniversary trip to Jamaica where I did nothing but soak up sun, sand and food. Oh, and I did meet a husband and wife, also on their anniversary trip, who had also recently visited Dubai. The big world is getting very small, indeed.
July took me to Trinidad where, at the lowest point of the Pitch Lake, I walked on a molten sea of tar, and at the highest vantage point of St. George Fort, I prayed a blessing over the country with outstretched hands.
August was my tour guide to Malaysia. Both Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur (via Hong Kong). I have yet to sort out my feelings from this trip, as there was so much of…everything. Sights, sounds, smells, people. So many people. No more space to spread out, so everything climbs up, up, up.
Besides traveling outside of the country, there were plenty of trips interspersed stateside to make most people dizzy. School of Missions in St. Louis, Missouri. Family vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama, Ladies Conference in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Ministering in Tulsa, Oklahoma, UPCI General Conference in Kansas City, Missouri…I digress…
A LOT OF LEARNING
I learned that people are people all over the world, and that God is God in every nook and cranny of it, as well.
I learned that no matter what language a person speaks, you can always communicate with a smile, a hug, or the squeeze of a hand.
I learned that people can tell you are sincere if you show respect and appreciation for their customs.
I learned that preconceived notions about people only breeds fear and hate.
I learned that these bodies we live in are fragile, yet they can be sturdy as nails when the need arises.
I learned to wear compression socks when I fly long distances.
I learned that eyes leak when hearts are longing to reconnect across datelines and timezones.
I learned that food poisoning makes you feel like you are dying, and wish you could, but then you don’t, and you are glad.
I learned that when you travel with friends, the journey is so much sweeter.
I learned that the work of God is bigger than me, and I will do just about anything to be a part of it.
A LOT OF LOVING
Husband, Children, Daughter-in-Love, Grandson, Twin Grandsons on the way, Men and Women of God, Family, Extended Family, Church Family, Community, Friends. Heart Connections. I love them all even more as I turn fifty-one than I did when I turned fifty.
So what if I’ve got more gray hair than I did last year. I’ve done a lot of living, learning and loving over the last three hundred sixty-five days to get it. Gray Hair. Don’t Care…It’s my birthday, after all;)