Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday. In the early hours of the morning, on September 26th, I was born.
A big deal is often made about birthdays. And rightfully so (The Lord’s grace), but also wrongfully so. We can often make such a big deal over a day we had no control over, often demanding special treatment and praise, expecting people to bend over backwards to make it all about us.
I grew up getting cards each year from my grandmother with money that matched my age. My mom and dad would take my brothers and me to the restaurant of our choice, or my mom would cook the meal of our choice. One year, I actually asked for lobster! And my mom made it! I wasn’t even a teenager at the time. She’d bake our favorite cakes (straight chocolate for me) and it would be such a fun day of celebration. The next day, life went back to normal. As a kid, it was always sad for me; I wanted to continue the party! But I had to wait another 12 months to do that.
As I have gotten older, birthday celebrations look different. Since I have been married, my husband has done sweet things to celebrate with me. One year, he researched and found a bakery that had gluten free cupcakes and bought me FOUR (4!!!) of them. I always look forward to the cards from family and friends and having dinner at special places with my guy. Yesterday, we ended the day with him praying for me; I loved that.
But I think in a way that I didn’t when I was 10, or even when I was 20. As each year passes, I think, “Whoa – where did last year go?” and birthdays are more deeply appreciated. I used to set my alarm at the time I was born and wake up to thank the Lord for another year, but now – I have to get up at 5:30a for work and getting older (for me) means my sleeping patterns can easily get thrown off. A super early wake-up turns into a clock watching session until it’s time for me to get ready for the day haha. So now, I just thank Him when I wake. He’s been merciful.
When I think about the passing years, I often shake my head at how kind God has been. He’s been faithful. Gracious. Kind. Long-suffering. Steadfast. Enduring. I don’t deserve to be 37. I have classmates who have long been gone. I have had countless times of rebellion against the Lord, yes, even since being a Christian! I am thankful for His grace. I am thankful for salvation.
So here’s to another year that the Lord has given me. I plan to work through Donald S. Whitney’s “10 Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year or On Your Birthday” and prayerfully consider how I can spend the next year, if God gives it, honoring Him and serving Him more effectively.