Monday, July 25, 2016

Birthdays Really Matter

I’m heading back home today after several days of celebrating my son’s birthday. I brought Payton and Alexia (my daughter’s two) with me to Austin and yesterday Larry and Staci drove down after having just returned from a missions trip to Mexico the night before. Our family is BIG on birthdays, and while it may sound child-like to make such a big deal about birthdays, it really shouldn’t, because birthdays mean we made it through another year, and we're still here for a reason. That should be a BIG DEAL to us!

Yesterday I heard a lady say “I’m not having any more birthdays. In fact, I don’t even know how old I am anymore.” And I quickly replied, “Goodness gracious, I'm thrilled to celebrate my birthday. It means I made it through another year." I heard Christine Caine's remarks about birthdays. She said, "The older we get, we downplay having another birthday. We don't want any 'big deals' or ANY attention given to us having another birthday. How silly it is to throw a gigantic, blow-out of a birthday for a one-year old. What has a one year old done to deserve that birthday? Those who have been here for half a century and more are the ones to be celebrated. For goodness sakes, every year that we're still here, we deserve fireworks, celebrations, recognition and tributes..... because we EARNED this birthday and every other birthday! We made it another year."

Let’s be clear – it’s not as much about the presents, as it is of the PRESENCE of those who love us and make us feel…..”I am special”.
Here’s the real crux of the matter: You may not have had the ideal family life or have the perfect body OR be the “sharpest tool in the shed”, but you always were and always will be a treasure, and on your birthday, you get to rock that truth.

Birthdays say, “You’re special!” That’s what we do with the red “special plate” where we go around and share why “the birthday boy or girl or man or woman” is special to us. Birthdays say, “Hey, you, you’re great! I’m so glad you’re in my life.” And that’s why birthdays are a big deal – because birthdays represent our God-given mission and destiny and every year that we’re here, we get to celebrate our journey.

And with each year.....we have the opportunity to celebrate -- not for just THE day, but EACH day that God gives us. Celebrating it with a merry heart, a glad heart, a thankful heart, a forgiving heart, a heart open to the abundance of God's love and bringing forth fruit, being vigorous and flourishing.

I have a dear friend who doesn't wait for someone to throw her a party. She throws a birthday bash for herself, and she invites us all to join her for her BIG DAY. I love that. She knows she is special to us AND God, so, of course, we celebrate her.

So, today, whether you or 6 or 60 or 96.....you are to be celebrated. You're still bearing fruit. You're still here....you're not done!