Birthdays are my thing. They just are. Nevermind that I’m a Leo and pretty much plan my entire year around this one day but I’m also the youngest of three and only girl. Therefore, birthdays were MY day growing up. My brothers had to be nice, couldn’t make me cry and I took full advantage. As an adult, now 37, I still try to play that card, “You have to be nice to me today, you can’t make me cry, it’s my birthday!” (laughing because we all know that no one else really cares) Nonetheless, I still try and pray for a day filled with kindness and love.
I feel and give love through words. Meaning a kind word or simple “I love you” goes further with me than any gift, act of service or gentle touch. I love people. I love spending time with them, listening to them, hearing their story. In a nutshell, people are my love language. The years of small talk and shallow conversations have swept ashore and I now stand in the deep. I like to have real conversations about real issues. I love to know what is on your heart and why. What burden you bear and your passion to carry it. This is the nuts and bolts of humanity. Getting down to the studs and seeing the scars, the brokenness, the healing. Humans are a very resilient species and our capacity to carry our cross is immense. Our capacity to love is even larger. I have seen some of the most broken humans withstand the greatest storms and persevere beyond recognition. This is true grit. This is life.
The simple act of solitude is essential to my emotional and spiritual well-being. The quiet time and space resets my soul and aligns me with my creator. I hear the gentle noises of nature and know I am exactly where I am suppose to be. Each and every year without fail, this is what I need, crave, but naturally, don’t always get. The autonomous years of making this day all about me are long gone, with my 20’s, and now I have reality staring me in the face. This birthday eve, yes that exists…ask any Leo, was welcomed with a 6 year old and a tummy ache. What I hoped was just an overtired child that needed some rest turned into a vomiting child every hour and a half, on the dot, and me as the bucket holder. That is how I welcomed 37, catching vomit. It can’t help but feel symbolic to the 5 weeks preceding this day. Life has a funny way of projectile vomiting at you and you just pray there is a bucket big enough to catch it all. While I can’t say 36 was easy, I can say I’m leaving bruised, not broken. I’m taking with me what was nurturing, strengthening and leaving behind the BS. If it hurt me, out. If it stole my joy, gone. If it caused me worry, peace out! If it filled me with fear, I’m setting that bad boy on fire. With each year that passes I choose to recalibrate. To look at where I’ve come from and more importantly where I am going. Knowing that each step was essential to the path paved out before me. No hurt is without hope, no pain is without perseverance. Our character may be tested but our creator is always faithful.
So with that, I take on what’s to come. Without fear, without worry, without the noise that says I’m not enough. I am entering this battle with a quiver full of arrows, sharpened and ready to strike. I will not quit. I will not give up. Each set back thrown in my face will become the very stone I use to stand back up, only higher. Perspective is a weapon of its very own. It can easily become a weight around your waste but when viewed through the lens of love, it becomes your sharpest sword. It’s what reminds you that this life was not meant to be easy but purposeful. That we were created to serve and comfort, not be served in our own comfort. That the treasures of this world will never fulfill us but His love always will. The peace we long for is not in a job or a marriage but in a relationship with our creator. The same creator of our vast universe and all the beauty that’s in it. So when you look around and see all that’s broken, all that’s lost, remember it was never yours to begin with. The babies, the husbands, the jobs, the money, the cars, the houses, the friends are but blessed gifts. Gifts from a God that cares for us so much that He wanted to shower us with His love on earth until we come home to heaven. The sin is not in success, the sin is what we do with it. Do we self serve or serve others. There is plenty of everything to go around this planet, God created it after all, but sadly, many got it wrong along the way and kept too much for themselves. Depriving our brothers and sisters and leaving a majority of this world under cared for, malnourished and poverty stricken.
So I ask you today, what burden breaks your heart? What need calls you out by name? Start there. While you may look crazy to the rest of the world, your soul will rest in His embrace.
We don’t have to wait until our next birthday or the start of a new year, with each new day we are given a chance to live the life we were created for. Look around, where were you meant to be? Lets go…..
Melanie, Mothering in the Mess