I was just starting my morning and got a call from my brother. He said, “Happy Birthday!” (it’s my 48th today) and shared he woke up thinking about me. He said it’s interesting how as we get older others mean more and we mean less. He elaborated, “Our younger days are often more self focused and self serving. As we get older, life is more about our relationships with others, and serving others before ourselves.” “Wow,” I said. “That’s today’s blog post.”
Below are some short reflections to help you think about your life story and living it well. But first, I wanted you to see my Mocah Cream Birthday Cake.
My wife has been making this for me since 1990, the year we were married. Today I will cut a big slice of my 23rd Mocha Cream Cake. Peace and Joy! When my brother talked about how our perspective changes through the years, I was stirred to remember what was happening in my life from age 8 to 48.
- Age 8. Third grade. Beginning to grow out of stuttering as a child. Still struggling with my R’s and W’s. The word “reward” bugs me to this day. Very shy. A few neighborhood friends. Playing little league baseball and basketball. Third year of piano lessons. Elton John’s song “Rocket Man” was a hit.
- Age 18. Graduated high school. Started freshman year at Georgia Tech. Had written 15 songs and had 10th and 12th grade piano recitals. Scored 30 points in a high school basketball game. Very special friends and memories. By faith, had trusted God’s gift of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus.
- Age 28. Second wedding anniversary. Had an MBA. Started my third job. Striving for success by the world’s standards. Wanted to be a real estate investor, entrepreneur. Had not surrendered my life and career fully to God. Started studying the Bible with my wife.
- Age 38. Fulfilled and on purpose as a financial planner (after “career surrender” at age 30). About to release my second instrumental piano album. Starting to wonder if music was what I was supposed to do. Living for significance was now more important than success. Longing to hear God’s voice.
- Age 48. Precious memories and relationships looking back. Top priority to be a loving and leading husband and dad. Not taking life as seriously as I once did. More tears. More joy. More adventure. More wonder. More uncertainty. Grateful for every day. Living in the present. Excited about the future!
How about you? Does your life story have peace and joy today? Who or what needs your focus to live a great story, to serve others well? I’d love to hear your thoughts…
Thank you so much for sharing from your heart … and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thank you for the challenging questions…
It’s difficult at times, when life seems to offer so many choices, to follow that narrow path and still voice of God and truly be where He wants me to be. I am finding that I am longing more and more for quiet moments. It’s here, in that peace He speaks. Here in the surrender of the day and my own agenda, He shows me. He gives me mostly small things to do, mundane things, which don’t necessarily look noble to the outside. However, if I follow those small callings (a visit to the nursing home, take my elderly neighbor a piece of cake, or ext an encouraging verse to my friend) I sense His peace.
Maybe it’s about creating peace first and then finding joy…
Hope your day is filled with both, peace and joy 🙂
Keep on! You are an encouragement!
Stanton Lanier says
You’re welcome Heidi, thanks for your words too. Quiet moments, small (hidden) things, following through. All inspiring. Blessings to you! – Stanton
Kirk Lanier says
Hey Bro! Nice post. You make me seem like there’s some wisdom in this head of mine after all! Happy Birthday and I enjoyed seeing the memories through the years. I was 5 years behind you and didn’t have the perspective on your timeline. Good stuff. Love you!
Stanton Lanier says
Thanks for the inspiration brother, and for the birthday call! Love you too, Stanton