Birthdays are a great time for reflection. As I think back over my years certain birthdays stand out:
I turned 5 and have a bandaid on my chin and my knee. I loved Strawberry Shortcake. (I still have her.)
I turned 6 or 7 and invited some girls and some boys to my party. None of the girls came. The boys ran off and played with my brothers.
I turned 12 and there were 12 of us girls at my overnight party. We put make up on each other and got in a huge fight the next day. We kind of made up before the picture was taken.
By my 13th birthday I was in a new state and claimed it as my own. I don't remember much except climbing up into our willow tree. I loved that tree! My 16th birthday...a party at the park and my brother flirted with my best friend. They are now married:)
My 18th birthday was the same day I graduated!! Very exciting day!
My 20th birthday I spent with just my parents. We ate at the Machine Shed. The gals sang to me after they brought me a dessert with lots of ice cream and chocolate!
My 24th or 25th birthday my husband bought me several things and had them spread out on the couch when I came down after getting Snipp to sleep. Money was tight and I was very surprised how he pampered me. The two gifts that stick out in my mind the most were a journal and a red dress with white poke-a-dots. I still have the journal. The dress was given away years ago.
My 28th birthday, my husband had put a sink in the kitchen and I had a woman only party at the church, relatives and friends came. It was my golden birthday! It was a precious time.
My 29th birthday I was a young widow with three boys and a bleeding heart. God spoke sweet words of comfort to my heart. "I love them more than you do and I say this is best. I love you more than you can ever imagine and I say this is best."
One of the birthdays after that we had a picnic at my in-laws. Another year there was a surprise birthday after church.
Two years ago I had the outpouring followed by a precious dream.
Last night was another surprise party after church after I had an afternoon at my brother's.
Today I slept in, ate ice cream for breakfast, played at a park, and shopped. Didn't buy anything too big. A new journal. Purple pens. A new shampoo to try. And in the weeks to come we will get a new-to-us, just-for-fun vehicle. A girl has to keep these boys on their toes, right? Besides the wind through my hair is great therapy :)
On a more serious note: I look back and see the Lord weaving my life, the good and the bad. Making a tapestry. My side doesn't always look beautiful, but I look forward to seeing it all from His point of view. It has been almost 14yrs since Jesus came into my heart. And I am so glad that He will never leave me nor forsake me. All the trials and struggles and growing pains have shaped me into who I am.
Many years ago, as part of a bible study we made lists of goals for ourselves. Here is what I wrote:
One year from now, when I am 27, I would like to be a woman who is worthy to be a deacon's wife. I need to be more virtuous, more mindful of how my words touch others, more self-controlled and alert to others around me, more faithful and trustworthy in all things, modest and discreet in speech as well as dress.
Ten years from now, at the age of 36(I am getting close to this)I would like to be a leader to younger women in the faith. Someone who is deeply respected as to how I submit and support my husband and as to how I'm raising my children. I want to be spiritually grounded, to have many verses memorized on various subjects, and to have a consistent walk backed by biblical principles. Gentle yet firm with others' sin and extremely vigilant about sin in my own life. A true prayer warrior with stories of triumph to share. To be truly committed to Christ 24/7
I haven't reached 36 yet. But I see the need to modify this some. I need to do some dreaming, meditating, and examining. Where do I want to be in 1 year and in 10 years?
Hmmm, birthdays are good days for reflecting, but also for looking at weaknesses and figuring out a game plan to strengthen them.