Celebrate! You’re A Work In Progress

My birthday was last week and I had a ball. (see photos below – and, yes that’s a tiara, cuz – that’s what happens when you take a dare at 50 and it starts a tradition!)

In the afterglow of a day of celebration and indulgence, I’m taking a timeout to look ahead. How do I get to this time next year wiser, healthier, better off than I am right now.

We are all works in progress.

Progress being the operative word. If we are not making progress we are stagnating or worse yet, decaying.

Mirriam-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.

We are either progressing or decaying.

At my age, I could “retire”. Legit, I’ve put in the years and am eligible for Social Security, (how in the world did that happen?) but I’m not ready to decay any faster than I have to.

Whether or not it’s your birthday week, you have to determine how to keep progressing so you don’t decay any quicker either.

We are all works in progress.

Progress being the operative word. If we are not making progress we are stagnating or worse yet, decaying.

7 ways to keep your work in progress.

1. Love God with all your heart.

Tell him your secrets. Read His words back to him. Praise him with your words and your actions. Every day, find a way to acknowledge Him, honor Him or partner with Him.

2. Love Your People

Be kind. Being snippy and sarcastic may make you feel smart or superior.
But … you won’t win their hearts or demonstrate Jesus to them that way, so be liberal with your words of affirmation and encouragement.

3. Practice forgiveness till you’re an expert.

You’ll add years to your life by forgiving yourself and others. 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.

4. Live in community.

Isolation is a lonely and vulnerable place. Choosing women to do life with makes it richer and safer. Ask for help. Share the burdens and the struggles. Celebrate the victories and the triumphs.

The richness of the relationships I have with my core group of women
provides us stability and support for all seasons and situations.

5. Take care of yourself.

Sleep 8 hours. Eat something green that isn’t a jelly bean. Exercise a little. Write some goals. Save some money. Wear pants with elastic waistbands, comfortable undies and sensible shoes.

6. Have some fun.

Listen to music. Dance in the kitchen. Bake a cake and eat it. Plan an adventure. Visit a distant relative, or a museum, or the Football Hall of Fame.

7. Celebrate life and be glad you’re a work in PROGRESS!

I’d love to hear what your best strategy is to avoid decay and continue to make progress. Leave me a comment below.

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.




  1. Shannon Popkin on September 29, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    Happy birthday Robyn!! You look fabulous as always. Love your birthday outfit especially! 🙂 What a blessing you are.

  2. Cheri Vanden Heuvel on September 29, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    Happy Birthday.. Birthday are so special.. Glad you had fun!!!

  3. Lori Loring on September 30, 2019 at 12:03 am

    Happy birthday Robyn. I too am at that age where I want to retire but don’t want to decay. I’ll take your 7 tips to heart to keep this work in progress. Starting with this note to you to tell you that I enjoy your stories regularly. Since I met you years ago at a women’s conference, your emails have been a joy to me but I’m usually too rushed to take the time to say thanks. I’ve been wanted to make more of an effort to encourage others. Kind words really don’t take much effort but can go a long way on the receiving end. So thanks for your words of encouragement. I’m glad you’re not retiring!

  4. Kay Zehr on September 30, 2019 at 12:51 am

    ???. Thank you for caring!

  5. Patti L Veld on September 30, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Happy Birthday!! I needed these words!

  6. Sandra Lee on September 30, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Happy Birthday Robyn! Thank you for the encouraging words. I think this is exactly what I needed today! Hope you had a fabulous day celebrating!!! ??

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 30, 2019 at 5:41 pm

      Thanks so much.
      Yes, it was a wonderful day.

  7. Darlene H. on September 30, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    Robyn, Thank you for sharing the 7 tips to keep your work in progress. I will be sharing with the WBA team!
    I’m so glad we met and are friends you are such a special lady!
    God’s Richest blessings to you and Dave!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 30, 2019 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Darlene,
      You’re the best encourager.
      Love you!

  8. Linda M on September 30, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Happy birthday! I am definitely a work in progress. Just finished a novel ‘Half Finished’ that touched on the same thought. I journal my goals/dreams and go back to read and check how I’m doing. Like your 7 steps. Always enjoy your email as it makes me pause and think. Thank you.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 30, 2019 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks for writing Linda. 🙂

  9. Brenda Humphrey on October 1, 2019 at 12:28 am

    Happy birthday Robyn. You look marvelous!! I love reading your encouraging stories.

  10. Yoke Lei on October 1, 2019 at 12:53 am

    Happy belated birthday! Wishing you many more! Thanks for the 7 tips; will try to incorporate in my life. You go, girl!

  11. Vicki White on October 1, 2019 at 3:35 am

    Happy Birthday Robyn! Hope you enjoyed your special day!
    Thank you the encouraging words.

  12. sheryl King on October 2, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Happy Birthday Robyn!! It’s wonderful to remember that every day we are seriously a work in progress! Every day I work at being closer to God and walk more like Jesus and less like myself! Thank you for your words of encouragement 🙂

  13. Nancy Bruns on October 10, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    A belated Happy Birthday! Glad you had a great day.

Leave a Comment