It's still about half a year away, but the slide into "40" is underway for me. The number doesn't bother me, and there is a sense of expectation building as this milestone birthday draws near. Among other things, it is catching my attention and causing me to stop and think about certain things a little more.
Living intentionally, and self-discipline
Separate sections for each of these ideas would have been appropriate, but they seem to go hand-in-hand and almost be inseparable, at least for me.
For some time, it feels as I have just been "getting by" in life. Long-range goal-setting is not one of my greater strengths, and yet seeing the children grow older without my being as purposeful in parenting them as I could be, and realizing the lack of growth/purpose/vision in my own life, sometimes catches my breath. Someone asked us this weekend what our goals were as parents for our family and I was humbled that we didn't really have any that we could verbalize specifically. (Of course we hope our children will choose Christ and desire to serve/follow/obey him all of their lives, and we probably do have goals for them subconsciously, but could definitely stand to be more intentional in this area.) So one thing that is on my mind is taking greater care in this area (and I don't mean being more serious - I am far too serious as it is - just more eternally minded). "Se we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." - 2 Corinthians 4:18
There is also a greater need for self-discipline, which I am reminded of often in many different ways. For example, today while trying to finish off the remaining hours of continuing education that must be done by the end of the month, I read articles about diabetes, high cholesterol, and osteoporosis, which are all health problems that I could be at risk for either due to genetics, or lack of caring for my body well. It seemed like a barrage of reminders that this is an area of self-discipline I not only need to develop for my own long-term health benefits, but also as a model to our children. There is the daily reminder of the reflection of my less-than-ideal health choices by them, as well, such as cravings for sugar and lack of motivation for exercise.
Besides these greater, more significant needs and areas of life to consider, there are lesser things on my mind, such as a desire to read more, do more personal journaling, and making more opportunities to minister to others.
Perhaps it is time to dust off my "word for the year" again - ACTION - and put it to use!