2/6/12

It's not just another birthday!


Well, another birthday came and went!

Lucy and I got one year older. 

My sweet girl turned 4!
She wasn't so sure about her birthday gift this year - lol!

These baked treats are actually good for her.  I think she's decided she likes them.  Of course, there's not many foods that she doesn't like!  Poor thing....the vet has put her on a diet!  I knew it was coming!  I told her not to feel bad....I need to be on one too!  We'll do this thing together ;)

But on a serious note.............
There's nothing like a birthday to make me stop and reflect on where I am at this point in my life.  I heard a song the other day that really resonated with me. 
The name of it is "Just Another Birthday" by Casting Crowns.
check it out here at:
(if this link doesn't work, just copy/paste it in the url...or go to youtube and search for it)

I'm not just like the girl in the song.  I had a father at home who was there for my birthdays.  As a matter of fact, I'm the only daughter whose birthday he got to witness the year he passed away.  We had been told his cancer was terminal and he knew deep inside that it was just a matter of time.  That particular birthday, he uncharacteristically bugged my mom about setting the date for my birthday dinner. No matter how old me and my sisters get, we can ALWAYS expect a family meal for our birthday!  He was there for me on that one and I think it may have meant more to me than any other.  If he had survived a couple more weeks, he would've been bugging her about the date for the next child's birthday....and later, the others.  So, no....I'm not like the girl in this song that's just dying inside, wanting her dad's attention on that special day.  My daddy was always there for those special occasions :)


Back to the song.....
I also never experienced an unplanned pregnancy.  I don't say that to brag because it's only by the grace of God that I didn't.  But I do know what it's like to give yourself away to love....believing promises that are quickly broken.  I remember feeling alone and unloved....unworthy of God's mercy and grace.  Thankfully, I was smart enough to believe that Jesus came to make a way for us to be forgiven and restored.  He came for me!

As a young adult, when I did find myself with child, it was no surprise....we planned it.  But that didn't mean everything in my life was a "bed of roses".  As a matter of fact, my life became even more difficult and troublesome during this pregnancy.  Without going into alot of detail or blaming anyone other than myself, I'll just say that I experienced more hurt than I thought was possible before that.  But that pregnancy and what followed after that, changed my life FOREVER!

On my son's first birthday, major changes took place in our lives.  I chose to be a single parent because I had come to the realization that this little blue-eyed boy was the most important thing in the world to me and I wanted better for him.  That's why this song resonates with me. I came to realize that God gave me that sweet boy to save me from myself.  I don't know that I would have been strong enough to make such drastic changes in my life if I had been on my own.  But when you look into the eyes of your child, so small and dependent, you find new strength. 
I love this part of the song:

It's so amazing
Looking back at all God's brought us through
You are my happy birthday
And you were born to break the chains

Now I know, I know
It's not just another birthday
'Cause I'm here, he's here
And look how far we've come

Since you've called me, saw me
Held me and freed me
Thank you, Lord, for another birthday
And we'll be fine, we'll be fine.

So each year when my birthday rolls around, I think back on my life.  I remember the more difficult days and hope swells up inside of me.  I'm mindful of how far we've come...how far I've come!  I still don't have it all figured out, have it all together.  I know I never will.  But I've learned so much about myself through my child.  I see my faults and my sin like a slap in the face......I see my failures and struggles.  But I also see that blue-eyed boy loving me unconditionally....willingly forgiving me when I'm not the mother I should be.  His unconditional love reminds me of the unconditional love of my Heavenly Father. 

I love the fact that my birthday is the first month of the year....and then within 2 more months, the birthday of my son causes me to reflect on life even more.  Life is a gift....not every day will go as we plan.  We will experience hurt and trials and pain....but we can thank the Lord for another year...cause with Him, we'll be fine.

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