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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

happy birthday

I sit here on the night of my twenty-sixth birthday, feeling so completely blessed.

I could die today and have lived a full, rich life. not in the way of money, but certainly in the way of love.

this morning I flipped through some old photo albums. as I sat there in the floor with my girls, books filled with pictures of my life strewn about, I almost wanted to cry. God has blessed me with so much. even in the midst of my rebellious teenage years when I was filled with resentment, hurt, and confusion, He was with me. He has blessed me with an incredible family and the best friends I could ever ask for. I have wanted for nothing.

and then I started to think about birthdays past. growing up I was the oldest of five children, our family of seven often living on one income. we didn't have a lot. but my mom always managed to make birthdays so special. she would decorate a chair at the table for us, fix our favorite meal, sometimes organize a small party or sleepover with friends. she went out of her way to make us feel like the guest of honor for the day.

then I remembered my birthday in 2009, the year before my husband joined the military. I believe he was away for some sort of military event, leaving me feeling quite alone. I was driving down the road from my mom's house, with my little daughter in the back seat, feeling so sad...when I just felt God whisper to my heart "you are loved. I see you, and you are valued."

I have since spent many birthdays without my husband or family to make them special for me. one year my husband was gone on a work trip. last year he was deployed, and I was dealing with a horrid flood and mold disaster in our apartment (when I say disaster, I mean disaster). I was feeling alone. forgotten. overlooked. and then a sweet friend left a cupcake outside the door. no note, no balloons or flowers, just a sweet little treat to make me feel special. I still don't know who left it.

and of course this year my husband is off working. I am sick with a head cold, and my youngest is sick as well. I was up with her last night and have been feeling the effects of that all day. and yet this was maybe one of the best birthdays yet. we didn't do anything special. (can I confess, I didn't get out of my pajamas all day long?). just a sweet letter from my husband, time spent with my daughters, watching too many movies. and cupcakes. a sweet friend brought me cupcakes.

God uses others to make us feel loved and special. He uses us as his hands and feet, His voice. He uses us to make a difference in other people's lives.

my birthdays aren't fun and exciting anymore, and that's ok. I'm totally fine with spending the day in my pajamas playing ponies and watching too much tv. I could cry right now, with a heart that's full to bursting with love. I love so many people, and God has sent people to love me. that's what it's all about right? love?

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