Monday, January 9, 2017

Birthday Blues

I'm sensing a theme and it isn't a good one for a blog about joy!  So far my titles for the year have been a little down and depressing.  But, I've always tried to keep it real and raw with my writing, even if that makes it harder to share.

Yesterday was my birthday and I went to bed teary, although I can't really explain why.  When you reach a certain age, they just sort of flatten.  Other than major milestones, which I celebrated last year, there isn't much hoopla to be had.

The guys did their best, especially my baby boy, to make it a good day.  My morning began with a gigantic birthday bear hug first thing from my gentle giant.  As he isn't an early riser and normally a tad grumpy, seeing that effort and feeling the warmth of his hug is truly all I should've needed to make yesterday special.  My husband fixed me a cup of coffee and ran out to grab breakfast so I could linger a little longer by the fire before church.

Our pew was full of family and sweet baby snuggles from my great-nephew Isaiah.  My lap held a splurge purchase from Saturday's outing, a new Bible.  I've been wanting a new one but had so many requirements, I wasn't sure I'd find the one.  Tim and Noah were patient and encouraging as I browsed the rows at Lifeway.  Eventually, I spotted just the fit - a study Bible, in the translation I prefer, with space in the columns for notes, not too heavy, and opens flat for easy writing.

Once home, Tim retreated for his nap before work and I planned to settle in to my recliner and relax.  Instead, I was surprised with a teen, eager to spend the afternoon with mom.  We played ping pong and old school video games, bouncing laughter back and forth for hours, ending with a Chopped marathon.  Time with my son, at his request - what more could I really ask for?

Dinner went a bit upset down, when the steaks were still half frozen and falling apart (how is that possible?) but a quick trip to Taco Bell saved the night.  We ended with some family tv time, something rare, since we're never all home together long enough to do so.

As my head hit the pillow, I prayerfully reflected on the fact that with all these blessings, how could I still feel less than?  Why wasn't it enough?

Birthdays are maybe the most selfish day of the year.  The total focus in on you and the anticipation of what others might do to make it special.  And in a year of shifting to selflessness, it seems silly I could get wrapped up in wishing for more.

This morning, I realized part of the issue is that I'm placing my happiness in the hands of others.  I'm depending on them to bring me joy when I know the true source only comes from God.  If I am honest, there isn't an outing, gift or custom cake that would've given me the fulfillment for which I'm yearning.

I am not content with who I am.  

This girl that I see when I look in the mirror isn't what I pictured for 41.  She's aged in ways no magic wrinkle creme can fix.  And in many ways, I appreciate what time has added to me.  There's wisdom and contentedness I didn't have twenty years ago.  But with the lessons learned, it also has me searching for more.

In this process of becoming selfless, I am finding it is more than just giving, but rather, I must push myself to be the best "me"I can be.  If there are flaws, I need to magnify, inspect and adjust, not just sweep aside.

So maybe that is the best gift received yesterday.
Awareness of change needed.  A growing desire to be more.  Transformation from the inside out.


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