Thursday, October 6, 2016

Two Special Smilestones...a Fifty & a Five!!

"The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: 
forsake not the works of Thine own hands."
Psalm 138:8
(KJV)


I feel like I owe the readers of Homespun Devotions some sort of apology.
My blogging has been sporadic, even non-existent, of late.
It is just that there is so much going on in our lives that I am too busy enjoying what is happening to sit down and write about it.  ☺
And, believe me, that is a good thing.
The pieces are falling into place, like the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle shown in the picture above.
While I was working it, it is was a mystery.
Some pieces were lovely and bright and joy-inspiring.
Some pieces were dark and ugly and, at first glance, seemed pointless.
But, when it was all complete, just look at how pretty it became!
Every, single puzzle piece had a point and was designed by the one who created the puzzle.

(I wrote more about this in the 2nd blog post I ever wrote.
If you would like to read this blast from the past, just click here!)

Such is the story of our lives.
God, our glorious Creator, has done so much for us.
I keep telling Kevin and Zach that I never really feel like I am getting my praise completely out.
I just feel that even my grandest attempts to let Him know how much I appreciate all He has done and is doing just falls SO short of expressing the deep gratitude and JOY in my heart and soul.

He has delivered us from so much bondage.
He has lifted us out of the miry clay and set our feet upon a rock and established our goings.
(Psalm 40:2)
Praise His holy name!

While it would take me years to share all of His bountiful blessings with you,
I do want to mention two special smilestones He has recently permitted me to pass.

Number one, I turned 50 years old.
Can I believe it?
Not at all.
Is this me?
Sometimes, I am not sure!
Because, inside, I still feel like the 14 year old girl who handed God the reins to my life here in this sacred spot.
Hopeful.  Bursting with anticipation of what God is going to do next in our lives.
Excited for the future.
Longing for His will to be made known.
Yearning to fulfill His plan for me and live out the purpose for which He placed me upon this earth.
Dreaming of the adventures life holds for my little family and me.
An endless romantic-at-heart.
Perpetually thirsty for God.
Hungry for more of Him...His Spirit, His blessings, His love.

Do I feel 50 years old?
Not a bit.
Oh, the physical part of me feels it.
Every ache and pain and new age spot reminds me.
Where do they come from?  Age spots, I mean.
How can they just appear overnight?
The physical part of me feels 50 years old...some days older!
But does that inward part of me feel like it has inhabited earth for 50 years?
Not a chance!

"For which cause we faint not; 
but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day."
2 Corinthians 4:16

Do you know what God has been showing me concerning my 50th birthday?
This is the Year of Jubilee!!!!
I love reading about the year of Jubilee in the Old Testament and how at the end of each 7th year,
there was a release, but at the 7th end of the 7th year (at the end of 49 years),
there was this amazing, wonderful, magnificent, liberating thing called "The Year of Jubilee".

“And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; 
and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.
Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, 
in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family” 
Leviticus 25:8-10

"Hallow the fiftieth year"....I love that.
"proclaim liberty throughout all the land"...love that, too.

In this 50th year, slaves were released and set free.
Mortgages were cancelled.
Bondage was obliterated.
Chains of oppression were broken.
Families were reunited.

It was a time of great rejoicing.
It was a year of restoration and the righting of wrong.

50 used to sound so old to me.
Decrepit, even.
Like a dreaded event that meant life was over.

Now, that I am here, I find that it is not an event to be dreaded at all.
Turning 50 feels like turning a corner.
Like something truly amazing and wonderful is coming.
Like an incredible smilestone...a major accomplishment...not for me, but for GOD.
Without Him, I am nothing.
Without Him, I can do nothing.
Without Him, I would not be here.

In light of what He has done and is still doing in our lives,
how can I ever view turning 50 as a negative?
I am SO blessed to be alive.
I look back over the many health challenges and things God has brought me through,
and I am compelled to turn my face Heavenward,
raise my hands to Him Who has wrought such miracles,
and burst forth into heartwrenched praise!

I haven't shared much of that with you here, but suffice to say, 
life, to me, is a beyond precious gift...given by a loving Creator Who absolutely wants us to live it abundantly.

He is a mighty GOD to me.
I have seen Him do miraculous, humanly unexplainable things...
things that there was no other explanation for...
just HIM and His almighty power,

He has brought me to this place...
of turning 50, of entering into "The Year of Jubilee",
of the beginning of a new chapter for my family and me...walking forward together in a new place.
It is the beginning of new traditions, a fresh start, a clean slate.
Thank you, Jesus, from the bottom of my grateful heart.
Knowing this, makes me sing!
Here are two of my favorite songs in the world.
 I may or may not be known to often randomly break out singing them,
regardless of where I am or who is around me.
That is one of the sweet benefits of being a jubilant 50.
I no longer have to care what people think of me.
How liberating!!

If video doesn't load, click here.


If video doesn't load, click here.

On a more serious note, another fact about turning 50 is not lost to me.
There is this intensified sense of responsibility.
Why?
Because, I now officially feel like one of those women the Apostle Paul was writing to in Titus chapter 2.
You know the passage. 
"The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."
Titus 2:3-5

God, please help me!
Am I qualified to fill these shoes?
I am here....I have arrived, by His amazing grace.
Am I ready for this new dimension of commission?

The second smilestone I recently passed is the 5th Anniversary of this blog.
Yep.
That's right.
50 years ago, I was born.
Five years ago, on October 1st, 2011, Homespun Devotions was born.
I can't believe it has been five years.

Thank you for walking this journey with me, dear friends.
Of all the places you could visit on the worldwide web,
of all the many other ways you could choose to spend your precious time,
you come here.
You read.
You subscribe.
You comment.
You follow.
You never cease to encourage me.
I am humbled indeed by your kindness, love, and the precious gift of your friendship.

You mean the world to me.

My prayer today is that God will be especially near to each one of you.
That you will know how much you are loved.
That you will see how special you truly are.
That you will feel His presence in brand-new and exciting ways.
That your burdens will be lighter,
your health will improve,
your days will be long upon this earth,
and that each one of those days will be filled with His most abundant blessings.

I don't know what you need today.
But, you and I, we share the same Father.
You are my brother.
My sister.
Dear to my heart.
And, our mutual Father is continually aware of each one of your...and my individual needs.
He cares about you so much!
He is watching.
He knows.
So, be of good cheer, and press on.
God has great plans for your future.
You are perpetually...and unconditionally loved!

God bless you, my dear friends.

34 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday, Mrs. Cheryl!! I praise God for your life, and thank Him for your friendship to me these last many months and for the encouragement you are through your lovely blog! Keep writing and sharing Jesus!

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    1. Oh, Hannah! Thank you so very much! You are so precious to my heart, and I am so grateful to have you in my life. I can't thank you enough for your kind words. God bless you, sweet friend. :)

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  2. Happy birthday, Cheryl, and welcome to the 50 club! I wish you a birthday filled to overflowing with love, joy, and all things beautiful!

    As you know, I struggled many years with fertility issues. Although I easily conceived 2 children, I was unable to conceive more. For 17 long years, I carried this pain and heartbreak. Finally, with my 50th birthday looming on the horizon, God gave me peace about no more children. I find that significant that just as I was about to turn 50, God gave me release and brought me into a place of peace.

    Blessings to you,
    Patti

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    1. Bless your dear heart, Patti. I surely know how you feel with the infertility issues, and I am SO sorry you had this heartbreak. I am so thankful God, in His infinite mercy, gave you peace and that you were able to let it go and that you were blessed with your two precious children. Thank you ever so much for your kind words, and may the dear Lord bless you abundantly. Sending you much love and many blessings, my friend!

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  3. Oh dear Cheryl.... you don't know how happy this post makes me, it just thrills my heart to hear of what the Lord is doing in your heart and life! You are right, 50 has always been a year that seems like the beginning of the downward slope, and yet the Lord has taken it and made it an incredibly powerful thing in your life! Oh I give the Lord praise for doing such a great work in your heart in and life! This blog in its 5th year is such a special blessing for so many to come here to read and be encouraged... oh yes, the blessings of the Lord they make rich and add no sorrow with it! Rejoicing with you my friend!!!!! Much love and hugs :)

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    1. Dear friend! Thank you ever so much for your sweet words and precious friendship. You mean so very much to me, and I am sending you so much love and many hugs back! God bless you abundantly!

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  4. Happy Birthday to you, dear Cheryl! Oh...to be 50 again! I just turned 62 a couple of weeks ago but when I had my 60th, I had a new motto: "Sixty is the new Forty" LOL! Like you, I have a hard time wrapping my brain around how "old" I am getting. And also like you, I feel it in my body but my brain is still telling me I am a youngster! Oh...not a child, of course, but still very young at heart, I don't want to be an "old" old person! I still have so much to learn form the Lord and much growing to do but I am thankful that He still IS teaching me....Praise His name! I pray you have a wonderful year and that you have many more! Beautiful post, my friend...HUGS!

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    1. I love your philosophy that 60 is the new 40!! Why, we are just younguns yet!! LOL! Thank you ever so much for your sweet words and support and friendship. You are a special blessing in my life. Sending many hugs back your way!! God bless you!

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  5. Wow! I don't think it's a coincidence that your birthday and the Year of Jubilee fell in place. Happy 50th, sister!

    And you're ready, more than ready, to be that lady spoken of in scripture… you've been that girl long before your years.

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    1. Thank you ever so much, Floyd. Your kind words, encouragement, and support mean so much! I can't thank you enough and pray God blesses you abundantly, brother.

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  6. Happy 50th, Cheryl! You're always an inspiration.

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    1. Thank you ever so much, sweet friend. You are such a dear blessing to me!

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  7. A belated happy birthday, Cheryl! Praying the Lord blesses you with a very wonderful year. And happy blog anniversary as well! Come Thou Found and How Great Thou Art are both beautiful songs.

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    1. Thank you so much, sweet Bethany! God bless you, my friend. :)

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  8. Happy 50th Birthday. May you have a splendid time with your family.

    Time to Praise Him for the past 50 years and for many more still to come.

    God bless you and yours.

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    1. Thank you so much, Victor! Yes, amen, and amen! Looking forward to the next 50, Lord willing! So thankful to walk this blogging journey with your encouragement by my side. God bless you!

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  9. Happy late birthday Cheryl. 50 is young! May you keep in good health and happiness as your birthdays continue.

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    1. Oh, thank you Elizabeth! It sure feels a lot younger than I used to think it would. LOL! God bless you, my sweet long-distance friend. :)

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  10. Congratulations Cheryl, on meeting those milestones! Wishing you many more happy smilestones ahead.

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    1. Thank you so much, sweet friend. You are a blessing to me on my journey. Sending you hugs and blessings in return!

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  11. Happy Birthday to one of the loveliest fifty year old women I know. You sparkle with radiance and shine forth as a beautiful witness to Jesus' love. May God continue to pour out new direction and favor upon you as you look to Him in your days! Hugs to you, Cheryl.

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    1. Dear Mary! Your precious words never fail to encourage and bless me beyond telling. Thank you ever so much, and may God bless you, dear friend. :)

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  12. Dearest friend, I have been remiss in keeping in touch with you through emails lately. I understand how *life* can pick up the pace - and I know you and I both understand how the pace can go faster than we realize! But I also know that you understand that true friends stay connected in their hearts and prayers, even when time passes. You and your dear family are never far from my thoughts and prayers, and I love you, and them, very much.

    So, that being said, I am wishing you a most HAPPY Birthday!! It's so funny to me how 50 sounds so young now!! I hope that you had a wonderful day, and that you felt special, valued, and celebrated. You are one of the most gracious and beautiful women I know, both inside and out. Your quiet spirit, and determined faith, never fails to inspire, encourage, and uplift me. May God continue to bless you in all ways!

    And Happy Anniversary on the blog! I have recently passed 6 years, and it's been kinda special to see what God has done in my life over those years. Certainly one of the most unexpectedly amazing things is all the true friendships that God has brought to me. You have been, and continue to be, a precious gift.

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Oh, dear friend! I truly do understand, and I have felt so bad to not keep in touch, either. Oh, I do want to! But, as you said, life goes by so fast, and we are all so busy with trying to keep up. YES, my friend, we are always connected in our hearts and prayers, and we always pick up right where we left off! You are such a dear blessing to my family and me, and I cannot thank you enough for your dear, kind words here. I just pray God heals you and blesses you in so many wonderful ways. I love and appreciate you so very much!!!

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  13. Happy Birthday! I love this comment of yours in your post: "I never really feel like I am getting my praise completely out". I totally understand. I was really feeling that was this morning. I am dealing with a yucky cold right now but there is so many, many other reasons to praise even in the midst of various trials. God is so good!

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet greetings, Abbi. I do trust you feel better very soon, and may God send the healing you need. Thank you for your encouragement and support...it truly means so much to me! God bless you. :)

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  14. Sweet Cheryl, You are such an incredible joy!! Your love for our Lord is absolutely contagious!!

    I loved your insights about turning 50. I never even equated when I turned 50 with the year of Jubilee, but what a wonderful way of looking at that milestone!

    I found your words convicting with the reminder of what Scripture instructs the aged women to be about.

    I am rejoicing with you and your family with all praise and Glory to our Heavenly Father for all that He is doing in your lives to brings you such incredible joy.

    And congratulations on your blogiversary! I am so thankful that the Lord moved you to blog and to keep up this wonderful calling! I am so grateful to know you. You are such a blessing to me.

    I love you dear sister. Blessings,

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    1. Oh, bless your dear heart, my sweet friend! Your precious words of encouragement are indeed such a blessing to me. Thank you ever so much. I love and appreciate you dearly!

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  15. Thanks so much for the prayer and for your reminder of God's constant watching and caring for me. Just what I needed to be reminded of tonight.

    Welcome to the 50 and over club! :)

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    1. Dear friend! I am SO blessed by your words and so grateful to the dear Lord that you found encouragement here. How it uplifts me to know this! God bless you abundantly and meet your every need. Sending you a big hug!

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  16. Happy Birthday! Wonderful to meet you my blogging sister.

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    1. Thank you so much, Theresa! It is so wonderful to meet you, as well. I so appreciate your sweet visit! God bless you!

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  17. Fifty is a great age. You are still so very young, but NEVER let age stop you from going after that which God is revealing to you. My Pastor has trusted me to do some teaching, and although I have taught, preached and shared in the past - - this in my 80 plus years is the happiest time in my life. At age 50 it is alright to sit down once in a while and relax, read, pray, and even take a nap. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments, Hazel. I am so very blessed to have made it this far, and it is encouraging to think about the good things God has in store! It is also very encouraging to know how happy you are in your 80's. Such a wonderful example you set for us all!

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