The difference a year makes

Shelly 40th birthday party, Photo by Lisa Jones Last year I celebrated my 40th birthday with a big party. I remember stressing over the venue, the food, the guest list, how I looked, and all those things. I felt proud to be going into a milestone year in the best physical shape of my life, surrounded by good friends and colleagues. I felt empowered. I was excited and motivated, looking forward to many things coming with the new year.

Douglas Baptism, Photo by Lisa Jones
This year I celebrated my 41st birthday with a baptism. I didn’t worry about what to wear or what to eat or how much I weighed. Instead I savored every minute spent with family and friends surrounding my two month old son as we witnessed his first Sacrament in our church. This unexpected, unplanned, miracle has caused me to slow down, reassess my priorities, and appreciate life even more.

Maybe I haven’t fulfilled all those resolutions from 2011. This certainly isn’t the same path I thought I’d be on last year and it’s changed me in ways I couldn’t have predicted. But I’m learning to surrender, learning to accept, and learning to trust all over again.

Cast yourself into the arms of God and be very sure that if he wants anything of you, He will fit you for the work and give you strength. – St. Philip Neri


Shelly Henley Kelly