I turn 35 today.

Straight downhill to my 40s and just over a third of the way through my life (yep, plan to live past the big 1-0-0).

As has been the case for the last several years, this one snuck up on me.

I get so wrapped up in the daily routine and “busy-ness” of my life, I often forget to take time to reflect on the tremendous blessings I have been given.

From an amazingly loving and supportive family to great friends, a church body and business partners; I could not imagine a more fulfilling set of influential people.

Just blessed!

Of course, my mind always takes a sharp turn toward the two girls that have taken ahold of my heart in a way I could have never comprehended before. Nor would I ever hope to have the appropriate words to describe their importance to the ever-developing man and human that I am.

Still completely flawed, and I daily fall short of the personal goals I set for myself as both a husband and father, but they love me nonetheless.

It’s beautiful.

Maybe it’s because I won’t stop trying? Maybe it’s because they see something in me I struggle to see in myself at times?

You know what I really believe, though?

They are just two of the ways I get a piece of Jesus everyday.

When I get stuck in the cyclical mindset of negativity, despair and inability to recognize any clear purpose for my life…He gives me LOVE.

An uplifting word from my wife. A tight hug and kiss from my daughter. A reassuring note from a friend. A supportive presence in a church family member.

He shows me LOVE.

It’s truly hard to think about it for too long.

Too overwhelming.

I mean I know I don’t deserve it but He doesn’t care. He wants me to feel and recognize His desire for me every day.

He also wants me to understand the type of selfless love needed to show Jesus to others.

Interestingly, I was provided two clear reminders of the importance of experiencing that truly self-sacrificing love we get through the pure example of Jesus Christ through secular media sources. Neither recognized the source, but they were both still vivid pictures of how we were all created with the same need to experience and participate in a love beyond our shortsighted needs and desires.

Pretty amazing.

Maybe I am finally maturing?

Probably not, though.

I’m sure my ever-patient Savior is going to have to hit me with this reminder again in a few days or weeks (hoping it’s more than a few minutes or hours).

But, here’s what I rest in at the ripe old age of 35…HE…WON’T…STOP.

Till the moment He has decided my 100+ years on earth is over, He will persistently chase me with LOVE.

So, as I complete this birthday reflection, I can only offer my gratitude to each and every person who has, knowingly or not, been a reminder of the greatest blessing I have been given as a Child of God.

May you feel the same sporadic moments of His desire for you today and everyday until the moment you enter His presence and are completely overwhelmed with the fullness of His LOVE.

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