As we grow older, what feelings do birthdays conjure up for you?
It’s definitely not the cakes, balloons and blow horns we had when we were children, especially if it falls on a weekday. We still have obligations, meetings, deadlines – the typical daily grind, yet somehow I do not want to miss the blessing of this day. This day that feels like any other captured in a million special moments that I’ll miss if I don’t keep my eyes wide open and ponder them right now. I’m going to savor these next few moments. I’m going to write until my children wake up what ever comes to the top of my mind because I know I’ll forget if I don’t.
New wrinkles remind me that those marked lines came from life experiences, mistakes, wisdom, heartache which blossomed joy, emotion – lots of emotion, laughter, anger: wrinkles – all a result of a passionate woman.
The scale screams many new pounds this year. The lack of discipline…yes, but in the midst of those pounds I forget what a gift we have in food. The ability to choose our food. The monetary means to buy food. The miracle God has created in our bodies to process and digest food.  I have forgotten the multitude of gifts wrapped up in those pounds in my over arching desire to lose them.
My Attitude, our attitudes…Choosing Joy. That was one of my tag lines when I first started this blog, and I need that constant reminder. It IS a choice. A daily choice. A choice to embrace. So just in case the children come come down stairs with any kind of bad attitude today, I will remind then that it’s choice. (Now surely they wouldn’t fight, whine, argue or complain on my birthday, would they? Somehow it’s a magical day where all sin is lost, correct? ;)) But just in case they do, Joy is ours for the daily taking.
March marks the year anniversary when my hubby’s time of unemployment came to an end. A spontaneous call from a “recommendation” inquiring the contracting services of my husband for just two days to help with their audit led to a job for a month, than a contract for three, and then an offer assuring that they didn’t want to lose him. It was a long year, yet now that a year has passed, I don’t want to forget those feelings of dependence. Those cries to Him to meet our needs. The high fives and screams of joy when he was offered just one month of contract work. Just typing and remembering brings gratitude to the forefront. Employment is a gift. The trampoline that we just replaced is a gift marked by that employment. It’s not a need, but a want. I just searched my archives for that “please remind me” moment, and it’s been nearly two years to the date. That “coincidence” is not lost on me, especially since I don’t believe in coincidences.  I am so thankful for being blessed with a want. I don’t take that for granted.
Somewhere this year, my boys became men. All three of them. Our girls are all still smaller than me, but my guys…this year marked their movement. They all passed up their mommy (and their daddy, their grandpas and everyone else in our extended family.) With that movement, more challenges knock on the door. Such a pivotal time in their emotional and spiritual lives, yet most people only see the physical movement, their abilities. I see the heart. I beckon for their heart. I pray that their heart is wooed by Him and only Him. For me, this birthday marks another year I have with my children during these pivotal years. It marks mistakes I’ve made as a mom, yet the blessing to nurture for another year.  A year can’t be taken for granted. A year wrapped into our family heritage. A year that reveals legacy. A year where intentionality with our family choices need to be sharpened because these years are flying.
I smell my coffee and its lingering scent this morning as it met me in bed, brewed by my sweet husband.What a gift I have in him. My soul mate, the father of our five children, my best friend, yet in the daily grind, I can take his daily devotion and love for granted. He completes me. He balances me. He loves me unconditionally. On this birthday, My Savior’s grace, love and gift of salvation ranks number one, but here on earth – there’s no greater blessing than my hubby.
Now since I’ve been all introspective on you these last few moments, this birthday marks an extreme gratitude of you – my blog readers. Thank you for joining with me on this journey of balancing beauty and bedlam. Thanks for joining in the conversation in the comments and giving your opinions. Thank you for not expecting perfection, and realizing that this blog, written by a really busy lady, won’t ever be that ideal blog magazine that you see elsewhere. Sometimes I wonder if I should continue chronicling, and it seems like on those days, when I feel like walking away, I receive a little note on how someone’s family finances have been impacted because of sharing our lifestyle. It makes it all worth it. This separate on-line life is quite surreal, and so many of my real life friends and family just don’t get it. I am pretty sure they snicker behind my back and call you my “fake friends,” but that’s ok, I would have done the same thing a few years ago.  I have been fortunate to forge some really special friendships because of this blog. Many, I have now met in real life, and the identifying factor with social media, is that once you meet in real life, there’s no time needed to get deep because we’ve already gone there…on here. I love going deep. I am not one for the superficial. You all are a special part of my life and I thank you for reading.
Well, my daughter just woke up, squeezed my neck, wished me Happy Birthday and asked, “What’s for breakfast.” Not quite the balloons and blow horns, but I savor each squeezed neck, and I’ll wait for my oldest daughter to come down because I am sure she’ll make breakfast for me. 😉
It’s another year, and what a year it’s been. I’m closing out this unedited post, so don’t mind any spelling errors, and spending a little more time pondering with my kids the gifts we’ve been given, and how we are stewarding them. Then I might go make some chocolate chip cookies and french fries (my two favorites) and embrace the gift of those few extra pounds…because tomorrow it’s a DIE-T (or not. ;)).

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