Reflections On Our Son Turning 40


When I turned 40, I recall my Mom saying, “I can’t believe I have a 40-year-old son!”  Well, it didn’t bother me.  Really.  I was still running.  Playing ball. Raising a young family. Feeling good.

Now the tables are turned.  I’ve got a son who turned 40 yesterday.  And I can’t believe it.  Why are we always surprised at these milestones?  Don’t we see them coming?  Or are we so busy they just sneak up on us?

But we are enjoying it.  It’s an opportunity to reminisce about the past.  Remember the good times.  And reflect on special milestones.  Important people in our lives.  And memories that live on!

This hasn’t been the traditional 40th birthday.  No black decorations.  Or “over the hill” wrapping paper.  Or gallows humor.  But there’s been humor!  Lots of it!  And surprises.

Norma Jean had planned to fly to Florida last Friday to surprise Kenny for his 40th birthday and be there with him and Rachél for Mother’s day.  But the surprise was on her when they all showed up on Thursday.  It was fun.  We love to surprise.  And be surprised. I think families today are too uptight.  Folks need to relax.  Enjoy each other.  Be a little unconventional.  And embrace this wonderful relationship God ordained called family.

But back to the 40.  You hear that 40 is just a number. As I think about it, I agree with Boston Globe journalist Beverly Beckham that it is more than a number….and “an inaccurate one.” Beckham wrote, “Forty is inaccurate because it doesn’t stand alone. Forty is 39 and 28 and 24 and 16 and 10 and 4 and 6 months, every age a person was – not simply the sum of its parts but every one of its parts.”

Forty, in Kenny’s case,  is a month late arriving infant.  The first grandchild. The exploring toddler. The rambunctious child. The young entrepreneur.  The ball-playing kid. The irrepressible teenager.  The graduate.  The Florida College student.  Once. Twice.  Three times.

Forty is living with Mamaw. Temporary obsessions.  Traveling with Bodhi.  Marrying his best friend, April.  Legends.  Florida College cross-country. And staying faithful to God.

Forty is love. Laugher. Tears. Disappointing setbacks.  Joyous triumphs.  Moving. Changing. Growing.  Adapting.  Becoming.  And dreaming.

When we look at people we see them externally.  With human eyes.  And observe the here and now.  The moment.   We look at a face and try to guess an age.

We are the sum total of our experiences. Relationships.  Successes.  And failures. Life is not a destination.  It’s a journey.  A process. A life-long learning experience.  And the Bible teaches a brief one compared to time.  And eternity.

Charles T. Jones once said, “You will be the same in five years except for two things: The people you meet and the books you read.”   I have to think Kenny and the rest of us are where we are now because of those factors.  And where we will be in five years, Lord willing, will also be influenced by people who love us.  Help us. Share with us.  Influence us.  And while there are great books to learn from, none is better than the Bible.

The wise counsel of the Word says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Prov 4:23).

Well, thanks for reading today.  And allowing me some personal ruminations. But remember this.  When your birthday comes don’t agonize over it. Or stress over it. Or worry about the number of candles on your cake. Accept it. Embrace it. Enjoy it. And apply the counsel of Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Age

15 responses to “Reflections On Our Son Turning 40

  1. Well said Ken…. wish I had seen this when I was 40, but I’m 7 years too late!



    Ken, Enjoyed reading this!!



  3. Betty rhodes

    Glad you guys are included in my 65 years!


  4. Sherry Williams-Kosfeld

    I am so enjoying reading your works! Please give your sweet wife a hug and kiss for me!


  5. Shannon Key

    Enjoyed reading this. Congratulations to the whole family.


  6. Carol Moyer-Arnold

    Hi Ken, Enjoyed the reading today. Thank you. My son Victor Moyer was in the dorm room next to Kenny at FC – small world!


  7. Diane

    Happy birthday to Kenny! Is it really possible that Norma has a 40-year-old?! Love to all.


  8. Jonathan

    I have met your son just a handful of times. He’s a wonderful man and you should be very proud of him!


  9. Kimbalee

    Wonderful words! Thank you for sharing!


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  11. Peggy T Hobbs

    Ken, I was able to read the Bonus Post and enjoyed it. When we look at our children, we think we should be that age! However, we know we weren’t supposed to live on this earth forever. Our plans as Christians is to have an eternal home with God. I’m glad your son and wife surprised Norma Jean by coming to your home this year to celebrate his birthday. Thanks for responding to my question.


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