Tomorrow I turn 43. I’ve been in mid-life for a few years now. I survived the 4-0 without a lot of turmoil. And I’m trying to make this my best decade yet.
But Mid-life has a way of sneaking up on you and making you take a hard look at things. You’re old enough to have some wisdom and young enough to have some health and energy, so you look at yourself and life and your family and decide what you want to do different from here on out. This is when we usually come up with a “Bucket List”. Things we want to do before we kick the bucket. But when we start thinking of the things we want to do, we can sometimes get discouraged about the things we’ve never done. I’ve never made it to Paris. I’ve never been on a hot air balloon ride. I’ve never run a marathon. I’ve never written that book.
In thinking of all the things I’ve never done I’ve decided to be encouraged instead of discouraged because I can come up with a great list of “never things”. A list that I am incredibly grateful for. So as my 43rd year comes to a close, I want to mark it with 43 things on my “Never List”:
- I’ve never been failed by God.
- I’ve never wondered if my husband is coming home to us.
- I’ve never been unloved in my whole life. Someone has always cared for me.
- I’m never alone. God is faithful. Always.
- I’m never without hope.
- I never doubt my purpose. I see it when I look at my kids.
- I’m never bored. My life is too full.
- I’ve never been without my basic needs. I’ve thought I might be at times, but see #1 on the list.
- I’ve never been really sick. Basic colds and viruses but nothing more.
- I never have to live in defeat. God is able.
- I never have to wonder about my eternal destiny. I have the assurance of Heaven.
- I am never separated from the grace of God. No matter what I’ve done. He’s crazy about me.
- I am never a victim. God holds my destiny and nobody else.
- I never wonder how my husband and kids feel about me. I know they value me. Especially when they start getting hungry. 🙂
- I am never without support. The Body of Christ is gracious to me.
- I’ve never been persecuted for my faith. I enjoy freedom to worship.
- I’ve never wondered what to do in a kitchen. I had 2 generations of women train me well.
- I am never without guidance. The Holy Spirit in-dwells me.
- I am never without acceptance. God wants to be with me.
- I never have to earn my salvation. It’s God’s grace gift to me.
- I never have to be without peace. It comes from God and not my circumstances.
- I will never have to say a final good-bye to those who belong to God. We will spend eternity together. There will be a wonderful reunion party!
- I will never have to deal with the heartache of Autism when all things are made new.
- I’ve never been afraid of hard work. My parents were practical people who taught us the value of a job done well.
- I’ve never been spoiled. I can get my hands dirty.
- I’ve never been without good role models.
- Some of my prayers were never answered. Thank you God for knowing and doing what is best.
- The story is never over for my daughter with Autism. God isn’t finished writing her beautiful life.
- I’ve never been held back due to lack of education. I was taught to read, received a great education and was blessed to go to college.
- I’ve never been completely friendless.
- I’m never measured by God based on my outward appearance. He looks at my heart.
- I’m never so bad or wandered so far that God isn’t happy to have me come home.
- I’m never in constant pain. I’m physically able to do what I want and I am beyond grateful.I
- I never wonder if I made a mistake when it comes to the man I married. We’re not perfect, but we’re God’s choice for each other.
- I never have to be afraid of what the future holds. I know who holds the future.
- I have never wondered what family meant. I have a HUGE extended family with an entire network of cousins, aunts and uncles. They stick together. Always.
- I never doubt that God has a place in Heaven for my daughter whose intellectual ability is limited. One day she will be completely whole with no limits.
- I never doubt I will see my lost baby one day. He has known nothing but the presence of Jesus without heartache and is safe in the arms of God even though He was never in mine.
- Regardless of where I go, I never forget where I’ve come from. My grandmother laid down a godly heritage that has been valued by 4 generations after her.
- I’m thankful I never had to explain what Autism was to Grandmother. She held my baby once as a newborn, before going to glory and Autism held by baby.
- I’ve never been without the truth of God’s word. I was blessed to be born in a place where God’s light has shown bright. Not in the remote places where they are still waiting to hear.
- I’ve never been without a home. There has always been a safe place for me.
- I’m never, ever out of the reach of God. He is “God with Us” and is closer than my breath.
I bet if you think about it, you have a great “Never List” too. So you never made it to Paris or China or where ever you want to go. I will trade my Bucket List for my “Never List” and take it over Paris any day. Be grateful as you recognize your “never” blessings today.
Cheering you on!