I had the nudge on October 1 to start walking, so I did. And I walked over 500 miles this past year.
For whatever reason, the nudge to hang glide for year 49 was strong, so I went for it. That was one of the most incredible experiences ever.
I also experienced some significant difficult times in my life with the declining health and death of my grandmother. I still have yet to blog about that, but I did post a few things here and there in blog posts and on facebook. One day, when I'm ready, I will honor the rumblings in my soul and write about those times. Meanwhile, it was an incredible journey to spend time with her weekly last year and to be with her at the end.
Taking BioEthics at the end of that journey (this past Spring semester in February) was difficult, especially when you add in the other situations in my life that I rarely write about that deal with mental illness and brain injury situations. Suffice it to say that I have been blessed with opportunities for hands-on learning and ministry of presence.
This past year also brought along the death of a very special young man, Will. His life, his hospital time, and his death forever are part of my journey. What a blessing and privilege to have been able to walk the path with his family, then and now.
My preparatory year for my year of jubilee included many things. I often contemplated how I would celebrate the big 5-0 when it finally came. What I decided was that I would live into my year of freedom, my year of jubilee. I would embrace it. I would have fun. I would live into the adventures set before me and seek out some new ones. I would complete the paths I was currently on. (Meaning that I graduate during my year of jubilee!! And I follow the path of commissioning as a Provisional Elder in the United Methodist Church.)
My husband and I made plans for a two night get-away in KY at a B&B, Eagle's View B&B located near Burnside. (I had enough credits through the Kentucky frequent B&B plan to get a free night.) We viewed Cumberland Falls, hiked the Natural Arch and the Panoramic View trail, checked out some fresh raspberries that were locally grown at the Cedar Creek Vineyards and ate dinner at Guthrie's Riverhouse Restaurant. It was a great way to end 49 and bring in 50.
|Eagle's View B&B|
|Sunset, October 7th 2014|
|Cumberland Falls, October 8th 2014|
|Natural Arch, October 8th 2014|
|Natural Arch (up close)|
|Natural Arch (from underneath)|
|Natural Arch (from inside)|
|Cedar Creek Vineyards|
|Jeff Wiles picking raspberries-- they were delicious!|
The plan was to pick up our daughter from my parents and take her to Atlanta, GA to the Georgia Aquarium. My folks, my daughter, my brother, his girlfriend, and my nephew surprised me with a special lunch and a cookie cake! Balloons and streamers decorated the dining room and entrance way. After the celebration, we headed to Atlanta for a couple of days.
I went to my first TaeKwonDo workout as a 50 year old yesterday (Tuesday October 14) and found that I can still do the workout. ☺ Whew! One of my goals for my year of jubilee is to test for my next belt level, which is a 1st degree, level 3. That requires learning the form well, which requires brain matter, which is currently being overused. So, TKD is mainly exercise for me right now. But I have a whole year to accomplish that goal.
I wouldn't mind going hang gliding again during my year of jubilee. Or even up in a hot air balloon.
There are family members I would like to visit. There are friends I would like to visit. There are places I would like to visit.
I am would like to finish this journey of my studies well, realizing that I have to balance my time with studies and other roles of life (parent, wife, daughter, friend, etc.).
It is a desire to get out and hike at least once a week, but sometimes that doesn't happen. I do try to walk at least 4-5 times a week.
I plan to have some time apart, whether it is a 5 day Academy or SOULfeast so that my soul has time to catch up with my body. Though that is a significant time set apart, I also plan to set aside smaller sabbath rest times throughout the year to "be", to rest, to play, to relax, etc.
I am hoping that my year of jubilee lives into itself historically and that all my debts are forgiven! So, for the remainder of my seminary courses.... FREE! For the remainder of the mortgage..... FREE! YIPPEE!! That sure would be super! But, I'm not so sure that others will want to celebrate my year of jubilee in that manner.
Ultimately, how do I want to celebrate my year of jubilee? Here's how I want to live it out: I want to love God, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I want to love others. I want to love myself. I want to walk humbly. I want to act justly. I want to seek mercy. If any of those things sound familiar to you, then you might be thinking of these verses:
Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Micah 6:8 (NIV)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
I don't know what all this year of jubilee has in store for me, but I do know that I'm excited to live into it. I have been looking forward to living into the 2nd half of life for several years now. I've probably really already been living into it in many ways. The number is finally catching up to me.
Thank you to all who have been celebrating with me. Know that I'm celebrating this year of jubilee all year long, so if you want to have coffee, go on a hike, share a meal, catch a play or movie, just chat... whatever, let me know.
How goes it on your journey? What are you celebrating? With whom are you celebrating?
Blessings on your journey!
PS-- One of the cool things for me during our time in KY was playing my flute underneath the Natural Arch. I am still learning to play. I just play/pray the flute. That was a very sacred and special time for me to play the flute. I probably should have taken advantage of having someone with me to take the video, but alas, there is a headless flute player. The acoustics were incredible there. Don't blame the acoustics for any poor sound quality.... that would be the flute player. ☺