The Rest of The Way Posts

34580 and COUNTING
Tuesday, June 18, 2019 by Leona Choy

On June 22, 2019 I will celebrate my 94th birthday. I've lived 34580 days...and counting, days that God uniquely appointed for me to live on Planet Earth.

The days arrived one at a time, fresh each morning. What have I done with them? Life is a gift of God to us; what we do with it is our gift to Him. At my birth, it was feared that both my mother and I might not survive my difficult delivery. I value each of those 34580 days as a bonus from God to accept with thanksgiving, anticipation and joy. Only God knows their final ordained number.

What an awesome thought that “In Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them” (Psalm 139:16). “God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world....we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” Ephesians 1:4; 2:10. My heart overflows with thanks and praise to God for His goodness and mercy that have followed me all the many decades into longevity.

 I "count my many blessings ton-by-ton" not one-by-one, to adapt a phrase from an old hymn. My treasures are not silver or gold but of immense value nonetheless—especially my family: four sons, ten grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren—so far. And each of the many friends throughout the world that the Lord has brought into my life is a rich and precious gem! 

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all my iniquities, heals all my diseases, redeems my life from the pit, crowns me with lovingkindness and tender mercies. He satisfies my years with good things so that my youth is renewed like the eagle's” (Psalm 103:1-5).

I am a lung cancer surgery survivor for 29 years and have been a widow for 27 years. I thank many of you for your specific prayers for my health and strength so I am able to continue the lifelong ministry to which the Lord called me. I do have my share of increasing weaknesses and “unfixables” of my “earth suit” (my mortal body), but I accept them as part of the normal aging package. They are manageable with God's sufficient grace, just temporal and temporary inconveniences without eternal consequences when weighed against God's goodness. Adversities have blended with abundant joys, and shadows have been dispelled by sunshine and blessings—so “it is well with my soul!”

It is such a privilege to respond to people's needs for prayer and encouragement on a daily basis, much of it through the medium of my continuing lifelong opportunity for writing and publishing and coaching aspiring writers. I'm literally living the title of one of my books—pressing on “STILL MORE: FLOURISHING ON MY SUMMIT.”

Changes accompany our advancing calendar years. It seems I'm always “trying” to make some adjustments in my pace and priorities and accept realistically some things I can't or shouldn't continue, which I did so easily in my younger years. As a matriarch in my vintage season, I eagerly “smile at the future” (Proverbs 31:25) and with joy anticipate the icing on the cake: to “dwell in the House of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6) – a win-win situation! My rest-of-my-life motto is:  “Until further notice, I celebrate everything!”

Here I am, Lord

at the approach of another birthday

on Planet Earth. How can it be

that You’ve favored me

so generously with longevity

of ninety-four years?

 

You've blessed me to experience life

with my children into their adult years

even as grandparents themselves now

to enjoy my children’s children

...and their children

while I myself am still Your child

though gray of head and slow of step.

 

Why am I still here on earth

and not rejoicing in Your presence?

You must still have work for me

and spiritual fruit to bear

more of Your life to be lived through me

more treasure to send Up There.

 

I offer the rest of my days

how many or few they may be

as a living sacrifice to do Your will

heart and soul under Your control

until Your plan is fulfilled in me.

 

I don't take “selfie” pictures with my smart phone.

May the picture below remind you to pray for me as I pray for you.

 

 

 

 

 


Comments

Melessa Russin From Stephens City, VA At 6/22/2019 4:34:22 PM

I know that you are being blessed as I write with the joy of being surrounded by your family on your 94th birthday. Life. the greatest gift we are given with His love, to be shared with each person we meet, each day we rise. So grateful to God for allowing us to meet. Happy Birthday!

Mary Ellen From Birmingham, AL At 6/22/2019 8:52:00 AM

Today is your special day, dear Leona! May you experience His deep joy and peace in His continued presence. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ??????

Rosa María Coles From Seattle, Washington At 6/21/2019 11:55:30 PM

May God continue Blessing you with many more happy and joyous Birthdays.???? I live in El Paso, Texas and I am visiting my youngest daughter who gave birth to her first child, Elias David and who is our ninth grandchild. I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying each day of life. God continue

Jan Nichols From Buford, GA At 6/20/2019 7:40:24 AM

Happy Birthday Leona! You have been an inspiration and spiritual mentor to me as a mother, grandmother and child of God...so much so that over the years, I’ve saved many, if not most, of your posts to reread. God Bless you on your birthday and fruitful days ahead!

Reen Markland From Stephens City, VA At 6/20/2019 12:48:15 AM

Thankful for your friendship, Leona. You bless my life through cherished conversation as well as your written words; sharing your deep faith along with your great wisdom....at "94 years YOUNG"! May blessings continue to abound for you in all of your days. Shine on, dear Sister-in-Christ! Reen

James Wei-Ji Huang From Hong Kong At 6/19/2019 9:35:37 PM

Happy 94th Birthday to our respected & beloved Auntie Leona! Your all wonderful Teachings to me in1980s: Count by number, pray,study and wait, have been becoming the Spiritual acts of Chinese new generation in Christ.

Sharon Chan From Ontario At 6/19/2019 6:26:25 PM

Happy birthday Auntie Leona! You are someone very special who never stop inspiring me. May God's abundant blessings continue to shower upon you every day! ??

Portia Merriweather From Richmond, VA At 6/19/2019 5:02:14 PM

Bless your sweet heart! I thank God for blessing you and making you such a blessing. I love reading your entries. Happy Birthday.

Jan Kerr From Annapolis,Md At 6/19/2019 12:04:23 PM

Happy birthday, Leona! You are truly an inspiration! And a reminder to enjoy each day as it comes.

Francis Kang From CA At 6/19/2019 11:57:44 AM

Happy birthday! Your prose is always so inspiring. Saw you on "Journey Home" many years back and so glad that we were able to meet in person later. God bless.

Joyce Gilchrist From Kitchener On Ca At 6/19/2019 10:12:50 AM

Happy 94th Birthday Leona! You have been a blessing to me and to so many others through your books, conversations and comments. May God give you many more years to serve Him in this way. God bless!

Kathleen From Richmond At 6/19/2019 9:25:47 AM

Happy birthday! You continue to inspire AND challenge God bless and may you have a day filled with joy

Joyce Stellema From Ohio At 6/19/2019 8:04:21 AM

Thanks Leona, so glad you are well and able in the lord to press and continue to be a blessing. Your thoughts are always encouraging. HAPPY BiRTHDAY!

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