Today I celebrate my 50th birthday with joy and peace in my heart. I am so thankful for the years God has given me on this earth.

As a baby I was born too early and as a premature baby, my introduction to this life was one of fighting to stay well. 10 months later I contracted Golden Staph in my lungs, again I fought for life. It was the prayers of a young Pentecostal minister who came and prayed for me that saw me go home a few days later. God fought for me too.

I realized this week that I can celebrate “the fight”. I have finally figured out that I actually enjoy the fight. I am not talking about arguments and confrontation – I run from them. I enjoy taking on the battles in life with God by my side. Not every fight has been won, but every fight has won in my heart. Every fight has been a point of growth in me as a person, even the losses. Today I celebrate the “fight”.

I also celebrate today my God. He has been everything to me. I cannot go through this life without Him. As my Father, Saviour, Friend, Counselor, Protector, Guide and Provider, He has been with me through not only the darkest deepest valleys but has climbed to the mountaintops too. I have seen Him to be true, faithful and loving.

“He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.” S of S 2:4 (NASB)

My family are my next celebration. I have a husband who loves me and supports me in all my endeavours. He has been with me through thick and thin and sees me for who I really am. I am blessed with two young men who I am privileged to be able to call my sons. They are amazing young men who enrich my life and fill it with joy (and the need for patience). I have a sister, mother, and two brothers – they are courageous people with stories to tell of survival. I could tell you of aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents, all of which have placed something into my life, even if just a great memory that brings joy. I can celebrate these people I call my family.

Finally, I celebrate my closest friends. These women are the best of women. I love all of them. They range from a friendship of 32 years to 10 months. They are incredible, beautiful, courageous, strong, encouraging friends – an amazing pride of Lionesses. Their feet hit the floor every morning and they are conquering their world. I am blessed to have these women in my life. Every single one of them are so very different yet so alike. I looked around the table of those who could come to my party and I also saw those who could not come. Each and every one of these women have allow me to be my best. Sometimes life and distance gets in the way of having time together, but that is ok too. At the moment I am exploring the friendships of three other women who fascinate me and inspire me. I meet with two of them today and look forward to finding treasures yet unknown. I also meet with my newest beautiful friend who is walking with grief hand in hand. She is yet to know how beautiful and strong she is. She too is surrounded by Lioness friends who are there for her, I see this and feel blessed.

My celebrations come from the heart today. I celebrate, grey hairs, laugh lines, a certain amount of pain in my joints and lessons well learnt…. and I celebrate wisdom. Wisdom is a good thing. It is because of wisdom that I know to stay close to my God and to learn from the past.

I think God for all of this. I celebrate my life so far and laugh at the days to come (Prov 31:25b NIV)