A Page From Mary Lu's World

Sharing Life With Others

Turning 50!

on June 25, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014 I turn 50…wow!  As I approached this milestone, I’ve encountered so many people who are celebrating the big 5-0 too!

cake

The dream Dale and I shared and prayed for in South Carolina was for an opportunity to live closer to my parents in Roanoke, Virginia and a job where I would not be so all consumed with work as I was in television.  Without a doubt God granted that prayer.

This move to Virginia has been a journey where I thought the path was pretty clear.  Move to a new job, new town, and Dale would follow in six weeks after me.  As it turned out the only part of that plan that remained the same was Dale moving here.  I changed jobs after two months here and then I began traveling almost an hour to work each day.

So guess what???   We are moving again.  After about a week of driving back and forth we knew that we needed to look for something in the Roanoke area.  After weeks of searching, we have been granted another gift (I will claim it as my birthday present…..our new place is literally in the backyard of the condo complex where my parents live! We already felt so fortunate to live closer to them but to be around the corner is INCREDIBLE!!

What I’ve learned so far.

I’ve been thinking about writing this blog for several weeks.   I wanted to share a few things that I’ve learned in my 50 years on earth….at my advanced age I’ve heard it is ok to speak your mind (ha, ha!)

Every single person matters.  God made everyone with unique gifts and abilities and he expects us to do our best.  So whether you are the last person hired in an organization (or even a temp!) or you are the CEO leading thousands of employees YOU MATTER!!!  Everyone has a role in participating in life.

Every experience you have (good and bad) make you who you are.  In my life, I have been married three times.  I have wonderful parents who have been married for over 50 years and they are exceptional examples of love and commitment.  It is still is a little bit hard for me to imagine why things didn’t work out for me.  I did receive a wonderful gift from marriage #2 of a great son who still lets me hug him and calls to update me on what is going on in his life.  While I will say marriage #3 is the charm, there are so many aspects from the first two marriages that I have been able to share when I encounter people who are going through those heart breaking decisions.

One thing that a lot of people don’t know about me is that between marriage one and two I tried to take my life.  Every single day I praise God that I did not succeed.  I was in a very dark place and didn’t see a way out.  There was a light that came to me during that time through my family and friends who showed me that I mattered.  I have been able to share that experience with so many people and even as a journalist.  When you have an experience you bring “a little something extra” to the table.

I have had a lifetime of being loved by the most incredible parents who have always been there for me.  We’ve had (and still are having) adventures, we’ve laughed until we had tears running down our faces from laughing, and they’ve made me feel like I am the only person who matters in the world.  They sacrificed to provide for me but most of all they were there.  And they are pretty awesome grandparents too!

Friends are invaluable.

I am so grateful for the bushel basket of friends that I have.  Many of those have been along for the ride with me for more than 20 years.  These are the kind of friends that you don’t have to speak with or write to for years and then you pick up right where you left off.  My friends have listened to me when I was having problems in my life…I’m sure they got sick of it but would never say a thing.  But these same people where the ones I wanted to share my good news with.  I couldn’t have made it without all of you!

Life continues to transition.

I had a rewarding career in television news where I was able to do just about anything I wanted to do thanks to trusting souls who allowed me to be myself.  I lugged 75 pounds of photography gear all over the place, interviewed regular folks and celebrities like Burt Reynolds, and used my talents in the edit booth to continue the storytelling process.  Later I managed teams of gifted journalists who made my days a little crazy and hectic but rewarding.  I am proud of that time in my life.

As for now, I’ve been given a chance to find Mary Lu again.   I got a little lost in the adrenaline, emails, text messages, and phone calls at all hours of the day and night.   Don’t get me wrong….I loved the majority of it.  After the first few weeks it was kind of crazy only having one phone and not having too many people depending on me.   In fact, in my current job I am responsible for just me….a little hard to imagine.

In this time of change I have learned to appreciate the beauty around me and see things that I might have missed.   That is why on my Facebook page I post pictures from what I call my “Outdoor Gym.”  I walk outside several times a week and in the area where I live there are so many reminders of God’s presence and beauty.  I’ve watched seasons change, leaves sprout, flowers grow, and nature in full bloom…along with trees that provide incredible shade for me. I’ve been able to unravel little parts of myself and explore more because I have the time to do so.

The biggest change in my life is when I realized how important it was to have a relationship with Christ.  I always believed in God but I didn’t realize that He is there all time in the driver’s seat….and yep, I’m the passenger.  Trusting Him instead of trusting my own instincts has been one of the biggest challenges.  It is a daily battle.  When I allow Him to “take the wheel” it is still amazing to watch it all play out.

As I close out 50 years, I look forward to what is ahead.  Dale and I will be packing again (anyone want to help??) and moving to our new home.  We will be able to share many more cherished moments with my sweet parents.  I look forward to seeing what is ahead for my son Barry ..and maybe some grandchildren?  Of course that will be many, many years down the road.

I’d like to issue a challenge to all of you:  live each day like it matters, treat others with kindness, and find ways to make a difference. Something as simple as a smile can make someone’s day!  I’ve been inspired by this song by Matthew West  called ” Do Something.”   I hope you might be inspired too!

Thank you for sharing this journey on my blog and being part of my life!!!

Blessings,

Mary Lu

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2 responses to “Turning 50!

  1. Linda Harris says:

    Happy 50th Birthday! God has blessed you with the insight to enjoy the next 50 years and the love for people to bless all those you touch!

  2. Love you both. You are and have always been a blessing. I miss doing EE with y’all. I pray His continued blessings on you. I can see your smile in my minds eye and it cheers me. Thanks for being my friend.

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