May You Flourish

A quick follow up to my last meditations post. Here I am on a beautiful summer night two weeks ago, just as I’d hoped to be, reading aloud to my sister the birthday toast I’d written for her 40th birthday.


It wasn’t writing that will change the world or alter any decisions in Congress. It was personal. It was a word for her…a charge. A charge for her to flourish in God’s will throughout the next 40 years.  Below is a copy of the toast.Maybe you will find a charge/challenge for yourself in it. May you flourish!

May You Flourish

I’ve been watching you, sis all my life.

It’s what second children do. And I’d say you’ve managed to flourish in the first 40 years of life.

  • You had a storied childhood and out of the four of us children, your memory of it is most vivid.
  • You’ve traveled the world; you got a great education
  • You even contributed your talents to the last years of BG’s ministry.
  • You have flourished as a mother: four beautiful, gifted children growing in grace and knowledge of God. 4!
  • Plentiful friends who come to you for wisdom and humor. Come to you to be refreshed.
  • A beautiful home ( or three ) where people gravitate.
  • You are cultured, stylish and well read.

And now Heather, here you are turning 40. The dictionary defines the word flourish as: for some thing or someone to be in one’s prime, to thrive and prosper, to be at the height of influence.

So, what does it look like for Heather to flourish from here on out?  What will it look like for you, sis to flourish even more fully in the next 40 years?

Ultimately that’s a conversation for you and the Lord, and maybe Vern can be in on it too.

But here’s what I imagine for you, sister:

  • You press in to God more that ever. You untether yourself from the culture’s shifting definitions of success, beauty and style.
  • Maybe flourishing will look like caring for someone– a child, an orphan, a family member, a friend, in a more selfless ways than you can imagine, that will push you to your limit and daily dependence on God… but you do it, and you thrive.
  • Or maybe flourishing will mean you take on a role at church that seems so out your comfort zone, but somehow fans into you the hands and feet of Christ, like you never could have imagined.
  • Or you get very honest with neighbors about their need for Christ.
  • Or you give away your possessions to the poor.

(Or you just give away all Vern’s hoarded stuff to the poor.)

  • Or you become the Young Life parents. The ones kids know they can turn to.
  • Maybe you do something in Belize, you really do the ministry. Open yourself wide to God and say yes without reservation and flourish.

You take the next step.

The point is, you flourish in the perfect will of God.