On May 24 my husband turned the big 4-0! There are times in life when we take extra care to look back over our lives and look forward to what lies ahead. Turning 40 is definitely one of those moments. I spent my 40th birthday on a beautiful beach in Hawaii with Joe and our friends Andy and Jodie. Then, twenty-four days later, I celebrated the next phase of life by donating my kidney.
My friend Danny celebrated his 40th birthday recently by running 40 miles with a different friend or family member each running one mile with him. It was a great picture of how we ought to run the race of life.
It took my husband, Joe, 40 days to turn 40. Joe took the 40 days leading up to his 40th birthday to write a post on his blog. Many of you read Joe's posts and know that they were not fluffy little notes about his first 40 years of life. There were no short-cuts. Each post was filled with humor (of course!), events, stories, meaning, and challenge to live life outside the confines of the comfortable boat. You can read his 40 for 40 here.
Whether you read every blog post or not, there is something I'm confident you did not see. . . behind the scenes. Here is a behind-the-scenes glance of 40 blogs in 40 days from my perspective.
Joe lived these 40 days with incredible discipline. He set the alarm clock earlier and even avoided the snooze button. He stayed up later on many occasions. Sometimes this involved conversations with coaches, writing blog posts, or thinking through ideas. There were photo albums opened and pored through looking for pictures. (You know, the ones you remember seeing, but have no idea where they actually are. Oh, and not everything is digital!)
On top of the discipline of producing a meaningful blog post each and every day for 40 days, other aspects of life did not stop or even slow down. Joe did not take 40 days off from his job at Lake Ann Camp. In fact life around here is amping up with summer camp right around the corner. Home life did not slow down either. Kids still need their dad and he did not let them down. Joe and I are also in the midst of navigating one of our most difficult seasons to date. (Don't worry, not marriage issues, but still a matter for lots of prayer!)
It is in the midst of life and challenge that I have personally witnessed Joe take on 40 blogs in 40 days. It would have been easy to do nothing because work is demanding, family life is busy, situations are stressful, and a number of other excuses. It is in these moments - when it seems most inconvenient - that the greatest impact happens and the greatest results in life occur.
This is Joe. He is not just telling us how to live the Overboard, out-of-the-boat life. He is showing us how to live that kind of extraordinary life.
This is not about writing blogs, running great distances, or giving kidneys. It is about letting go of the comfortable, ordinary, common life and choosing to live for something greater. It is giving, inspiring, impacting, and living bigger than we ever thought possible. It is making a difference first in our own lives and then allowing that to make a difference in others.
What about you? What step do you need to take next? Is there a challenge you are avoiding because the timing, money, fear, or feelings of "too hard" are keeping you from getting started? The extraordinary life is not always the easiest or most comfortable life, but it is the life worth living.