This morning found me a little grumpy-hearted. It's my 30th birthday ... surely a girl could sleep in a little on her birthday, no? Or at least not be woken every 3 hours throughout the night by the baby who normally sleeps for 8 or 9 hour stretches. At least the birthday girl deserves a nap in the morning when the baby is taking her nap and the boys have gone to get breakfast ... why is the little one only napping for 30 minutes instead of her normal 2 hours? Why can't the pumpkin spice donuts at the family favorite doughnut shop be dairy-free? Surely the birthday girl deserves a doughnut on her birthday, especially when she's worked so hard to cut out foods that hurt the little girl's tummy.
I was in the midst of donning my birthday-best martyr-wear ... you know, the downcast, weary countenance that sighs and says, "well, I'm the mom so I guess it never gets to be about me." As I was strapping on the gray goggles that were going to cloud my whole day, that beautiful Holy Spirit said, "Happy birthday ... aren't you so glad it never gets to be about you? Is there a better gift?"
The goggles fell off.
I get to celebrate my birthday by snuggling the downy soft head of my precious, dreamy-eyed daughter. I get to wipe the sticky, red fingers of the little man who has been sharing my birthday "Hot Molly's" with me (the candy, Hot Tamales ... I like his name better. And I like it when he asks me to blow on them to cool them off!). I get to wrestle them into jackets to go to lunch even though he is cranky because he's so exhausted from no less than an hour of catching and kicking his little Toy Story football with his Daddy. He just learned how to catch it today, being inspired by the high school football game Daddy took him to last night. We cheer wildly for him every time he makes a catch, but clearly it's an exhausting skill for him to master. I get to watch my wonderful husband be so great at adoring all of us all morning, until it is time for him to go do the job that I'm so proud of him for doing. It is the best birthday for me. It is the best life for me.
And really, the very best part is that even if I didn't have them - the boy and the girl and the man, the two who I am mandated to raise and the one I am called to help - even if I didn't have them, it still wouldn't be about me. I've been rescued from living life at my own beck and call. That's Good News, because I am a terrible taskmaster. Selfish, so easily upset, so rarely satisfied with myself or anyone else. A birthday intended to celebrate me would be a sorry one, indeed. A birthday intended to celebrate freedom from "me-ness"? That's worth a party. I think when I blow out the candles this year, if I can muster enough breath from my out-of-shape lungs for all 30 of them, I'll wish for the next 364 days to be about faithful service to the Master whose burden is light. That would be a good year.
I am going to finish my last few Thankful 30 letters ... I've just had a busy couple of weeks of working on a celebration for my hubby, sick kids, and a shopping trip. The letters are too dear to me to write in a hurry, so I'll finish them as I have time to do their recipients justice with my words.