Sunday, September 11, 2016

From a long ago birthday........

This very faded poster still hangs in my bedroom.  This poster (along with another poster) were given to me by Ken on my 17th Birthday, just after we had started dating.  I love that there is water in this poster.   Ken didn't know me well enough yet to know just how much I loved the water.  The second poster he gave me (which is now so faded you can hardly read it) says "I have to be me, you have to be you, that is the only way we can be us".  This one says "In the solitude of our minds we can look to the future, for we know what we are but not what we may be".   When I first got these, they were thumb tacked to my bedroom wall.  After we were married, Ken took them and had them framed for my 21st birthday. Isn't it interesting how something so small can stay with you for a very long time?

I have often thought about how meaningful and interesting the words on these poster are.  In 1972 when Ken bought these, he had no idea what was ahead for us.  He couldn't even envision us being married.  Yet, here we are 45 years later.   And that saying is still very much true!  We know what we are right now, but we have no idea what the years ahead have in store for us.

I remember so well my 6th birthday.  My mom wanted me to have something special for my "golden" birthday (I turned 6 on the 6th).  But that year was a busy, crazy year for my family.  We had just moved to St. Paul and we were staying in a hotel until our house was ready.  Three kids and a dog in a standard hotel room was no fun.  We had made a quick trip to the lake to "close up" since we were stuck half way moved.  My birthday actually fell on the Tuesday following Labor day - which was the first day of school.  So we had a cake at the Lake to celebrate my birthday.  I don't remember exactly what my present was that year, but it was nothing "golden".  Truthfully, I don't remember very many of my birthday presents growing up.  Birthday's just were not that big of a deal in my family.  I remember my 12th birthday most of all.  My dad drove up with a brand new bicycle for me!  It was purple and the first new bike I ever had!  The most interesting thing about getting this bike was just how much I would need that bike in one years time.  Just before my 13th birthday, we moved to the Chicago area and bikes were the standard means of transportation for kids.  I road the  wheels off of that bike from one side our village to the other.  If I didn't have that bike, I wouldn't have been able to get around.  Looking at this now, the Lord's provision for me seems so clear.  Jesus knew that I would need that bike and he provided it a year in advance!

Yes, birthday's are a time to reflect and also to look ahead.  I've been thinking about what might be in store for me in the years ahead.  It's funny but 62 doesn't feel very old right now.  It feels like there are lots of years ahead and so many things that are yet to be accomplished.  My bucket list just seems to keep growing and growing instead of getting smaller and smaller!   There are places to go and people to see!

More and more I realize that birthday's are not about the presents that are given.  They are not only about remembering the years past, they  are a time to look ahead and celebrate the future.  When that time of reflection on the past reveals just how amazingly Jesus has taken care of you, it is impossible to NOT celebrate and be excited for what is ahead!  And birthdays are a time to be PRESENT IN THE PRESENT!   You know what I mean by this.  Really aware of what is happening right now in this time.  Not so caught up in either the memories or the lists of things to do in the future.  But having your heart tuned in to what is worth celebrating right now!

And that is an amazing place to leave this blog.  In celebration of what Jesus is doing right now - today.  There are songs to sing and people to hug.  There are blue skies outside and white puffy clouds.  There is joy and peace and love and hope.  And it is all found in Jesus.  In His PRESENCE there is the fullness of joy.  There is no greater gift - no present - that is more necessary and life giving than the presence of Jesus!

Jesus, thank you for the reminder that you are the very best gift we could ever receive.  Thank you for your love that seeks us out, even when we are not looking for you.  Thank you for knowing exactly what we need even before we know we need it!  Help us all to stay present in our busy world.  Keep our eyes on you Jesus, and off of our to do lists.  Thank you for your joy.  Amen

1 comment:

  1. On my 10th birthday I got a blue Schwinn bicycle. It was so beautiful and it opened up the world to me which seemed very small. I love the way you ended your blog with songs to sing and blue skies outside and white puffy clouds! So many places to explore! What a wonderful gift God gave us!