I am fifty. Let me say it again so that it sinks a little deeper into my mind ….I am fifty …5-0! On November 6 I saw a number on my birthday cards that I had only related to my parents. I am now a ‘sage’, the giver of advice that I am still very much in need of myself!

How did this happen so fast? I was only just graduating from college, only just walking down the aisle with my handsome prince, only just holding the miracle of my first baby, only just replacing money for teeth under Barney and Baby Bop pillows and waking up at midnight to put Santa gifts under the Christmas tree. Now I’m looking at the prospect of very soon having to do the same for grandchildren. ‘How did it happen so fast?’, I’ve been asking myself the question all week. The answer came as I began formulating this post – it happened so fast because I’ve enjoyed every darn minute of it!

The ‘sage’ advice I have to give is just that – enjoy it. Enjoy the marital squabbles that lead to the making up, the fevers on little foreheads that only Mummy’s hugs can fix, the falling grades at school that allow you to empower and encourage your children, the family trips that cause everyone to stop speaking to everyone because you’ve been cramped up in one hotel room for too long, but when you look back at the pictures years later you get cussed for the dorky clothes you dressed them in and crack up at the memories. Do you notice that I’ve listed only negative things? Well, that’s my point. The good times are great, and it goes without saying that we enjoy those times. However, so many times when we face challenges that seem overwhelming, that actually bring us to our knees, we tend to ‘pull away’ from life, wishing things would just be perfect so that we could enjoy it a little bit more. Here’s the news – there’s no ‘perfect’. There’s no smooth sailing on this journey. What I’ve learned is that the perfection comes from the lessons we learn as we navigate the challenges, the bonds that are tightened and made unbreakable as we rally together as family, friends, co-workers …and ride out those stormy seas.

I’ve shared before about the best friends I had when I was nine years old, friends who are still very much an integral part of my life today. We all turned fifty this year, and celebrated by 'reunioning' in Tortola, B.V.I. for what turned out to be one of the best moments of my life. This time there were no negatives. This time we looked at each other with gratefulness that we’d made it this far as truly blessed women.

My sage advice? Life sometimes does bring you to your knees, but there is truly no greater place of power than on your knees. I thank God for His blessing on my fifty years.