Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Blessed Beyond the Measure of a Date

 A birthday. Everyone of us have one. It is the time stamped date – forever marked in our history- when we entered this world, took our first breath and our story began. It is the beginning date. It is our day. It is used for a host of purposes in our world of identity and calculations. We are often asked, “Do you feel any older today?” when, in all reality, we are no different than we were before the clock struck midnight. Only the calculation of time and years have changed.

For me, each birthday is a gift. I remember those I have known and loved who did not make it to celebrate another one. I am grateful and humbled with the gift of another year to celebrate this life and the many blessings and friendships I have made along the way. 

Today, I turned 42.

My story began February 16, 1980. I recently shared with some of my friends the truth that I have lived a lifetime already in this 42 years. I beat impossible odds as a pre-teen; once told by a doctor I would not live to see my 13th birthday nor would I be able to hold a baby of my own. God chose to fill my arms with not only one but four little ones.  John and I have lived in many places, serving in different ministry stops. We have met and loved countless, incredible people. I have held prominent positions and spent my days nursing babies and homeschooling. I have stood on stages speaking to rooms filled with convention guests, and I have sat on the floor of the church nursery playing blocks with toddlers while singing Jesus Loves Me. I have assisted great, noble leaders, and I have served in unseen positions. I have dreamed big dreams. Some came true. Some did not. At least, not yet. I have loved with the deepest of loves, and I have hurt and been hurt. I have struggled with silent pain, and I have cried along with the precious woman who just found out there is no longer a heartbeat. I have lived with an abundance. And I have lived with little. I have learned neither are the answer.

You see, we are each given a birthday. We do not know how many years will be represented by the dash in between our bookend dates. It is our blessing to spend every day and moment wisely. To invest in the people in front of us. To make choices that honor God and reflect the priorities we hold dear. The choices that, if looking back from the grave, we do not regret.

The simple. The beautiful. The treasured moments often cost nothing more than time.

What if we no longer measured our birthdays in years, but in memories and moments instead? What if we made the phone call? Wrote the note? Scheduled the visit? What if we stopped focusing on how many years old we are and instead chose to measure our lives by the moments which make up those years.

This year, I see a few more wrinkles around my eyes. I do not look the same, nor do I move with the same ease or agility. But I do most definitely still turn up the music, grab my family, and dance like nobody’s business. I sing and worship at the top of my lungs. I literally loose myself in a moment spent with my Jesus, when a verse in my morning’s Bible study takes my breath away. I know how to enjoy a good cup of coffee and a big slice of Reese’s peanut butter cake…and lay my head on my pillow knowing, I am blessed far beyond the measure of a date. ♥

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