Today is my thirty-eighth birthday!
I tell you the age because I am gloriously happy to BE my age and to look and feel like I do. I never thought it would be this good... not even when the "old" ladies I knew in my twenties told me that this would be the time of my life. They were right, of course. This is the time when life starts to make sense AND you still have the body to enjoy it! SWEET!
Last night, I went to bed with some words from Marianne Williamson's book, A Woman's Worth. I woke up with a smile on my face. I want to give a gift to all of the women I know and those that I have yet to meet. These are the words that lulled me to sleep on my last night as a thirty-seven year old:
"Joy is our goal, our destiny. We cannot know who we are except in joy. Not knowing joy, we do not know ourselves. When we are without joy, we grope in the dark. When we are centered in joy, we attain our wisdom. A joyful woman, by merely being, says it all. The world is terrified of joyful women. Make a stand. Be one anyway.
Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things are. Joy is not necessarily what happens when things unfold according to our own plans. How often that's happened -- we married the [right] man, had the children, got the job -- and we've still known despair. Joy is what happens when we see that God's plan is PERFECT and we're already starring in a perfect show. It demands that we have the audacity to embrace the knowledge of just how beautiful we really are and how infintely powerful we are RIGHT NOW -- without changing a thing -- through the grace that's consistenlty born and reborn within us.
...Such an embrace is not arrogant but humble; it is not crazy but realistic. It is an appraisal of our lives through the eyes God gives us...
...Perhaps joy can be practiced. Perhaps we can decide to BE happy, to give joy before waiting to receive it. This is not denial but affirmation of the power inside us... Then we become the ones who teach the meaning of joy to our children, as well as allowing them to teach it to us. We bring joy to one another, to men, to children, to God. Just knowing we're meant to do this increases its presence within us. Our deciding to be joyful demonstrates our willingness to relinquish the petty and negative preoccupations that stand in the way. When we give these up, a more joyful life has a chance to emerge."
JOY IS THE GOAL. This day and all the days that follow are the beautiful journey. Much love and joy to you on this, my thirty-eighth birthday!