I’ve been alive for 38 years. That’s what July 30, 2015, means to me.
I’ve never been the type to dread birthdays or to want them to be ignored. I love parties and gifts and cake and balloons and the whole shebang. If adult birthdays were up to me, we would all have cake and ice cream and party hats. We would play in ball pits and jump on trampolines and have slumber parties with lots of candy.
But, that’s not how adult birthdays work, is it? We still have to be grownups on our birthdays. Kids still need to be fed, bathed, dressed. Husbands need clean underwear in their dressers. Houses need cleaning. So, I take pleasure in the little things. In kids who have been singing “Happy Birthday” for a week already. In homemade cards with scrawly little kid writing on them. In a smile from the husband who has seen 18 year old me and 38 year old me and doesn’t seem to see much of a difference. (Everything is so different.)
I have always dreaded seeing the sun go down at the end of a day. Nighttime has always felt a little suffocating to me. I’m a sunshine and blue sky sort of girl. But, here I am, writing this to you in the dark of night, as I always do. I have found my peace with the dark because I can come here when the house is quiet and all the tugging-at-my-shirttail has stopped, and I can be still. It doesn’t happen every night–no, not always. But, many times when I sit here, when I sit and listen and let the words flow on this blank page, God speaks. Not through me. To me. And, I find peace here, at 38, in the dark.
God willing, I have a lot more life to live. But, sitting here tonight, with my babies all snoozing under my roof, with a loving husband just a room away, with food in the fridge and messy signs of life all around me, I am just grateful. Purely grateful for every moment of this life that I’ve lived. Day and night, belly laughs and tears, dancing and mourning, 8 years old and 18 years old and 38 years old. In all of this life, He has shown His glory and His goodness. He brings meaning to the darkness. And, then He chases night away with His astonishing light. I can think of no better gift today, on my 38th birthday.