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Celebrate Birthdays!

On my birthday last month, it wasn’t a coincidence that Kim sent an email to the members of our women’s church circle group.  She wrote, “I want to share a devotional with you today and say it is okay to grow old.”  I agree and I appreciated this encouragement.

            “Wear out, not rust out” is the title of Dr. Joe Pettigrew’s devotion.  He questions why so many quit celebrating as the years pass and asks what it looks like to really celebrate our years. 

            I plan to make a big deal out of birthdays no matter how many candles are on my cakes.  When my children were young, I learned that celebrating their grandparents’ birthdays were happy times and created happy memories.  For a few years, Husband and I have celebrated my birthday with five Grands and their parents at the lake, but we sold the pontoon boat so in June my Grands began asking, “Gran, what’ll we do to celebrate your birthday?” 

            I had the answer. For two days, a huge blow-up water slide was in our backyard and we laughed and slid and splashed.  My Grands discovered ways to twist and bounce down the slide and throw huge water sprays from the pool at the bottom of the slide.  We ate chips and Moon Pies for snacks and hamburgers and chips for supper.  I blew out the many, many candles on my chocolate cake while everyone laughed when the candles continued to burn. 

            Days before my birthday, my 6-year-old Grand had asked, “What do you want for your birthday?” He was surprised that I hadn’t made a list and wondered how anyone would know what I wanted. What if I got something I didn’t like?  Micah was right, and I did want to replace my hummingbird feeder. 

            So now where my old faded feeder had hung, there’s a bright new one that Micah and his siblings gave me. And one morning last week, Micah’s older sister, Lucy, and I sat for over an hour watching two hummers dart and sip.  Would that have been fun for her if she hadn’t given the new feeder and poured sugar water into it?

            I’ve never understood why anyone says, “Oh, I’d rather just skip my birthday.  It’s just another day.” It’s not.  It’s a day that family and friends feel good about wishing you a happy day.  A day to eat cake and ice cream and ignore the calories. A day to remember childhood birthdays when getting a card meant getting money.  To celebrate blessings and overcoming trials.  To make memories for yourself and those who love you.  To look forward to the next birthday and what the future holds. 

            Dr. Pettigrew wrote that the idea of life winding down at age sixty or seventy makes no sense.  He even quoted scripture that gray hair is a glorious crown. I’m making note of those words since I have a natural gray crown.             

Wear out, not rust out.  That’s my intention.


One Response

  1. I love this, Susan. My birthday comes in just a few months. I’m going to remember this article, and celebrate well. Thanks for the reminder!


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