Dec
13

Morning Musings on My Birthday

By

 It’s here again. Another birthday. I awakened before dawn in prayerful thoughts, anticipating God’s kisses on my morning. My favorite coffee, black syrup my husband says, awaited me in the kitchen. With cup in hand, I sat down here with my computer and my dog who insists on sitting in my chair with me.  A letter from my husband lay waiting on my keyboard, a beautiful tradition of his, his words brought pleasure to my heart and then on to read Facebook birthday wishes. A pretty good start.

With my birthday, Christmas, and the New Year so stacked together, I always find myself reflecting, musing on this day of what the year has been like. The highs. The lows. And I take time to hope and dream of the next year. To connect to my soul’s desires.

And I ask questions. Lots of them. What’s most alive in me? What’s been the story of my life? The story of this year? The nature of the assault on my heart this year? What themes have run through the tapestry of my soul this year? What has God been up as He has continued to paint on the canvas of me?

How have I lived well this year? In what ways have I only existed, failing to live fully in the dimensions of my life?

Where have I experienced the depths of His grace and the sweetness of His mercy?

Where have I shut the door when He beckoned me to enter? Where have I freely opened my hands to receive His work in my heart?

2012  has stretched me. At the end of June, my thoughts were of how perfect my life had become. Great kids. A wonderful granddaughter. A fulfilling marriage. A job that I’d do even if it didn’t pay. The sweet season at my church.

Then July jolted me. I awakened on July 1 with thoughts of a dream, full of details and weightiness. I grabbed paper and pen to write. Clearly God was speaking to me about a shift, something new, that I would be caring for. A baby I would be given. Specific words in the dream of making a difference in life.

I’d no more than finished the last words until the phone rang with news of a crisis with my mother and I entered the world of Alzheimer’s and of becoming my mother’s caregiver. It’s a world that has brought me face to face with so many complex feelings and left me feeling helpless at times, often just like the little girl I was growing up.

And then, as my counselor so aptly pointed out for me, which I shouldn’t be surprised that I would miss this, the baby of my own heart. The parts of my heart that I haven’t cared well for in the past. How would I care for myself in the midst of challenging days? Not my strength in days gone by.

Every year makes me more aware of the elusiveness of stability. My life is perpetual change which I sometimes experience with heels dug in.

Makes me think of a seminar my daughter attended this year. “Change is good. You go first.” My sentiments exactly!

I’ve finally moved beyond the flailing arms, screaming protest stage, and find myself accepting the new changes, reorienting my life, again, and finding ways to live well in the midst of change. Ways to care for myself.

In fact, my friends are laughing at me this year because of the gift I asked for this birthday. A day alone.

They smile and say I’ve found my voice. They know that I never ever would have asked for that 5 years ago. I’ve changed.

No longer afraid to ask for what I need and/or what I desire. I plan to spend an entire day writing. Making headway on a book idea God dropped in my heart.

So if I reflect on 2012, I’d say life is good. Not without significant challenges but good. Satisfying. 

And I soothe the child in my heart with the deep goodness of God and of those who love me and cheer me on to keep changing.

And while I gaze into the face of another year, very much aware that it is uncharted territory, I am content and at rest in my soul. I know that God will be there in my 2013, and because He is, it’s gonna be good. 

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Categories : Aging, Birthdays, Change, seasons

Comments

  1. Song says:

    I’m so proud of you for using your voice and for setting time aside for yourself. You’re an amazing woman, and I’m thankful to know you. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you this year!

  2. Beautiful words on your birthday. Enjoy your alone day. Blessings on you as you care for your mom.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

    ps. today is my birthday, too. Birthday 60.

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