Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gifts to Open

I was blessed enough to celebrate yet another birthday this past week.
They seem to feel less and less monumental in regards to the actual day.
You feel me?
I mean, it's not a milestone year.
And even if it were, it just doesn't feel as important to celebrate as it used to.
Is it just me?

Still, I have so many loving and generous people in my life, my birthday always seems to get recognized, even when I'm fine with it falling a bit more by the wayside.
Take Thursday, for example.
Some of my dearest friends and I - 
one day a week - 
get to work in close proximity to one another, all on the same college campus.
We planned to have lunch.
(I thought - in fact, was TOLD - "just a girls lunch.")
It ended up being an impromptu soiree with a choose your own salad bar, gluten free cupcakes (with a candle in one & a rousing rendition of happy birthday sung by these incredible singers along with a Swan Lake ballet solo by my beautiful Aussie friend), flowers and gifts.  
So, so surprised - and even more humbled.

Of course, the actual day, my husband and son were so beautiful to me...
homemade cards, a lunch date, flowers and a beautiful gift from my  husband greeted me as the day progressed.

My daughter sent  love from afar (and took me out to dinner on Thursday).
A friend drove 30 minutes just to leave a gift in my mailbox.
More than 100 Facebook greetings.
At least six birthday calls, most with singing and cheering.

As the years continue to tick by, I cannot fathom just how blessed I am.

As I awoke one morning, I was thinking about how different birthdays are when you are a child than when you are an adult.  As a child, you fantasize about the number and size of gifts you'll receive, what flavor and shape your cake will be and how many classmates will remember you at school or by coming to a party.
As an adult, I realized, I look for gifts of an entirely different nature, miraculous ones I open as I direct my gaze toward Heaven.

I open my eyes and I am grateful for my sight.
I open my door and I am grateful for every challenge, every opportunity, every job, every experience the world is offering me.
I open my ears and I am grateful I can hear music, birds, laughter, people calling me: "Mom!" "Honey!" "C!"
I open my mind and look for things to learn, accept, prove, or challenge me.  I'm so grateful my mind isn't even close to capacity yet.
I open my heart and I feel God's love and grace; His abiding protection and care; His whispers and shouts, songs and beckoning.

Yes, the world offers so many meaningful gifts for me to open in these, my middle years.
May I always take the time to unwrap and appreciate them fully.

{Praying for eyes & heart open for all of you today.
Thanks for reading.}

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