Intro to Watsonopolis

There was one who once said crazy things like, give your possessions to the poor, let your light shine, go to the ends of the earth, love God, love your neighbor, serve, pray, die and live. Those words, the words of Jesus, have gripped and shaped our lives.

Because of Jesus’ life, challenge and love we are propelled into an amazing life journey; a journey that most often finds us pitching our tent among the poor and those on the margins of our world, serving, living, teaching, learning and loving there.

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« Nathan the Shepherd | Main | Living Hope's Advent Conspiracy »
Tuesday
Dec162008

Birthday Reflections on the Tuesday after

I turned 34 on Saturday.  34.  Seems a bit like the middle of something, but I'm not quite sure what or where.  Not quite old...but getting closer.  Not young, but youth is certainly farther away than it used to be.  And I'm sure when I'm 54 I'll look back at this writing and chuckle at how silly I sounded 20 years ago for even considering youth and age at this juncture.  

But I'm 34.  And birthdays are good for reflection as much as celebration.  I did a little of both.  And I since I like to mix my celebrations and reflections like Jack mixes with Coke, here are some things I've been reflecting on and celebrating this week.

Stories...I come from a family of story tellers.  Really good story tellers.  Even the bad ones and the long ones.  I grew up loving to hear my Granny tell long stories.  I still love hearing my Grandma tell even longer ones.  My mom tells funny ones, my dad tells loud ones.  My Grandpa tells subtle ones.  I'm reflecting on and celebrating the stories that I'm able to tell.  Stories that are my own, from my 34 years, my life, my mistakes, my humiliations, my triumphs, my sadness, my uncertainty and my trail through this life so far.  Hopefully I'm able to tell them as well, as loud, as funny, as profoundly and as deeply as my family.  

Community...If there is anything that I can say has been absent from my 34 years it is lonliness.  There have been times when I have been or have felt alone, but never really have I been, for any extended period of time, in a place of lonliness in my life.  Throughout my 34 years I have found my location smack dap in the middle of a community of welcome and love.  Growing up in St. Francis Square apartments in the heart of east Dallas' ghetto - community.  At Lakeside Baptist Church - community.  At SMU in the college group at the BSU - community.  In seminary - community.  In Fresno - community, lots of it.  So much community I can't get away from it.  Even in Memphis with Living Hope Church - community.  Consistently God has surrounded me with communities of care & character.

Family...I am genuinely moved to tears when I think of the rich blessing that my family is to me.  The family that hatched me and that raised me (and is still raising me) and the family that I chose in Lisa and our children is rich in love, forgiveness, stick-to-it-iveness, laughter, hilarity and lots more love.  The family I have now may look a little different than the one I grew up in - to say Lisa and I have lived in lots of places is a ridiculous understatement while my parents still live in the same neighborhood as the Dallas high school they attended as teenagers.  But some of the deeper character of families, that's the beauty.  

My grandma sent me a card for my birthday.  She wrote a note.  Part of it said, "Your life's journey has taken you to many far away, wonderful places.  How exciting to think what the next 34 years might bring!".

Yes.  It is very, very exciting.  

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Reader Comments (2)

Happy birthday, Watson! I always enjoy listening (and now, reading) your reflections, though I am not sure if your stories will ever be as loud as Wayne's.

Cheers!

December 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermichael&katie

Hey Mathew! give your buddy a call..559-229-1258 I would like to catch up one some things!

January 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarc Marmolejo

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