Like a Flourishing Tree

1 yellow tree
“Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life” Psalm 39:4.

Today is my birthday. And since you’re wondering, and you’re guessing—I’m 60—born June 24, 1955.

How do I feel about this mile marker? I’d love to say, “It’s only a number” but the truth is, I don’t really like that number. I don’t like the way it looks, I don’t like the way it sounds, and I’m not rushing to get in line for the senior citizen discount.

Numbers aren’t arbitrary. Numbers matter. God has allotted to me a certain number of days, so each one counts. Sixty isn’t just a number. It signifies more years behind me than ahead of me. It reminds me that the sands of time eventually run out. The gift of life has an expiration date.

Moses prayed, “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90:12.

Who wants a heart of wisdom? I do. You do. So how do we number our days?

• Evaluate the past
• Take inventory of the present
• Be intentional about the future

Thankfully, all my regrets of the past were lost somewhere in the expanse of east to west.
An abundance of grace, and the enabling of God’s Spirit fills the present with meaningful tasks.
And the future? I cling to these words from Psalm 92:12-15, which parallel Psalm One.

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the LORD,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, “The LORD is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

Hardy trees, growing in strength and stature, fruitful and flourishing, intentionally planted near God’s dwelling place—a strong image of how the righteous will thrive.

So, what do I want for my birthday?

I want your prayers, for these same verbs to describe my remaining years: flourish, grow, planted in God’s presence, bear fruit, stay fresh and green, so that I may continue to proclaim the Lord, my Rock.

Yes, that’s what I want for my birthday.

23 comments to Like a Flourishing Tree

  • Richie

    Happy 60th birthday, to my flourishing fruitful friend! Your life has made a difference in mine. I am so thankful for your heart of wisdom that has taught me the incalculable worth of God’s word. I wish you long life, health, joy and many more opportunities to impress upon others the depth and riches of the Word of Life!

  • Natalie

    Happy, happy birthday Mom. You have my prayers and my love!

  • warren culwell

    Such an Happy Birthday, Janet!!! I hope the living Word is more real to you this next year than the past 59…You are loved by your KIng and your kin!

  • Susan Turner

    Happy Happy Birthday to my friend I met in prison! (I love saying that) Like Richie – your life has made a tremendous difference in mine. Thank you for your passion for God’s Word and for showing me the great value in hiding it in my heart. I am forever changed. May God continue to use you in teaching others the riches of knowing Him by knowing His Word! Love, Susan

  • Betsy

    Happy Birthday wonderful Janet. You are such a blessing to me! It is a Joy to pray for you and the ministry the Lord has given you…….

  • ethan

    Happy Birthday to my best friend. If anyone is going to flourish, grow, bear fruit, stay fresh and green – it will be you. You are like a tree planted by streams of water and you flourish like a palm tree. Honored to be on the journey with you. Much love, Ethan

  • Catherine

    Oh, happy birthday Janet! What a prayer request on your birthday? You have been a blessing to me, my prayers are with you. may you be a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over the wall.

  • Holly

    Happy Birthday, Janet!! You have my prayers. I’m so glad I “stumbled” on your book on Amazon a few years ago when I wasn’t even looking for it. I love that God engineered that. As I’ve journeyed through life, there are certain seasons when God has given me mentors from afar and you are one of them. I am where I am today because of your passion for Christ and because you put your message out there. You are Psalm 92:12-15 and Psalm one. May you continue to impact the lives of others as you have impacted my life. Happiest of Birthdays to you. 🙂

  • Shirley Snoeyink

    What joy awaits you as you age! The Word becomes richer, your wisdom is sought and appreciated, you eventually find you have more time to grow spiritually, your children rise and call you blessed, and so does your husband, and you will have ‘eternal pleasures at God’s right hand.’ Ps.16:11b Praise the Lord. Happy birthday.

  • Shan

    Since your birthday desire is to flourish, grow, be planted in God’s presence, bear fruit, stay fresh and green in order to proclaim the Lord, your Rock, “may he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!” Psalm 20:4 Happy Birthday, Janet!

  • Nancy Beams

    Happy Birthday, darling girl! I will pray for you and your ministry to be effective in drawing us all to our Sacred Scriptures. I so appreciate your passion and enthusiasm in what God has called you to.
    God’s richest blessings on you, Janet. If you weren’t a righteous Christian woman – I would never believe you were 60!This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

  • Teresa

    Happy happy birthday, Janet! You have my prayers and I’m so glad we’ve reconnected! You are indeed flourishing and remain fresh and green. It’s evident to all who know you. Welcome to Club 60. 🙂

  • Joy to you today, Janet, I celebrate the gift you are to us who have been inspired and encouraged by your ministry! I have a tough time with birthdays, I’m not sure why because they bring me closer to my “number of days” and eternity with Jesus. I just want to make them count for Him as you do too. So have a Happy Birthday and know you are appreciated very much. I will make an effort to pray for you as I continue to read your postings. May the Lord bless you.

  • Barbara Tyndall

    Happy Birthday, Janet! I join with many others in continuing to pray for you and thank the Lord for the difference you have made in our lives. How neat to think that we can bear fruit in our old age and with your wonderful book, your fruit will continue to bear even after you are standing before the Lord. I am 70+ now and somewhat of a late bloomer, but I am encouraged by knowing that Moses ministry didn’t even really begin until he was 80. May the Lord bless you and keep you; and may His face shine on you and be gracious to you all the days of your life.

  • Chris Gray

    Happy Joyful Birthday Janet! Joining you in your birthday prayer which is according to God’s will so I trust He will continue to work in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. And continue to satisfy your desires with good things and renew your youth like the eagles’ – you are still a young whipper-snapper 🙂 with love & prayers, Chris

  • Nancy

    Much love and blessings on ur birthday, dear Janet. You’re a cup of cold water each time you write or speak! and You are young!!

  • Amy Calvetti

    Happy belated birthday!! I am a firm believer in celebrating my birthdays week long. I hope to be as blessed, as you have been, by God’s word each year that goes by. You have been a blessing to me and so many others over the years. I look forward to seeing what else he has planned for us along the way. Happy birthday my new friend! Amy

  • Susa M.

    Happy, Happy Birthday, to one who has not only loved the Lord, but has brought many people to His feet with her! Thank you for giving US all the gift of encouragement and of knowing God better through His Word. Your site here, as well as your book on Bible memorization, have been such a blessing to me. May God grant you the desires of your heart–growing ever closer to Him. Flourishing!

  • Mike F.

    Happy Birthday! “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits. Who pardons all your iniquities. Who heals all your diseases. Who redeems your life from the pit. Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion. Who satisfies your years with good things. YOUR YOUTH IS RENEWED LIKE THE EAGLE!” Psalm 103:2-5 You are living proof of these benefits, and it is because we remember, or forget none of His benefits. Remember the word! Mike

  • Vickie McKnight

    Happy Birthday Janet! I’m with you! Turned 60 last October! I’m just excited about the adventure I’m on with Jesus and thankful for each year He has given me on this earth! Thank you for your encouragement, ministry and inspiration of memorizing God precious Word!

  • Barbara A.

    Happy Birthday, Janet! I am a few years ahead of you, so I really appreciate your comments and feelings about “the number”! Thank you for this reminder that our days are numbered, but we are still to flourish in the presence of the Lord. Because I stumbled on your book in my church’s library some 10 years ago, I have learned the wonder and blessings of hiding His Word in my heart! You may not know how many lives you have touched until heaven, but I know that you will not stop reaching out to them until you reach that final day. I pray that God will answer your birthday prayer many times over and continue to show you the riches in His Word. I know you will continue to share them with all of us and many others.

    • Thank you Barbara for your kind words. Each one of us are passing on to others the joy and meaning we’ve found in God’s Word. Let’s keep pressing on.