This post is participating in Thankful Thursday.
I have learned a lot about birthdays from my daughter. She loves birthdays, I think mostly because she likes a good party. She is already planning her next party, even though it is months away...and has been planning it for some time now. She knew that today was my birthday and one of the first things she said to me this morning was, "Mommy when are the decorations going up for your party?"
Today was a little different though. One of my good friends lost his mom to cancer a little over a week ago and her funeral service was today. Some people might think it a little depressing to attend a funeral on your birthday, and I will admit it was sad, but I came away strangely encouraged. First of all, one of the women shared with everyone how this dear woman had come to know the Lord as her personal Savior. I never grow tired of hearing these stories, and today it was especially uplifting because we had been praying for this decision for some time. Second, I learned a lot by listening to her children share about the impact that their mom had on them. They spoke of companionship, friendship, forgiveness, provision, and admiration. These are the qualities and characteristics that they will remember and cherish in their hearts now that their mom is gone. This was the sad part. Her children now have a huge void in their lives because this source of love and stability is gone. I pray God will draw very close to them in the days to come, and that we as friends will be able to support them as they walk through the valley.
You know they didn't once mention whether or not the house was dusted or the floors were swept? They remember the days when they received a special encouragement from her, and the days when she welcomed them with tears of joy when they perhaps expected a scolding. I wonder when I am gone what my children will be able to say about me. Will they arise and call me blessed? Or will they remember me as the folder of laundry and the stacker of the dishwasher?
On the way home from the funeral I happened to hear this song by Joy Williams. It seemed to be a message so fitting for my day. Today I celebrate the accomplishment of another year and look forward with hope to another fresh year before me, but none of us is promised tomorrow. I need to live every moment the way that I want it to be remembered by those around me, much rather than being caught up in petty details of things that are fleeting and won't matter even a month from now much less in eternity.
So it was a reflective birthday. No decorations to speak of, no party per se, but a quiet rejoicing, and a fresh desire to celebrate every moment.