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In a culture enamored with youth and beauty, the 50th birthday is often seen as a death sentence ... in more ways than one. It's easy to see why ... What used to be perky is now otherwise. What's trending now trumps wisdom. A once-healthy body now declares mutiny on any healthy choices. And, after years of putting others first, many find they are lonely, depressed and lack meaningful work.On the eve of her 49th birthday, this generally hilarious and fun-loving author stood before a dark path, struggling to find purpose and joy. It was do or die, and it scared her. Early one morning, (because she couldn't sleep ... again) , she asked God, "Why am I still here? What is it you want me to do?""Focus on regaining your health - physically, relationally, emotionally and spiritually - and then write about it.

About the Author

Laurie Russell

In 2008, Laurie and her husband, Mark, co-founded Elevate Publishing, a new media house. Prior to this, she served as Stewardship Coordinator for the Boise Chapter of A Rocha, a Christian conservation organization.

She is author of two books. Her first, "I Love Him, I Love Him Not, I Finally Love Him," is a spiritual memoir documenting her crisis of faith and the quest to rediscover her love for Him.

Her second book, "Journey to 50: How to Live With Grace, Gratitude and the Effects of Gravity," is an informative and humorous guide to aging wholistically, regaining your health and how to do so without going crazy in the process.

Laurie writes weekly on her blog, journeyto50.org, sharing tips, encouragement and bucket lists adventures from her personal story to turning 50.

She is a speaker, primarily on faith, culture and the collision of the two.

In 1994 she spent two years in southern Russia with The Navigators and The CoMission. She returned home and received a Bachelor's from Moody Bible Institute in International Studies.

After Mark wore her down and convinced her to marry him, they worked in Santiago, Chile for two years and then in Munich, Germany for three years, both with the International Mission Board.

They now live in Boise, Idaho and have two incredible children, two insane black labs and one ill-mannered cat.

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