Tuesday, November 5, 2013

thoughts on "50" {and who gets the flower?}

"I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, 
but it is my chief duty and joy to accomplish humble tasks
 as though they were great and noble."

~Helen Keller

Exactly one week ago I celebrated (yes, celebrated!) my 50th birthday. Had a lovely, yet ordinary day spent holding my sweet grandbaby and doing lessons with the kids before enjoying a family dinner at my favorite Mexican place and grabbing dessert from the DQ drive-thru on our way home. Gifts and cards were opened -- a pretty glass water bottle, my favorite perfume, a hand-crocheted poncho/shawl, a little cash, three bottles of red to share with the husband, two infinity scarves, a bar of chocolate from Germany, a hand-lettered scripture verse, and a single long stemmed rose. There were a few other things, but I figured I'd stop before my list began to sound like the 12 days of Christmas. :)  What a blessing to be so loved!

Two years ago I wrote a list: my 50 before 50. I didn't do so well -- life has a way of steering us down different paths than we'd thought of or planned for or even desired. How funny of God to work that way, and yet He does. Just what, if anything, did I manage to complete from my list? For that, you'll have to click here. In all reality, I think it just wasn't to be, this 50 before 50 thing. 15/50 isn't so bad though. And if I had to write that list all over again, I think it would include less of the accomplishment type of thing and more of the relational type of thing such as:

smile at a stranger
go for a walk with someone who needs a friend
pray more
be thankful more
complain less/quit whining (who wants to hear it?!)
read my Bible every day...even just a verse or two
pay attention
offer to help
ask questions
pray with others
write encouraging notes to others
be selfless
be bold to speak the truth in love
be available
spend one on one time with my kids
make eye contact
practice hospitality more often
disciple someone

No, it's not 50 things. But I've already arrived at the 50 mark, so that's behind me. :) Now that I'm one week into being 50 (with 51 weeks left of being 50), I'm moving on. So just what are my thoughts on turning 50? Honestly, I'm looking at the images I'm posting here and wondering who that lady is. Me? I used to have dark brown hair. I used to weigh less. I used to be young. I also used to be insecure, terribly shy, and afraid to speak and share my opinion. I used to care far too much what others thought and feared man far more than I feared God. Turning 50 really isn't quite so momentous as it sounds or as we like to make out to be. All you do is go to bed like any other ordinary night and wake up in the morning -- nothing changes except a number. How does it feel to be 50? Just like 49 did (which felt just like 48 did...).

For me, what I "feel" about turning 50 is a sense of freedom. And I'm hoping to take that freedom and use it to seize the opportunities each day brings to love and laugh and cry and encourage and pour myself more and more into my family and friends. The to-do list is still important, goals are still important, of course, but the reasons behind them...the people and relationships are so much more so. And so, while I look at the photos above and wonder just who that lady is, I cannot help but be thankful as I know just who that lady is...a sinner saved by grace. :)

I'll wrap this up before rambling on too much. Goals? still have them. To-do lists? yep, those, too. Freedom? embracing and loving it.

The flower I promised last Wednesday? Donna, it's yours! Send me an email at happyindolevalley@gmail.com and I'll get it in the mail to you. Wish I had one for each of you who commented!


Thanks for visiting Happy in Dole Valley! To join us on our journey, look to the upper right to follow or subscribe. :)

joining Laura for gratituesday :)


  1. God is so good to us! Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

    Yes, I think this is a good place to be in; the shift from a sort of 'bucket list' to a 'God and people list'...

  2. Anonymous11/05/2013

    Reaching such a year is a blessing. Knowing the freedom that comes from knowing oneself is truly a great gift. Enjoy this new year...

  3. I'm so excited! I never win anything :-) I love the list you made. I am going to start one myself, since 50 is 2.5 short years away for me. You look beautiful in these pictures - especially in the one where you are holding your grandbaby <3

    1. You do now! Glad you liked the list...the past two years have flown by, my friend, so live them to the fullest! Thanks for the sweet words, Donna. :)

  4. Happiest of birthday's Lisa! I love seeing you with your grand baby, you are both just beautiful.

    1. Oh, thanks, Tracey. :) Such a great joy to spend time with our granddaughters, isn't it?!

  5. Happy birthday sweet friend, you are beautiful and always young. Just hang out with 90 year olds!! You'll be the baby in the group :)

    1. Gotta find me some 90 year olds and quick! :) Thanks for the sweet words!

  6. Sounds like a wonderful birthday! :)

    1. Oh, it truly was. Thanks for stopping by, Erica. :)

  7. Happy Birthday! It seems like yesterday that I celebrated my 50th and I recently celebrated my 59th!!! I'm thinking about doing "60 for 60" but am too busy to sit still and write a list! Enjoy each & every day!!!

    1. Thanks, Debbie. I say skip the list and enjoy all that busyness! :)

  8. Anonymous11/06/2013

    Happy, happy birthday!

  9. Happy belated birthday!!

  10. What a wonderfully inspiring post. I had a complete breakdown about a big milestone a couple of years ago and feel silly about it now - it's just a number, isn't it?
    Happy birthday xx

  11. Happy birthday, Lisa! I can't imagine you with brown hair...I think you are STUNNING with your silvery/blondy/grey! At 53, I can identify with so much of what you've written. I am still waiting for grandbabies (d.i.l.'s must come first, you know!) and a feeling of "freedom." But the Lord will bring that when He wants me to have it :-) For now, I am blessed with so much. Meeting you through blogland is one of those blessings! I look forward to an in-person visit someday! Happy Birthday once again!

    1. You are so sweet, Lori! Yes, one day in person, Lord willing -- would love to see that farm! :)

  12. Happy Belated Birthday! You have so much to be thankful for. I'd be thrilled getting 15/50 things accomplished. Life is funny that way, celebrate!

  13. I'm sorry to be so late, but Happy, Happy Belated Birthday to you, Lisa! Thank you for sharing your wonderful photographs - and what a cute Grandbaby you have :-) x


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