Yesterday I turned 47. Here are some random thoughts that my birthday brought:
1. There was no 2012 journal on my computer. I thought I should reflect and pray first thing on my birthday and found no journal. How could that be? How could one of my most fundamental spiritual practices have fallen to the wayside to the point where I don’t even have a 2012 journal?? On reflection, I think the journal I started disappeared in my end-of-January hard drive crash. But I didn’t notice it was gone for more 3 months??? Am pondering that.
2. Facebook rocks! The year before I joined Facebook, I wondered if anyone outside my family would remember my birthday. And almost no one did because frankly, at a certain age, our focus becomes our kids’ birthdays and not our own. The next year, the same melancholy thought came to mind but I thought, “Surely someone will say happy birthday through Facebook?” And several someones did! This year, at least 118 folks sent birthday greetings through Facebook. It felt great to check my email throughout the day and see notes from friends, acquaintances, and even a few strangers. I need to renew my efforts to return the favor!
3. Beginning a birthday with spiritual direction rocks! Spiritual direction has been perhaps the most important and helpful spiritual practice I’ve enjoyed these last 12 years. After starting a new 2012 journal that begins on April 30th, I met with Hallie, my spiritual director for the past 8 years. What a privilege to have someone listen to my ramblings and help me discern God’s presence in my life. Doing it on my birthday, where together we took my spiritual temperature and talked about where I’d like to grow, and how to nurture my friendship with Jesus—priceless. You may just want to give yourself the birthday present of regular spiritual direction if you don’t already partake.
4. Having older kids celebrate your birthday rocks! Sunday night I whined, “Is anyone going to make me a birthday cake?” Kai volunteered. I ordered a German chocolate cake because I wanted to try the recipe. Not only did she bake me a 4 layer German chocolate cake with coconut pecan frosting, she also made Thai coconut soup for dinner. Yum. All 3 kids said, “Happy Birthday Mom!” with big smiles on their faces when they first laid eyes on me (at 3:15, 5, and 5:45 p.m.). All 3 banded together to buy me an ice cream maker (a little self-interest involved there?). I feel loved.
Years ago, when giving me a card, Scott started the tradition of penning the first letters of a phrase on the envelopes for me to guess. This year, Scott’s was TLMPF: To Little Miss Pretty Feet. (The card said Happy Birthday, HONEY! No one else could fill your shoes. Inside flap: The black ones. Not the black flat ones or the black sandals or the black heels. The black ones that kinda look like the other pair of black ones that you had before the last pair of black ones. A very appropriate card for me—would be even more appropriate if it was about black pants.)
Ren decided to follow suit. He made a giant card that on the inside said: MITBASMITU. BOA31, SISNAWBAWDWTPHHI, MIVSOLSAKARP. WLYM
It took about 20 minutes to decode. Here it is:
Mom is the best awesomest supercalifragilisticexpialidocious mom in the universe. Born on April 30th, 1965 in Indiana, was destined for greatness (he forgot the IIWDFG if you’re checking), she is super natural at writing books and whoever doesn’t want to publish her has issues. Mom is very supportive of Ling’s sports and Kai and Ren’s play. We love you Momniss.
A good day, a very good day.