I have always believed that birthdays are important. Not because the mark another year gone by, but because they celebrate your life here on earth. I always wanted to make sure that we celebrated the girls’ birthdays when they were growing up. It was really hard for Jennifer because hers is in December close to Christmas. We had to make sure that we made a distinction between her birthday and Christmas. I think that we did a pretty good job doing that over the years. Lisa on the other hand was easier. She has a summer birthday and we wanted to make sure that her birthday didn’t get caught up in vacation or other summer activities.
Growing up, I didn’t have to many birthday parties. The main reason was that it seems we were out of town on vacation for a lot of my birthdays. I don’t remember many of them, however I do remember my 10th birthday. I got a pocketknife and I thought that I was grown. I was so proud of that knife. I remember when I turned 16 and got my drivers license, and I remember turning 18 and having to register for the draft. I also remember turning 21. My Dad took a friend and me out to dinner and I could legally drink.
But for the past 38 years I have shared most of my birthdays with my best friend. We would normally have a quiet dinner or maybe go out with friends. We didn’t really do anything special except for a 50th surprise birthday party. But she was always there to talk to and to hug. She always had a special card and a surprise gift. I missed that today. It was just different. Her absence was evident to me in everything I did, but I was still able to enjoy the day and spend time with good friends. I guess this is part of the new normal. I miss her, and feel the emptiness that her absence leaves, but life goes on, and I can enjoy it and feel the love of friends and relatives. I can live and move on. I am not stuck in the past, wishing for what can’t be to the point that I and enjoy the now. Remember, now is where we live. Sure there will be the future and Eternity, but NOW is where we are to live our life. So once again I have a choice. Do I live in the now and enjoy life to the fullest possible extent, or do I live wit one foot in the past and one foot in the now, unable to enjoy either.
God told the Israelites that His name was “I Am”. I AM, to me means the God of now. If He wanted us to live in the past, wouldn’t His name be “I Was” and the same for the future. Wouldn’t His name be “I Will Be”? You get the point. He wants us to live in the now. Yea, we are to look with hope to the future, but we live in the now, right here. This is where all the “training for reigning” takes place.
This time last year, Julia and I were making the decision about me going to BSSM. She was all for my going. For some reason, she didn’t think that she was supposed to go. We both figured that it was because of Lisa’s baby coming and all Julia would have to do. I know that was a part of it, but she and I both knew that wasn’t the only reason. Just as sure as we were that I was to go, we were that sure that she wasn’t going. This was odd for us, because we normally did so much together. So I started school, and I would spend hours talking to her, telling her what we were doing. She got to go to conferences kept up with me, but she didn’t go. By not going, she was able to go see the grandkids more than I did. I’m so glad that she got to see them last fall. They will all be up here next weekend for the first time since her death. I’m looking forward to seeing them all. Julia will be greatly missed, but we will love and live and continue on. That’s the way that she would want it.
There are two times each year that I like to spend a little time reflecting on my life and what is going on. The first is obvious, the beginning of each year. Instead of making resolutions, I try to seek God and look at where I am and what He wants me to do. I didn’t get to do that this year. We were at Webb AL at the conference, Julia got sick, and you know the rest. The second time of the year is around my birthday. I have spent a little time in reflection today, and I want to do more tomorrow. Although when I think about it, I am doing it each night as I write.
So, here I am, in my rocking chair, writing at the end of “my day”. It has been a good day. God is good. He has given me a wonderful family and true friends. He allowed me to spend so much time with a wonderful woman who loved me as much as I loved her. I am truly blessed. I have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate! I do choose to enjoy all that Papa has given me. Life in the Kingdom is good.