50! Welcome to my world, Fifty! I hope you are ready for me as I am ready for you, 50. I plan to give you a run for your money. I hope you are ready for a fierce partner. Together lets be fierce! I plan to fiercely live and love. Fiercely worship God. Fiercely serve Jesus Christ. Fifty(ies) I do not plan to sit you out. I intend to dance every single day of my life. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually—Oh what a dance it will be.

In the last hours of yesterday, I danced half a century away. I danced into being the beginning of the second half century of my life. Truth be told, for a long while I didn’t think I would live to be 50 years old. With a grateful heart I say, Thank you Lord for keeping all your promises to me.” I’d been dancing all night; beginning repeatedly with, “I’m Amazed (Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir). Concluding with one of my favorites, and my theme song for 50, “I Hope You Dance” (LeAnn Womack). I’ve played this song over 20 times this night. Woohoo!

Several years ago, I made my peace with shoulda coulda woulda—all my missed moments. Firmly putting all the uglies of life to rest. I realized no amount of hell or hell bent hearts would make me lose my wonder. I embrace passion, love, dance, joy, song. I’ve been given a chance to sit it or dance. Guess what(!) I choose to dance. I agree with LeAnn W. May you never take one single breath for granted. When you stand by the ocean, please do feel small. I guarantee you when one door closes God will open another. Just know that when you give faith a fighting chance, God leaves you breathless! Dream big for yourself. The path of least resistance wasn’t intended to make you settle. Take those chances and translate them into captures! This thing called loving might not always turn out happy. But never, never, not take the chance to experience love. Whenever you find your heart’s been broken, no matter how many times…ditch the bitterness. Love comes around many times…God is love! My friend, don’t you dare sell out—Always reconsider. And because heaven is above and Jesus Christ resides there…always keep your gaze up! That’s where help is.

My friend, I’ve been given the chance to sit it out or dance. You know what I’m choosing! I chose to dance. That’s how I began ushering in my 50th birthday today—dancing.

The Praise-a-Thon of my final Countdown to 50 climaxed with the song “I Get On My Knees” (Nicole Mullen). I prepared for prayer time by singing the hymn “My Jesus I Love Thee.” Hymns are my thing, you know. The hymns transport me into a place of deeper worship. Immediately, I fell face down on my knees before the Creator of heaven and earth. In thanksgiving, I honored Jesus Christ for the gift of this milestone birthday. I worshipped God for who He is. I thanked the Lord for the gift of life—every aspect of my life. I am blessed that I could welcome my 50th birthday, alone, on my knees. When midnight rolled in I was laying prostrate before the King of Kings, welcoming 50 into my world!

I do not intend to sit it out, not once. Life is too precious. You should embrace your life, too. Join me friends, (and foes too if there be any out there) and make your life a celebration. Celebrate the beautiful you that Jesus Christ has made out of nothing. You are here; right here, right now. And you are a child of God! It does not get any better than that. Thank you to my wonderful circle of friends, you know yourselves. You make this journey fun. Thanks to family, loved ones, acquaintances, children of God, you make life a pleasure. Thanks to those who encourage and inspire me to continue the work I try to do, you make HortenseInspiration happen. Thanks to the strangers and the passerbys, you too have a place. We are all God’s children—we need one another more than we recognize.

In closing, let’s each be one another’s keeper. Live large, and it has nothing to do with means or much. It has to do with heart—live with a large heart! Love much. Forgive more. Laugh often. Pray always. Don’t you dare sit it out. Go Dance!

Blessings galore.

Hortense Duarma Grimes
June 15, 2014