As adults, people try and ignore birthday's. Ignore the excitement in it, ignore the thrill of having made it through another year. Why? Why do people let go of that child like excitement as adults?
I am not one of those people. My birthday is coming up and I've been silly with my family making sure they know, MY BIRTHDAY is COMING!
It isn't that I want banners, a party or a parade, I'm excited for me. And I can admit, it is nice when others think of you on your day. It is a day to CELEBRATE after all.
I will be 44, that is DOUBLE DIGITS of the SAME NUMBER, that's pretty cool right? And 44 shows that I survived being in my 20s and 30s. I'm in my 40s and with that comes independence on a whole new level. I can go to the grocery store on a Saturday, after being in the yard all day, not having taken a shower and not really give one wack crack care what anyone thinks of my no makeup, hair in a messy bun, are her knees really dirt look. I'm completely and totally good with who I am. I would have never ever even considered such an outing in my 20s and not so much in my 30s. I am in my 40s and I'm happy with who I am. I know that if need be, I can clean up and look rather nice for an event or outing. And there is the opinions and thoughts that one is capable of sharing in their 40s for which they avoided in earlier years for fear of offending or upsetting others. For instance, when going shopping with a girlfriend in your 20s or 30s you are asked "how does this look?" Most often we look gasp and lie, GREAT! You look great! In your 40s you not only think more of yourself, you think more of your friends and if they don't look great you reply with "Seriously, are you kidding me? What are you twelve?" and you both end up belly laughing - fully understanding we are trying to hold onto our youth, but are proudly moving forward with our season of age. We aren't poking fun of one another, we're poking fun at the fact we want to be 40, but we don't want to LOOK 40. Its a catch 22 so to speak.
Back to my birthday! How do I get so sidetracked? in 18 days I will be 44. It is an age I will wear with a smile, and will be thankful for arriving. As an elderly man use to tell me when I would ask "How are you today Ernie?" His reply was always "Above ground, it's a good day." Wow! The truth and honesty in that.
Above ground. I am above ground. That means two things. A. It means that God isn't finish with me yet. His plan will continue to unfold in my life and I will continue to seek him and to be a vessel for his word. and B. God isn't finished with me yet.
I love living a life with God. I so appreciate the daily interactions with others that remind me GOD IS NEAR. Sometimes I do pause and wonder, if I weren't here, how would it impact the world? Would they notice I was gone? Would anyone truly miss my presents? Of course I understand my family would - clearly. But what about those people who you only have contact with let's say at the dentist office, the grocery store or the office. Am I doing anything that would leave them wondering about "that girl who...." My prayer is yes. My prayer is that in my 44 years (almost!) on this planet that my life has been such a vessel of God's love, grace, understanding, patience and joy that people who noticed. Not so much notice me, but more so God. It isn't always about ME.. I want it to be more about HIM. I want my years to be represented not with candles, but with blessings - ohhh my the very large cake we will need for this : )
So today as I smile thinking about some of my favorite BIRTHDAY things like Cherry Chip Cake - which I only like on my birthday and never at any other time of year, Odd I know. The notes that my children write in store purchased cards that mean more than diamonds or rubies. The thoughtfulness of my friends who will call, text and email to remind me that they remembered me. The card that my grandparents will send, which most likely they have sent before (this has become a fun little ditty on my birthday, receiving the same card each year and my grandmother not realizing!) It isn't about fanfare, gifts or glamour, it is about celebrating one more day of being blessed and being ever so grateful for another day, another opportunity to live my life to the fullest and to love the Lord our God with all that I am.
THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT. Psalms 118:24