I praise God for 71 years of miracles. Ten years ago, the C-word came into my life! Some of you have followed me over the years and you know that now I’m cancer free! What a miracle! Something great to celebrate!
This year I will also “celebrate” (I’m really not celebrating that!) being a widow; but I would rather have my husband with me. What I celebrate is God’s love and grace in my life these past ten years. Not only ten years but the entire 71!
In some ways, I could say I’ve been a world traveler. I celebrated my first and second birthdays in Sweden, Europe. That is way up north! Then came birthdays way down south, in Chile, South America.
Then I’ve celebrated birthdays in Sweden again, in Canada, in Peru, in Argentina, in Bolivia, and in the USA.
When it’s your birthday you tend to reminisce. One of my favorite memories is from a birthday in Huancayo, Peru. I’ve written about it before, but you will forgive me if I write about it again.
My girls were small and I was very tired, probably from being a mom to preschoolers and working full-time in the ministry. My husband and I were missionaries. The young people from the church surprised me with a serenade, which meant they came around at midnight to wake me up and sing for me.
One of the young men gave me a Bible passage as a birthday present: Psalm 92. Translations don’t come out the same in every language, and the way Psalm 92:10 reads in Spanish just overwhelmed me. In English: “You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox; fine oils have been poured upon me.” The literal translation from the Spanish version is this:
“You increase my strength like that of a buffalo; you pour fresh oil on my head.”
What a promise! I’ll never forget how invigorated I felt just by reading it.
When I turned 50 I received a present I had to give up! We were living in Colorado and my parents and sibling gave me money for a hot air balloon ride. Would that ever have been fun? But the families needs were great at that time and I had to give up that money to buy groceries. Will I ever get to “Take it back” and do the balloon ride? It’s been a long time!
Las year I wrote about a Surprise Present God gave me when I turned 33! He made my leg grow out! Go to March 2016 and read about it! Or click here: A Surprise Birthday Present
I want to show you my favorite present from this year. My little Sarah felt bad that she didn’t have a present for me, so she drew a picture. I love all the pictures I get from this girl.
For Christmas 2015 Sarah’s mother gave me a journal. I love journals! This one Sarah took over and labeled as a book for illustrations. I wrote a caption, “Sarah, my Illustrator” on it. Recently she corrected me, saying it was not right. “I am an author, too,” said Sarah. Yes, she and I write stories together. We are working on a story she has written and illustrated. She is very excited because I’m going to “publish” it!
So, this girl gave me the picture. Then she came with a little bonnet and gave it to me. She told me it was “almost” new, that she had hardly wore it. Now I have a “Little House on the Prairie” bonnet. That is my Sarah!
Another important event that day, on Saturday, was that she asked me if we could be best friends. Not only best friends, but best, best friends! What a birthday present!
A friend from Springfield called early this morning with a word from God’s Word. Let me share it with you. Wonderful words from the Lord!
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Jeremiah 31:3 ESV
Love and faithfulness! That is what has followed me all my life. I don’t have words to express my thankfulness to God for his love and faithfulness. I wish I was an expressive person; I wish I could be emotional in my expressions of gratefulness. If you could peek into my journal today, you might have a little laugh. “I am just a dry, old Swede,” is what I wrote. Nothing spectacular about my expressions of thankfulness, but God sees my heart.
Today, as I turn 71, my heart overflows with gratefulness. I have lots of greetings on Facebook. How exciting! I have talked to my sister Agneta and to my Dad. I am “talking” with you, my friend.
I invited my family (Carina and her family) for dinner on Friday. It turned out a little disastrous because the pork chops were too thick and didn’t get cooked all the way through. Brianna was so kind to me, trying to “console” me. “It’s okay, Miss L!” (Miss L? Yes, that is what the kids call me.) “It’s okay, Miss L!” Their dad put them in the microwave a few minutes. My intentions were good. Next time I’ll invite them a favorite Peruvian dish. That will probably turn out better!
Now, I must hurry. I will have a hair-cut. And then I want to go watch The Shack, a new movie. It’s controversial. I cannot give an opinion if I have not seen it. That will be my birthday treat!
I hope to soon get back into my regular blog postings. I’m still working on getting settled in my new home. I must get a new driver’s license and new number-plates for my car. I need to renew my passport… All this takes time. And I must keep up with my Bible lessons and stories, and my helpers in Costa Rica and Peru. And I have my translation work. I’m working harder at 71 then ever before! And I love every minute of it!
Bye for now, from a very busy 71-year old!