So, today is my thirteenth birthday. No….really.
My children are 23 & 22. I’ve been married for 28 years. And today is only the thirteenth time I have celebrated on the day of my birth. Well, there are those other 39 times I’ve celebrated birthdays, too (and now the world – or at least my loyal blog peeps – know my age!)
I don’t know how other people who were born on the 29th of February feel about their birthday station in life, but for me, I have nothing but affection and respect for being a leap year baby. I’ve had the fun of seeing people’s reactions when they realize I was born during a leap year. Then that surprise is nearly always followed with questions about what it’s like to only have a birthday every four years, what day do I celebrate in “off” years, and whether I like it or not. (For the record, I usually celebrate on February 28, but in recent years, have taken to celebrating both days, as to not descriminate against poor March 1. You, know….to be fair.) So, for having absolutely no choice in the matter, I think I struck it pretty rich in the birthday department!
And while birthdays may be legitimate occasions to throw off the Lenten fetters, I’m inclined to stay true to my original commitment to seek God concerning all that concerns me during Lent, and so, today, I am inclined to think more deeply about birthdays. =)
So far today I’ve received nearly 40 birthday greetings from facebook friends. That’s amazing to me! Yes…I know it’s practically effortless to look to the right on the page, see who is having a birthday and send them a greeting. It takes seconds, really. So, even knowing that, why does it make me feel so……special?
I think it’s because we are ever so much more than the day of our birth. God created us with communal intentions. We are healthiest – best when we belong somewhere. And today I belong to my family and this wonderful collection of facebook friends. And that feels good. You may remember an old Steve Martin movie called “The Jerk.” In the movie he gets a newly published phone book, urgently looks up his name and falls to his knees as he finds his name, right there in the phone book. He looks to the heavens and cries, “I’m Sombebody!”
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” Psalm 139:13 (NIV)
Before our very first official “birthday”, we already belonged. We were in community with our Creator, who lovingly, passionately, sculpted, first our inmost being, then our outer wear. We belong with God. And we are healthiest – best when we live into this loving, intimate relationship.
Know you are special…
Know you are loved…
Know you belong…
And….happy birthday to us. <3