Ahhhh….birthdays! When we are kids, we cannot wait for our cake and our presents and the hope of a party with friends. As young adults, going out to celebrate is a must do; no ifs, ands or buts. Middle age is all about celebrating with family, children and friends. However as I have now entered this mature stage of life, I have come to see a birthday as an entire new entity in itself. Birthdays to me have become a time of reflection, looking back and wondering… maybe with too many “what ifs” and “should haves”. But also with a whole lot of “Thank you Lords”!
Today I celebrate entering my 64th birthday year. And I am finding myself very reflective and cerebral in how I am seeing it. So today I just want to share a couple of my thoughts.
I am reminded of Psalm 139:13-16 when I think about the miracle of birth and how the Father knew us before we were even here. It tells me that God’s character goes into creating me, as well as you. So how can I not love myself, every hair, every blemish, and every part. Should we not show as much respect for ourselves as our Heavenly Father has shown in creating us?
For His Word states:
- For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Another thing I do now on my birthdays is to count my blessings. Just waking up is indeed at the top of my list. To wake up without pain and aches and in good health far exceeds anything I could hope for. I have recently gone through a battery of tests which has revealed I have Irresponsible Sinus Tachycardia (IST) which is the long way of saying I have rapid heart beat. With some people, as in my case, there is no reason for it. It is not life threatening and does respond to medication. It will not impair me nor alter my lifestyle as it seems I have had it for some time now. So, I am saying this to state the fact “I am blessed”. Never have I been so happy to get a diagnosis, an answer and an understanding as to what is happening to my body. But I am grateful, thankful and am going to continue to get to the gym to fine tune and maintain this incredible body that God has given me. I am thankful for another day of being able to take care of it.
Finally I owe it to myself to get more intentional as I go forward. I am going to stop “falling into life” so much. What that means is, I am going to stop waiting to see what the day unfolds. I have way too much to do to keep living like that. I have some specific things I want to do this year and it is going to require me to discipline myself to get them done. Retirement is an interesting life style. It lulls you into thinking you have time, nothing but time, to get things done. But before you know it, you are looking back on your day, or on your week and asking yourself, “What did I actually get done?” So, my desire is to flip that and lay out some specific goals for the day and for the week to help discipline myself in getting things done. If I don’t meet those goals, I certainly am not going to fall apart, but just readjust them and move on. This is one of the best gifts I can give myself and I am pretty sure next year at this time, when I reflect back on my year, I will see quite a list of accomplishments.