It’s my birthday today!

Even at 65, I still love to celebrate … and be celebrated. White cake(s) with thick buttercream frosting, greeting cards, presents and sweet affirmations galore flowed all week long. 

I’m not sure at what age you’re supposed to cut your hair short, retire to FL or stop wearing a tiara on your birthday, but apparently, I haven’t reached it yet.

It’s been a lovely birthday season!

Tomorrow, in the afterglow of all the celebrating, I’m taking a personal retreat to look ahead. To evaluate what’s working and strategize for the future. I want to be wiser, healthier, and more like Jesus next year than I am today.

Use it or lose it.

I don’t want to lose any ground I don’t have to surrender. As a matter of fact, I want to keep making progress in areas I have some control over.

Merriam-Webster defines progress this way: to move forward: to develop to a higher, better, or more advanced stage

Listed antonyms of progress are: decline, descend, deteriorate, weaken, decay, or relapse.

Progressing or decaying.

What does progress look like now? For me, it’s continuing to speak and minister to women at retreats, conferences and special occasions. (Maybe I can come to your church or camp – would you ask around for me?)

It means continuing to write words of encouragement. I have a new devotional book coming out in November, and I’m over the moon excited to share it with you soon. 

It means training up the next generation. Multiplying the messengers of Good News with an online coaching program to help other women develop or grow a speaking ministry. 

To keep moving, stretching and reaching out to Jesus. To know him more and experience God’s presence in my life and work.

What about you? 

Whether or not it’s your birthday week, we each have to determine how to keep progressing so we don’t decay any quicker than necessary.

We are all Works In Progress. If we are not making progress we are stagnating or worse yet, decaying. Here’s what’s on my list to focus on in the coming year. Will you choose one to join me? 

1. Love God.

Spend more time with the Lord. Talk and listen. Tell him all the secrets. Read His words back to him. Every day, find a way to acknowledge Him, honor Him or partner with Him.

2. Love People

Be kind. Love relentlessly. Be liberal with words of affirmation and encouragement. While being snippy and sarcastic may make us feel smart or superior  … it won’t win hearts or demonstrate Jesus.

Isolation is a lonely and vulnerable place. Choosing to do life in community makes us richer and safer. It provides stability and support for all seasons and situations.

3. Love myself.

Eat something green that isn’t a jelly bean. Exercise a little. Sleep 8 hours. Save some money. Have some fun! Take a trip. Dance in the kitchen. Plan an adventure.

And give myself some grace! Forgive faster! Forgive yourself the harsh words, lousy choices, wasted time, inappropriate behavior, ridiculous expenditures, weight gain, missed opportunities and even that thing you think is too bad or too big. Keep short accounts and let stuff go that won’t matter in the long run.

Celebrate being a Work In PROGRESS!

I’d love to hear how you’re avoiding decay and/or how you’re making progress. Leave me a comment. I read every one.

Prayer: Lord, it’s so easy to coast. It’s so easy just to turn on the tv and veg out. It’s so easy to say I worked hard enough, served enough, done enough and sit down. It takes a lifetime to really know you and learn to love you with all my heart. Coax me to keep being a work in progress – In Jesus Name amen.

 

64 Comments

  1. Lisa on September 26, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    Happy Birthday
    In April l turn 65 and Medicare. But l will still be working 3 days a week.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:46 am

      Great! And happy early bday to you!

      • Lisa Hinton on September 27, 2021 at 1:34 pm

        Happy birthday Robin! I’ve never met you but I’ve heard good things. I think you know my friend Beth Barrett…. I’ve had my 4yo grand all weekend. She loves going to church, and we spend a lot of time talking about Jesus where she doesn’t get it at home. I’ve got my own little ministry right here. And I’m a nurse in a nursing home where I have the privilege to honor Christ there.

        • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 2:34 pm

          Hi Lisa,
          Well, I hope our paths cross in person one day! Appreciate the ministry you do!

      • Michelle M. B. on September 27, 2021 at 9:07 pm

        Happy Birthday Robyn. Thank you for being so inspirational. I speak to the Lord daily. I pray for those around me. While I work I would hope that through my work I am witnessing to others. They do know that I am a Christian. I show love to others like Jesus wants me too. You know the 2nd command. Its not an easy task. lol the Lord gives me strength.
        May you continue to do the Lord”s will.. May God Bless you in all you do for Him.
        Love In Christ, Michelle B.

        • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 10:40 pm

          Well done, Michelle! Glad to hear it.

    • Charlotte McMaster on September 27, 2021 at 2:16 pm

      Happy Birthday Robyn. Sure enjoyed the conference. You are quite a captivating speaker. Enjoy retreating and I pray God will bless your coming years meetings.

      • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 2:35 pm

        Thank you Charlotte. I agree with your prayer for continued blessing from the Lord. 🙂

    • Dina Byrd on September 27, 2021 at 8:01 pm

      Happy Birthday hope you had a great day??just finished your book The Widow wore pink !! Wow you sure had to go through a lot in a short time. I see you trusted In our Lord and made it through. I know I can’t make it without him. Lots of Love to you??

      • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 10:41 pm

        Yes, yes. Not sure how I would have handled it without Jesus.

  2. Cathy Schutte on September 26, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBYN!!!!!

  3. Carol Fletcher on September 26, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    HAPPY AND BLESSED BIRTHDAY.
    I enjoy your Sunday emails so much.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:45 am

      Thanks so much Carol.

  4. Nancy Thomas on September 26, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    Happy birthday may you be blessed with many more

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:45 am

      Thanks Nancy!

  5. Linda Walker on September 26, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    Happy birthday Robyn!
    I also keep busy with a home daycare and walking at park every day.
    Also 22 grandchildren keep me occupied.
    P.S. I am 71

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:45 am

      Girl! Way to go. You’re an inspiration!

  6. Caroline N on September 26, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    1. No WAY are you a day over 38! Don’t cut that hair until you are ready. HappyBirthday! Thank you for your honesty about how messy/hard life can be.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:44 am

      Roger that, Caroline. Will keep the locks for a bit longer. Appreciate your encouragement to me.

  7. Kelly Clark on September 26, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Happy Birthday Robyn!
    Sounds like my kind of celebration
    Here’s to many more fabulous celebrations!
    Thank you for all your inspirational emails. They really are a blessing to me, especially on the rough days!
    Have a wonderful week!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:42 am

      Hi Kelly,
      Wow, what a gift to read this from you. Thank you so much for your encouragement.

  8. Nozi on September 26, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    Happy birthday!

  9. Joann Rester on September 26, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    Happy Birthday Robyn! Actually I should say happy birthday to us! We share the same birthday… But I’m 3 years ahead of you!! ??? God bless you and keep up your wonderful ministry! I saw you in Sedona in 2018 (or 19). Your testimony is awesome!
    In Christ,
    Joann Rester

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:42 am

      Hey Happy birthday to you, too Joann!
      Thanks for posting.

  10. Becky Pellett on September 26, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Birthday Blessings Robyn ! Enjoy your day and celebrate you ???

  11. Sheila King on September 26, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Happy Birthday!! ???
    May God bless you today and in the coming year with many blessings!!! God is faithful!!!!
    You are a blessing to all who hear from you!!!
    ???

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:41 am

      Thanks so much Sheila. I appreciate you.

  12. Ginger Diemel on September 26, 2021 at 11:15 pm

    Happy birthday Robyn. I love how the Lord works. Sometimes your mail comes to me just as I am needing what you have to say. Today I rejoice in your willingness to express that we can all be young at heart and age is just a number. Tiara, long hair and all.
    Id love to hear you speak again at silver birch ranch. Thank you for sharing with all of us here and I pray we all grow in the areas you mentioned here.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:41 am

      Hi Ginger.
      So glad to hear from you. I’d love to return to SBR. Maybe if you’d write or email them and ask for mme to come back, they’d might make it happen!

  13. Celeste on September 26, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    Happy Birthday! I turned 65 in January. Isn’t God wonderful?

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:39 am

      Hey Celeste – 65 has been great … so far. Glad all the calls, emails and texts have stopped from insurance agencies. Welcome to Medicare!

  14. Kim on September 26, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    Happy Birthday Robyn, I hope you have a wonderful blessed day? My Birthday is October 12 I will be 57. I’m going to start reading the Bible more again I have been slack on that. I pray to get closer to God more and more daily. God Bless you and your ministry ?

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:38 am

      Thank you Kim. I receive that and am so glad to hear you’re reconnecting with the Lord by reading his word.

  15. Linda L. McKenna on September 26, 2021 at 11:34 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBYN!!!!

    • Dawn TWYMAN on September 26, 2021 at 11:36 pm

      Happy Birthday.. its my birthday week as welll..thursday..lol

      • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:37 am

        Whee, happy birthday season to you, too!

  16. Jennifer “Lynn” Neely on September 27, 2021 at 12:10 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBYN!! Also, please send me more information on your online coaching for speaking and sharing testimonies. I have been to the Speak Up Conference in Grand Rapids one year, which I spoke with you and your husband about when you spoke in Clarion at Trinity Point Church for the Knox Ladies’ Seminar and I also purchased it for that year and last year when it was virtual, but didn’t get to see the virtual one before it became unavailable because the next seminar was starting, as my mother was fighting cancer for 3 and 1/2 years, and I was taking her to appointments, cleaning her house, doing her laundry, taking her food, and mowing her lawn as well as taking care of my house. I lost my dear 88 year old very active, young-looking mother on May 10th, the day after Mother’s Day after her brave, great fight, and will miss her dearly!!! Trying to get my house downsized, in order, and organized after retiring last year. (Although it hasn’t hit me yet due to taking care of mom so much!) Would love to get out there sharing my testimony, finishing my book and then getting it published!!! Feeling a bit frustrated about it all for a while and currently, but feel certain that it is the enemy just trying to get me to quit!! Thanks for sending me the coaching info and for all your encouraging words!!! You and your husband when we spoke said to keep going to “Speak Up” conference and networking! Hope your special day was GREAT!!! AND that you can stretch it out and make the celebration last even longer!! Maybe close to a month!!! LOL! Keep doing what you are doing!!! You make me smile!!
    From Jennifer “LYNN” Neely (I go by LYNN)

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:36 am

      Hey Lynn – you definitely need to be sharing all you’ve learned these last few years. I’ll send you an email about coaching. 🙂 Be blessed Sister. I’m so sorry about all your losses. Thankful for you.

  17. Heather Hixson on September 27, 2021 at 12:23 am

    Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!

  18. Rose Kamwesa on September 27, 2021 at 12:29 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBYN,
    I retired almost three years ago.
    I have seven grandkids between two of our four sons.
    The grandkids keep me busy, but when am not watching them I go for walks in the community , Park or at the Mall. I also enjoy cooking and reading.
    I have also signed up to Volunteer with a group that takes Participants with Developmental Challenges on tours as a chaperone.
    I guess that for now is sufficient enough to keep me from rusting.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 12:33 am

      Hurrah for you Rose. What a wonderful life you’ve created.

  19. Lori Lynch on September 27, 2021 at 12:55 am

    Happy Birthday to you!

  20. Corrine on September 27, 2021 at 1:36 am

    Happy birthday, Robyn.
    Definitely keep wearing your tiara with your beautiful long hair. He wants us to have an abundant life filled with JOY!! I also want to walk closer daily with our Lord. Reading devotionals and scripture helps me know Him and His ways better and better. It’s easy to let my “to do” list get ahead of my prayer time. Something I want to do better at. Being part of my parish’s prayer ministry has been wonderful, seeing how He works in others lives through our prayers.
    Loved attending the conference you spoke at a few years ago in Palatka, Florida. You are a gift and His love shines through you. Keep shining your beautiful Light!
    PS. Love your weekly emails!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 1:40 am

      I’m so glad you posted Corrine. Thanks for the encouragement.
      Love your ideas to stay connected to the Lord.

  21. Katrina Stevens on September 27, 2021 at 2:08 am

    Hope you have a great and blessed Birthday and Birthday week!!

  22. Deanna Musgrave on September 27, 2021 at 2:22 am

    Happy Birthday Robyn! May continued blessings come your way!! Your light for God shines bright. .

  23. Michelle Dickenson on September 27, 2021 at 3:20 am

    Robyn … you really must be 56 and boo booed the numbers! Wow, sister!!what a gift you are to me, Dave, your boys, the world! Love how you are so real and allow God to use your journey to inspire others, and to know God, others and themselves deeper and more intimate!!

    I love you sister!! Big hugs ? from the Florida girl with the shorter hair and many tiaras!!!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 11:56 am

      Love you back, Sweet Friend.

  24. GLORIA Reyes on September 27, 2021 at 3:56 am

    Happy birthday and many blessings !

  25. Diane Leach on September 27, 2021 at 9:35 am

    You made me smile and I even giggled.

    Thank you for sharing and I sure appreciate your encouragement to walk closer to Jesus!

  26. Bartz Trudy on September 27, 2021 at 10:35 am

    Happy Birthday! You are a blessing to me & I love your encouraging words! God is good all the time!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 11:55 am

      Thank you Trudy. I appreciate you taking the time to post that!

  27. Celine Hutchinson on September 27, 2021 at 11:27 am

    Happy happy birthday to you

  28. Beaman, Lydia on September 27, 2021 at 11:32 am

    Happy Birthday Robyn!
    Your joy and living life to the fullest attitude is so appreciated. Looking forward to celebrating birthdays together next month atThe TRIBE. Wear that tiara high and proudly, Girl The Lord is SO good!

  29. Katrina Hansen on September 27, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Happy Birthday

  30. Tracy Noyes on September 27, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    Happy birthday! Much to celebrate! God is good.

  31. Leslie Russell on September 27, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday! Sorry, I’m always late to the party. You look marvelous! Every single day I pray two things: 1) Make me more like Jesus 2) Give me the mind of Christ. Those are prayers I know that God will answer in the affirmative!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 27, 2021 at 11:05 pm

      Absolutely LOVE 1) Make me more like Jesus 2) Give me the mind of Christ.
      So be it for us all.

  32. Christine Sokolowski on September 28, 2021 at 12:40 am

    Happy Birthday blessings to you! I love and appreciate your encouragement and sense of humor. I am working on loving people better as Jesus did. Wow it takes a lot in our world today. I hope that we will meet again.

  33. Nancy L Burleson on September 28, 2021 at 2:19 am

    Happy birthday. Mine is today. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your speaking at the United Methodist Church last week. It was a great time. God Bless you as you continue His work.

  34. Judith Greene on September 28, 2021 at 2:34 am

    Happy Birthday! I am also celebrating a birthday this week. On Friday, October 1, I will turn 66. While I am still running the non-profit charity that God entrusted me with, I still have ideas and thoughts about what else God might choose to put into my hands to do for Him., I am also realizing that I need to take the time to rest and renew more now than ever!
    2 days after the annual event that we work year round to prepare for, I fell and broke my arm just below my shoulder. Of course it had to be my right arm…the arm I use all the time. I was so disheartened to think that my husband and I would not be able to enjoy the rest of our summer together. All the things we would like to do that get put off until after the main event were suddenly gone. But I found that in my time after the fall, I learned so much. God showed me what a wonderful mate He had chosen for me. My husband took on everything that I couldn’t do….cleaning, laundry, cooking, dishes….just to name a few. His kindness and gently care overwhelmed me …these were the very reasons I had fallen in love with him over 48 years ago.
    God never makes mistakes. He gave me the perfect husband.
    As to the future? I have always had big ideas….now I have fewer years and less energy….but whatever God asks of me, I know He will enable me to do. I am His to use as He chooses.
    I pray that God will give you a blessed time of rest, renewal and inspiration.

  35. Pat on September 28, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Happy belated birthday. Sounds like you had a wonderful day/week. I thought you were only 50 something or other. Thank you for the wonderful inspirational message.

  36. Heather Patrick on September 29, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Happy Birthday Robyn! Loved finding this in my inbox this morning for the first time!! Heard you speak at the Lakewood Women’s Conference Sept. 18. What an encouragement! My birthday is today so how fitting to see this and inspire me to make big changes with God working on me!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 29, 2021 at 1:20 pm

      Happy birthday to you, Heather. Hope you are celebrated extravagantly!

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