She turned 101 today.

My amazing aunt, Irene Gray McGee, celebrates her birthday today, surrounded by family and friends who love her. She is doing amazingly well for her age.

She’s the third person in my family to live more than 100 years.

Her sister–my mother–died shortly before her 101st birthday. Their mother lived for almost 104 years.

Yes, I have good genes. Supposedly, I will have decades to pursue my second career as a novelist.

Yet I am even more grateful for my spiritual heritage. My grandparents helped found a thriving church, my aunts and uncles all modeled faithful service in their respective churches, my parents taught Sunday school and went on mission trips, and my father built churches and served for a while as a part-time pastor.

We were in church “every time the doors were open” when I was growing up. Of course, being born into this family didn’t make me a Christian. It didn’t guarantee me a pass for heaven, any more than it guarantees that I will live to be 100.

But my family provided the example and laid the path for me to develop my own faith–to understand that Jesus died for me, that God loves me more than I can imagine, and that He always offers grace if I will only accept it. Those facts apply to you, too.

That is worth celebrating every day.