Phil (my husband) and I want to share Jesus’ love by living well. We like to use natural, everyday events to demonstrate love to those around us. Every year, we have opportunities to open our home, Christmas, summer BBQs, birthdays, and anniversaries. These are natural occasions to invite others into our lives.
The birthday I turned 60, I was really excited. I wanted a party, with lots of people to celebrate with me, and I wanted an opportunity to share how thankful I am to Jesus for giving me life. Phil and our kids did all the hard work, and the big day arrived. Our backyard was packed with friends, neighbours and family. As I looked around, I caught a glimpse of how much our city has changed over my lifetime. In our yard were 71 guests, people from eleven countries! How exciting to share my day with people from all over the world who are all a part of our lives.
I prepared a speech as part of my special day. As I began to speak, a good friend helped me up onto a table so that everyone could see.
Here is part of what I shared:
My True Wealth
“Today I want to thank all of you for coming to my 60th birthday. The older I get the more I realize that people (relationships) are what counts, you all are my true wealth. The Bible says, “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy.” Philippians 1:3-4 (NLT). This sums up my feelings for all of you; knowing you has made me a better person.
One benefit of turning 60 (besides getting my pension check!) is that I now have history. With history comes: perspective. I am learning to “not sweat the small stuff”, to really live life and embrace today, it is such a gift. Phil has taught me that life is a journey, enjoy the trip!”
‘Famous in battle’
I love my name: Lorraine Anne. ‘Lorraine’ means ‘famous in battle’. I have engaged in many battles throughout my 60 years. From the vantage point, now at 60, I am learning to choose my battles, not everything needs a comment, and some hills I just don’t want to die on. I have also learned we don’t get to choose some battles, they just arrive. I have battled cancer twice and God has allowed me to live. My middle name Anne with an e means ‘favored by God’. I am so favoured.
‘Happily Ever After’
As a young adult, I longed to fit in, to have purpose and to not be afraid. I have found both life and peace in knowing Jesus. I have traded in religion, legalism and adhering to rules for being part of a great adventure: that of following Jesus. I love fairy tales, I truly want things to be: ‘and they lived happily ever after’. Well the good news is that I will live happily ever after because 60 years on earth is only a short time compared to Jesus’ gift of eternal life, for me and for you.
Joy and Gratitude
I am prone to negativity and fear; however, I am overcoming this battle. I am choosing joy through gratitude. As I record what I am thankful for, I have discovered that joy really does come through the gates of gratitude. So today, I want to thank you for sharing this incredible day with me and being part of my great adventure.
As I reflect back on my party, I am both pleased and thankful. Not only did I have fun and celebrate, but I had an amazing opportunity to share with so many what I am most grateful for: Jesus’ love. I want to continue to share Jesus’ love in authentic ways, like this ‘party with a purpose’.
From my perspective in my 60’s, here’s my advice:
We can ALL do this!
Let’s just take an ordinary situation or an everyday event and add an intentional purpose. Let’s ask family and friends to help us and then just open our homes and lives through a ‘party with a purpose’.
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Watch Lorraine’s Video: My Best Friend