the best gifts

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The best thing about turning 47 is the perspective it continues to give you.  Turning 40 was quite possibly one of the best years..or so I thought.  40 was like a switch going off in me.  I no longer needed people’s approval.  I had been through quite abit by 40 to realize what was and wasn’t important in life.  I had also learned by that point that some of the greatest gifts in life come in the hardest packages.  I have learned that God will infact give you more than you can handle and that is a gift in and of itself.

I have learned at this point what true friendship is and what it is not.  I have had 10 years of intense training on what that word means and what it entails.  I have learned the truth behind the saying ” Everyone is going to hurt you.  You just got to find the ones worth suffering for ” ( Bob Marley)

The best gifts for me aren’t the ones given to me.  I’m not really a ” gift” kind of girl.  My favorite things are people spending time with me, eye contact when we talk.  Someone truly hearing me and not just listening.  I love “expierences”.  My husband is truly the best at this.  After 25 years I can honestly say he never ceases to amaze me at how much he truly gets me and the things I would love most.  For my 40th Birthday he took me to what has now become our yearly family vacation spot and took me to see my favorite band.  For my 47th birthday he bought me a Super Car Expierence of driving a McLaren 570s.

But not all gifts are so beautiful.  My very best friend died at 41.  Nothing about that seems fair or resembles a gift.  But the gift was meeting her in my 20’s and having so many years of laughter and deep discussions and someone who saw all of me and loved me anyway.  A gift in hard wrappings.

Gifts of friendship that have survived time and space.  One I met in MOPS when our kids were babies and now my son will be 15 in days.  We don’t get to see each other often but nothing deteriates our friendship.  One I met over a biblestudy years ago.  She has become such a treasure to me,  and one I only met a couple years ago but it feels like we’ve been together for a lifetime.  All beautiful women, all some of the greatest gifts of my life.

I have parents who have become my best friends. It’s fun to get to the age where you realize what a wealth you have just because of the things your parents taught you and the love they showed you.

I have a sister who would sooner take you out than allow you to cross one of us.  She is a force of nature and I adore her.  We don’t see eye to eye on a lot but that never stops us from having each other’s back.

I have beautiful children who are the essense of who I am.  One is loving and compassionate just like his dad and would go to the ends of the earth for you.  One is fierce, strong and untamable…just like her momma.  They are a treasure to me.

I have been given the gift of a medically fragile kid.  The lessons that have come wrapped up in her have been hard and draining and yet the most precious gifts ever.  I told her dad as we dropped her off at a lock in the other night…” she is amazing isn’t she”…and I am better for the gifts of heartbreak struggle grief joy uncertainty love…that she has handed me.

I have the gift of a son who comes and talks to me for 1/2 hours at a time at the end of a day.  I do not take this one for granted and quite possibly one of my favorite gifts.  The gift of him wanting to spend time with me and just talk.  It’s like he realizes my love language and offers it tenderly to me.  Those moments are precious gifts that I will always treasure.

My greatest gift was being afforded to spend the last 25 years with my college crush.  He is kind and gracious.  He is quiet and tender.  He loves well, and I am always amazed at the man he has become from the kid I met when he was 18.  Ours has not been an easy marriage by any stretch of the imagination but the gifts we have recieved by holding on and working through the awful are some of the greatest gifts I will ever be given.

So as I reflect today on my 47th birthday…I have been given so many gifts.  Each has been given to add value to my life.  Each has made me into the person I am today.  Treasures you can’t buy, my favorite kind.

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