Thursday, April 24, 2008
The Gift (s)
Today is my birthday. To be quite honest, I was a little upset about today as we have parent conferences tonight and it irks me to be spending my special evening sitting waiting for an occasional parent to turn up when I could be celebrating. I felt like my birthday was a bit of a non event.
So ... when I awoke this morning, I said to God, I want to start by sharing my special day with just he and I. I sat down with my journal and thought about the gifts that God has given me. Outside of the obvious (Jesus), the thing that sprang to mind as I wrote this morning, was the gift of LIFE. The gift of being born. Now, I know that might sound strange to you, as you might be thinking ... "well duh! We are all born!" But the thing is, some of us were a little more unexpected. And it's often the unexpected babies that are at risk of their lives. As I reflected, my heart was filled with gratitude to God for protecting me. You see, I am not an accident. I was not a surprise to God. I was made on purpose, for a purpose. Ps 139 tells me that his eyes saw my unformed body when I was woven together in the secret place. It tells me that all my days were planned out before one of them came to be. It tells me that he laid his hand upon me. You see God had a plan.
39 years ago today, a mother pushed a baby into this world. She held the baby in her arms - loved it and then had to let it go - giving it up and surrendering it to the unknown. What tremendous love and courage that took. Today, 39 years ago, a mother loved the way that only a mother could, and then had her heart ripped with grief as she surrendered the baby she had carried over 9 months. She did not know then that God had a plan. That there was a purpose and it was beginning to unfold. She did not know that there was a family specially chosen, who would love her gift. Who would cherish her gift. Who would discipline it, guide it and see it become a woman with character. She did not know. But God did.
Today as I pondered on this, I thought of my family. I thought that is my second gift. I am grateful for their unconditional love, their patience, their perseverence in the face of adversity (I was not an easy child). They did not know what they were bringing home, but God did! Today, in large part, I am who I am because of them.
The third gift I am grateful for today is my friends. I can't even begin to describe how truely blessed I am with the friends I have. They have loved me, are honest with me, walk beside me, speak into my life and laugh and cry with me.
As I sat with God this morning, I wondered what I would say if he said to me, "what would you like for your birthday this year Sarah?" Outside of him, the thing that immediately sprang to my mind was beautiful Ruby. I want her to have the gift of life. That she would live and love and have life abundantly. That she would walk through life and not just live it!
I have had a marvellous day today ... I have skyped with friends from afar, I have had emails from family and other friends far away. I have been blessed with friends who sought me out today with cards and gifts. I had a class come into my office and sing to me. My last class of the day (7 year olds) brought me in the most beautiful box of handmade cards they had each made. Lots of love, thought and care.
I have decided that a new birthday tradition will be to start my birthday with God and my journal, reflecting on the gifts of the past year that I am grateful for. Today as I write, I am grateful for LIFE. Be blessed in yours. :)