Updated: Jan 27, 2022
If I could do anything in the world on my birthday, what it would be? Because I love travelling I would probably choose a trip to an exotic location or maybe a trek through a scenic trail as I bond with nature. Those are definitely fun and inviting birthday to-do's…but … what I love most about my birthday and I guess most people can relate, is the outpouring of love and blessings on this special day. Each and every birthday, I feel a deep sense of appreciation, firstly to God for bringing me to another milestone, and secondly for continually showering me with love.
To culminate 2021 a dear friend of mine enlisted me to share 5 things for which we were grateful every day. What began as a desire to support my friend, turned into a daily blessing for my soul, and through that small act, I began to experience an overflow of gratitude that continued right into the new year.
More than just the big things
Not many people get a windfall of cash, or a job promotion every day. So when you have to think about five things for which you are grateful every day, it is certain that it will come down to the small things. I enjoyed rummaging through my mind each day to remember the things for which I was grateful, or the small gestures that made my heart smile. Of course, gratitude for health, life and family featured prominently on both sides, however, what I loved were those small things like giving thanks for the scent of ham baking in the kitchen, for my first sea bath in many months and taking a break to get my nails done. These are things that could easily go unnoticed in our busy days and long nights.
Share Joy with Others
I absolutely enjoy the deluge of love and well wishes that I receive on my birthday as those around me celebrate my existence (well at least that is how I like to think of it 😊). That is what birthdays are for, to celebrate life! It is more than a date on a calendar, it is evidence of the grace of God that kept us through another year. Those who take their time to call or message, I believe do so because they genuinely wish you well on this special day. The best of humanity is revealed on birthdays and those who love you, whom you have known for many years but probably haven’t spoken to in just as many, take the time out to extend their blessings and best wishes.
For as long as I can remember, my mother would sing the happy birthday song to her children (and now her grandchildren) every single year on our birthday. Adulthood, marriage and children, didn’t change that. So every morning on my birthday I excitedly anticipate hearing their voices (because of course by now she has recruited my dad into her birthday song duo). Unlike many children today, a gift was not guaranteed on our birthday when we were growing up, neither was a birthday lime or even a cake, but their love taught us to treasure the things that will always be most valuable: human connection and unconditional appreciation.
Giving Thanks Always
So, let’s not wait for a gratitude challenge from a friend or a birthday celebration to remember to be thankful for all that we have and all that God has blessed us with. Don’t take it for granted that your bed and mattress are soft and comfortable. Give thanks that despite what may feel like lonely days and long nights, you can look in the mirror and give thanks that you are better today than you were yesterday. Give thanks that despite our inconsistency and unfaithfulness, that God is gracious, patient, merciful, loving and forever faithful.
Today, I must pause to celebrate where God has brought my family and I over the last year and I will definitely give Him all the thanks!
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