Yesterday I celebrated my 54th birthday. As I spent the day with my precious family, the three of us road-tripped thirty miles to a nearby vineyard. With no set plans for the day, it was simply a day to relax and spend time together. We taste-tested assorted offerings at the vineyard and peppered them with our family brand of “nerdy” questions.
Just how many grapes does it take to make a bottle of wine?
With some exerted effort to recall our math and a few laughs, we solved that question. One gallon of grapes makes five bottles of wine. Trust me, it took much less effort to select our favorite wine—a crisp, cool, white wine with hints of peach. With our favorite selected, we made our way to the patio outside for an impromptu picnic of assorted cheese and crackers. There was no fanfare; plastic knives to slice the cheese and white napkins served as our plates. But, I was surrounded by my husband, our beloved daughter, and my dearest friend. My blessings from God.
Have you ever pinched yourself, just to be sure something was real? I’ve had several of those moments recently and they remind me of the wonder and awe of our majestic, loving God.
Yesterday was one of my “pinch myself” moments. That best friend laughing with us–she’s been my shoulder through some really difficult, dark times. She’s seen me at my worst. She’s held my hand when I felt lost and lonely, prayed for me when I couldn’t pray for myself, and lovingly nudged me to re-focus on our merciful God, the Provider of all things, the Healer of all pains. Yesterday, she and my little family of three basked in His sunshine and provision, laughing at the good times we’ve had and the good times to come. The healing touch of God revealed in my family overwhelms my heart with joy. And I just have to pinch myself as I count my blessings.
Five years ago, I submitted my hurt to God on a Walk to Emmaus and He began replacing that pain with joy. He continues to replace pain with joy, healing hearts one day at a time as our family, all three of us, focus on the goodness and wonder of our Savior. He is our Redeemer and He is my “Redreamer.” Not only has He replaced pain with joy, He restored my dreams. I had given up and buried them for years. They weren’t worth it.
But, in God’s restorative powers, I believe in my dreams again, my family believes in them, and I believe in God’s purpose for them.
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me, I will hear you.” Jeremiah 29:11-12
So yesterday, I thanked my “Redreamer” and pinched myself again as I celebrated 54 years on earth, five years of God-inspired faith-filled joy, and one year of believing in God’s dreams for me.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis