Birthday Moments


chocolate cakeBirthdays are such a convoluted thing for me.  Joy is rolled together with sadness. Mourning is intertwined with celebration. Thankfully it is overall a most beautiful day as I celebrate my birth and my life.

With my birthday smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, life tends to be busy and noisy and yet my birthday and the dawn of a new year beckon me to evaluate, make resolutions, and search my soul.  Moments of reflection lead me to the many of the same questions I ask every year on my birthday.  

What does my spirit yearn for? What is God birthing in me this year? Where is He nudging me to change? How is His Spirit wooing me and what is He inviting me in to this next year? What’s most alive in me? What’s been the story of this year? Have I lived fully alive to God’s purposes? Have I listened to my heart well? Have I significantly impacted the world around me? Have I stopped short of the goals He has placed before me?

Moments of sadness are present. My mother no longer remembers my birthday because of her dementia. When I brought it up this week, she just smiled and said something about not knowing it was my birthday and moved on to another topic.

My twin brother and my dad are no longer with me and I miss those family moments as well. This day was such a big deal for us. Not only was it my brother’s and my birthday, but it was also my parents’ wedding anniversary so everyone was involved in the celebration.

And I can’t say I’m excited about the number that describes my age. I thought I was old enough that no one would ask me just how old I was but alas, the ladies at our church gathering this week did just that. Geez. I guess I’ll try to own it since no one is giving me a pass. And as you wonder just how old that is, well, maybe I’ll skip owning it for the moment.

In the midst of all my swirling thoughts, my heart is full of joy as I think of the card, roses, and gifts that my husband had waiting for me on the kitchen table when I awakened today. I am excited to know that all my kids will be with me today and my grandkids, too.  We will eat and celebrate and share love. We will have cake and I’ll hear birthday wishes and words of love and receive presents.

I will hear from some friends and loved ones.  And so I’ll acknowledge the sad moments and celebrate the joys and thank God for knowing Him, for life and love and health and family and friends and purpose and all the good gifts that He has given me today.

Let the party begin!

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