post and photos by Sue Duby,
CELEBRATION cake (or for me, my Mother’s famous rhubarb pie!), cards, family, friends… joy at any age!
Little ones know the art of celebrating birthdays. We’ve learned from the best of them… our grandsons.
For #3, Dawson decided he wanted a “yellow birthday”. Though he couldn’t yet master that “y”, we headed to the nearest Goodwill to hunt down the perfect “lellow” shirts to celebrate his life. Giggles, piñata bashing, Auntie Erin’s famous cake pops, and gifts. For #5, he expanded the color choices and announced, “I want a dinosaur rainbow party!”. Who knew those prehistoric creatures appreciated God’s paintings in the sky!
As the years pass, birthday moments change. For #14, Jack asked to spend the night (graduating from a mat on the floor to the guestroom bed!). With Papa’s 6 am wake-up, they headed out to hunt for misfired golf balls on the neighborhood course. Exploding with rapid-fire sentences two hours later over breakfast, Jack recounted every detail. “Nana, we got 82 balls! Such a great birthday!”. Did I mention we don’t golf? Adventures count for gold.
In my early, young Mama days, birthdays for Krista and Peter brought a good measure of anxiety and stress (ok, maybe a lot!). Worrying about cost. Comparing with other Mom’s creative celebrations. Trying to avoid chaos. So wanting to make it unique and special. More focus on “my plan” than the one being honored.
Along the way, I watched my sweet friend, Candy. Family birthdays always meant a whole day of honor in her house… often simple surprises along the way. Food, fun, and activities – all in the “favorites” category of the one celebrated. In the midst of it all, she modeled “marking the day”… remembering the gift of the life, acknowledging God’s handiwork in creating the “guest of honor”, praying them into the next year. Joy-filled and deep Spirit-led deposits at the same time.
I’ve grown to love “marking the day” for my own Duby tribe. Still a hint of stress in the scheming for a plan, but deep joy in remembering God’s handiwork and delight in His creation.
As the calendar days click by and I approach a new decade (numbers don’t matter, right?), I’m challenged to mark my day by embracing the truths I hold for everyone else. Not squirming or avoiding the day. Working to switch from discomfort in being a focus of attention to gratefulness for the amazing years lived and adventures yet to unfold. Realizing my struggle in answering the dreaded, “What do you want?” question means less about my own indecision and more about a deep measure of contentment He’s given me.
Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, [a]not we ourselves [and we are His].
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:3 AMP
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14 AMP
Our anchor of truth. A foundation that allows us to move into each new year. We’re His… fully, completely. Created with purpose and affection. Belonging. And in the quiet, I do “know it very well”.
For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. Ephesians 2:10 AMP
For each new year or decade that’s yet to unfold, He’s prepared a way before us… with the strength, understanding, and wisdom we need to walk forward along His path. He’s ready and waiting to be our guide… now and always.
I’m feeling the bubbling up of anticipation in marking my soon-to-happen day. Entering in with both feet, looking for His hand, remembering His goodness, and embracing the next decade as a sweet gift… knowing His embrace will wrap me close each step along the way.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6 NIV
When you get ready to blow out your next set of birthday candles, may you know He is celebrating His creation . . . you!
P.S. The new decade starts with “7” ☺
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