To Stephanie on her 32nd Birthday...

To Stephanie,

The older you get, the faster time seems to go. Fix your eyes on Jesus, run your race, fight for the narrow way, stay in your lane, and cheer for everyone who's running with you. Remember that letter I wrote you last year? It's overwhelming to look back and see tangible evidence of God's faithfulness. 

This past year has been quite a ride, and He's not finished. He never is. He who began a good work in your will carry it out to completion at the day of Christ Jesus. Now, you must keep your eyes on Him so you don't get entangled in anyone's adventure but your own. 

Leave behind fixing. Move towards healing. 

There is always more than meets the eye. Everyone is fighting great battles. They carry great pain. It doesn't matter if they're from the church or the streets, they don't need to be fixed, not do they want to be. You don't even like being fixed. Hearts need healing. Broken things needs fixing, but broken people need healing. Always, always, always, point them to the Healer, and be a safe person. 

Leave behind what is doable. Move toward what is sustainable. 

You used to sprint a lot. Sometimes you still try to, but this isn't sustainable. Run your race at your pace. Keep those anchoring beats in your life no matter how the tempo of life may speed up for a season. Always seek Him FIRST. We both know how He has a way of working everything out when our priorities are ordered. Him. You know them. Live them.  

Leave behind the elusive "best." Move toward wholehearted.

"Do your best and God will do the rest" was on that poster, but isn't in the Bible. "Best" is elusive. No matter how good of a job you do at anything, better is always there threatening to one up your best. Crucify this lie that it's never good enough. Trade it for wholehearted. Whatever you do, do it with all your heart as if you are working for the Lord. Wholehearted isn't always excellent; sometimes it's not even that good. But it's everything you've got. And He always wants your everything.  

Leave behind overwhelmed. Move toward overflowing.

Leave behind assuming. Move toward asking.

Leave behind wide. Move toward deep.

Leave behind big. Move toward small.

Remember, Dad said kingdom impact was about quality not quantity. 

Maybe the 40's will be the time for finishing things you start. Or maybe by then, you'll be sensible enough to start less. Either way, press on by grace alone. Jesus is everything!

Only by grace,

Your 32-year-old self