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.
Happy 38th Birthday! Thank you for being a gift to those who gather here each day. You were specially made for your sweet little people and for this time of handmade cards and gifts. Blessings to you today!
Thank you so much, Laura!
Happy birth day God be with you through your life.
Thank you, Lloyd!!
I hope you are having a very special day Melissa! I, too, find peace and calm in the silence of the night. It is after a full day of loving on my family in so many ways that I can sit and listen intently to what the Lord is speaking to me and then type it on the page. There is a certain contentment and solace that comes with being alone with the Lord in the deep of the night; and assurance that He made the whole day happen His way! Here, I find myself being able to reflect back on the work He is doing in my life and in my family. Happy Birthday!!!
Yes, Cheryl! Thank you!
Every year I give God praise for another year of life. No 29 and holding for me. Happy Birthday 🙂
I just had my 44th on the 27th of July, and I can so relate to your sentiments. Sometimes I get to feeling a little sorry for myself that no one makes me a big fancy cake, or plans a cute “theme” and invites my friends… maybe we spoil our kids by setting them up for that expectation – that birthdays will always be big celebrations of YOU! With offerings and sweets and hugs! Haha! I don’t know. It’s hard NOT to celebrate the precious little individuals we’ve been gifted with. But I think it makes the transition to adulthood a little harder, maybe. Anyway, like you, this year I’ve been impacted by how many blessings I get to enjoy all year long. I have a dear friend who is single at 43, and has struggled with a lifetime of alcoholism and bad, bad relationships. Last night on the phone she could hear my children screaming in the background because their dad was tickling them and giving them wedgies! And she said, “Do you realize? Do you see how precious and beautiful your life is? That you have a husband who loves your kids and plays with them, and you get to go through this parenthood thing together? Making memories for them? You are so, so blessed.” It was kind of a wake-up call, because I was feeling frustrated that the kids weren’t in bed yet, and that my husband thought wedgies were a good idea for little girls… and my friend helped me see it in a whole new light. I think as adults, birthdays are a good time to celebrate the blessings that don’t come with tissue paper and bows and sparkly sugar frosting. They are, after all, so much richer.
Melham4, it’s always good and right to remember all of the ways He blesses. Thanks for this!
Minnie and Ed Wood
What an Outstanding read. So much said in your story today. Be assured that in our little community of Olney that people are loving and caring for your family that gets tucked in at night at the Edgington house.
Happy Birthday, Minnie and Ed Wood
Thanks so much, Minnie and Ed!!
this is so well-written, simple and poignant!
Thanks so much!