As we brought in the New Year, I also started the countdown to my birthday. People who know me well will tell you this, my birthday means the world to me. Maybe I’m over enthusiastic about just another day, maybe I love myself too much, maybe I’m narcissistic when it comes to this day. But here’s the thing…I love feeling special and on this day, I feel like I can shamelessly demand it.

I spent the last few days thinking about what my resolutions should be. And just like I promised myself when the year began, I decided that this birthday isn’t going to be about fancy goals but about valuing myself more. We’re so busy looking for gratification and validation outside that we don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve. We don’t value the little joys of life that matter more than the larger milestones we think define our life’s worth. It’s no joke to wake up each day and do what you do. It takes courage to be positive, to smile despite your troubles, to look forward to a brighter tomorrow. I truly believe that it does. Tomorrow is uncertain, for you and for me, and it takes courage to plan your life ahead… five or twenty years from now. It takes courage to believe in a future. It also takes courage to grow, accept, learn and live. I believe that we are meant for more than the routine tasks we check off or the ticking clock we chase. My birthday is a reminder of this very thought.

This year, my birthday falls on Good Friday, a solemn day in our faith. Most people I met over the past few weeks talked about how I could celebrate post Easter or how I’d be fasting this year instead of celebrating. But here’s the thing…I am going to celebrate my birthday tomorrow. Not with grandeur or cake but even in solace, I will celebrate this gift of life. Jesus dies to give us new life, He died to set us free from sin. If that isn’t true love, what is? And I will celebrate this gift of love and life tomorrow. I will celebrate being His child.

Two hours to 12, I am excited to celebrate. I will celebrate in prayer, with people that matter most to me and I look at it as God’s grace because I can’t think of a better way to begin this new chapter of my life.

Birthday 23