Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Why 40 to 40?


In 41 days I will turn 40. You know the BIG deal 40. Okay, I suppose for some people a different age is the one that pushes the edge, but turning 40 makes me nervous. The problem is that I think it makes me nervous for all the wrong reasons. It makes nervous that I'm not married or even dating anyone. It makes me nervous that I don't have children. It makes me nervous that I still sometimes wonder what I am going to be when I grow up.

Mostly, it makes me nervous because I trust God so little and instead of seeing what He has given me, I only see what I don't have.

Forty is a big Biblical number. It rained 40 days and 40 nights. The people of Israel wandered 40 years. Elijah ran for 40 days in the wilderness to a mountain cave where He heard God speak in a whisper. Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness for 40 days but then Mark tells us the angels attended Him.

So, a lot of things happen around 40. Some of it bad like wandering as a punishment but other good things like hearing God in a whisper. I want to mark my 40 years in a positive way. I want to practice the attitude of gratitude.

Simply put, for the next 40 days there will be at least one post a day that is simply something I am grateful for. It could be a person, a thing, a event, a positive comment someone made. Maybe it is a happy story from when I was a child. Whatever it is, it has to be positive.

I think it will be interesting to come up with 40 positives about my 40 years. So if you see a post marked "40 to 40 (35)" that means it is a 40 to 40 post and is gratitude number 35. They say it takes 30 days to change a habit. Pessimism has probably marked my first 40 years. I'd love to see that change to optimism and gratitude for the next 40 years.

Anyone want to join my 40 to 40 club? You don't have to be turning 40. Rather you may just want to practice gratitude for 40 days. If you do, leave a comment below. I'd love ot have some company on this trip. It will all start tomorrow!

If you join the 40 to 40 club or not, please pray for me when you see one of these posts. Pray that it will be more than a head exercise. Pray that it will be an exercise and conditioning of my heart.




PS: Yes, this is about being grateful for what I have. But I also want to be honest. My heart longs for a husband and kids. I struggle with the idea of singleness being a gift. I often hear of people praying for their child's spouse but rarely (if ever) do I hear them say that they are praying their child would remain single.

Here is my going out on a limb even as I start 40 to 40. Would all of you who pray for your child's spouse pray for my spouse as well? Having asked for that, I'm off to be grateful for what God has done the last 40 years.

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3 comments:

Cazandra said...

I turned 40 on October 7th and also was dreading the day. I am blessed with a husband and children, but my issue was "I'm forty and you want me to do what, God?" I changed careers a few years ago and am embarking on a speaking ministry.

God used "forty" for a reason. I think it is such a time as this for us that He is expecting great things. I believe God has used my first forty years to get me ready for the wonderful things yet to come! I believe that for you also!

I will keep you in my prayers. I have also adopted an attitude of gratitude and post what I am thankful for at the end of each of my blog entries.

Best wishes to you.

Blessings,
Cazandra

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Will absolutely be praying for your spouse! :)

And remember....God did a lot with the number "40"! It may be the best year yet! Praying it is! :)

Thanks for taking good care of Joshua's journal...with enthusiasm and care! God bless you!

Laura said...

Hey, Amy! I'm not far behind you, friend! My 40th is in March. I love the idea of using this milestone as a time of thanksgiving. A while back, I joined a gratitude community through another friend's blog. I was posting regularly on things that I am thankful for. It changed the way I viewed the world. Looking through that lens of gratitude changed me. I have kinda slacked off, although the habit of seeing life in that light is still there. Thank you for reminding me that I need to be more deliberate in this area.
I will pray for you, for your heart's desire, friend. I know He has a plan in this time of waiting...
Praying--
Laura