45 is a new number for me to think about - I never thought much about 44, but 45 has great significance in that I'm now only 5 years from 50! At 45, I'm quite possibly halfway through living the one and only life I've been given, assuming I live to be 90! Over the last 5 years I've had lots of time to think and reflect and somewhat obsess over my mistakes of the past (no small feat) and I'm feeling more ready than ever to move forward, not looking back, pressing on faithfully, fearlessly, and with great joy! I can't really explain it, but it's like I've suddenly emerged from this deep, dark, long, cobwebby, tunnel, the kind bad dreams are made of. And the world around me is brimming with life and light and beauty and fun and yet-to-be-discovered creative expressions of music and art and culinary delights and, well, I could go on and on because it's like I've been set free. Literally. I can't put my finger on any one catalyst for this out-of-prison experience, but I do know that prayer, intense Bible reading, believing and acting on the Word, faithfully serving in spite of exhaustion, and times of incredible fellowship, unconditional love and worshipping with family and friends have all contributed to this overwhelming. I sense that I've been given a second chance to walk by the Spirit, walk in the light, walk by faith, walk in the truth, walk humbly, walk worthy of the calling of Christ, walk wisely, walk joyfully, walk in righteousness, simply walk with God. I find myself doing crazy things like baking pies and cookies, making breakfast for the fam, shopping with Alyssa, writing children's songs and stories, researching marathons, looking at bicycles longingly, reading recipes for Christmas cut-out cookies while listening to music on iTunes. 45 is feeling like the dawning of a strange, new, wonderful era. I'm ready. I'm walking, though not too fast because I think I can see 46 on the not-too-distant horizon and I want 45 to last as long as possible!