This is the “wrap” for my 6oth Birthday festivities! The actual day was Saturday, right in the middle of Easter observances at our church; so we waited until Sunday evening for the official party, driving to Richmond to be with Naomi, Craig, and the grandchildren.
My parents drove up with us; plus Naomi invited the pastor from her church, along with Rachel and Tom from Virginia Beach (Rachel is Rebekah’s sister).
I really missed seeing Andrew and Alicia; but Uzbekistan is nine time-zones away and just about as accessible as the moon. The gathering did, however, represent a microcosm of what is truly important: immediate family, extended family, and the community of faith.
BIRTHDAY LIST: Here – at least in part – is what I celebrated (what I am celebrating):
- the essential goodness of life, and my gratitude for the countless blessings I have enjoyed;
- the indescribable gift of Rebekah, and the impossible to calibrate blessing of sharing this ongoing journey together;
- the consistent faithfulness of God’s love over 60 years of living;
- the amazing scope of this adventure, and how I never could have imagined or planned something this wondrous;
- the gift of an extended family, and the constant extension of our family (Andrew, Naomi, Craig, Alicia, David, Beks…);
- the gift of freedom;
- the blessing of peace;
- the challenges that continually push my learning curve;
- the uncharted opportunities that will define the next decade, and the ones after that….
Obviously this is a truncated list. But that’s the point. There is so much that I have to celebrate – so much that we all have to celebrate, and so the best I can do (in response to this momentary pause in the action to have a party)… is to simply get on with it, get back to living – to live faith out loud, and engage the road ahead.
But I’ll be engaging the future with renewed – and inspired – vigor. Going forward I’m going to live like I mean it, because God certainly meant something spectacular when I was imagined, created, equipped, and launched into this life.
Here are a few pictures that help to explain the celebration ( a bunch of these are by Naomi)….
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.