Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me!
Ok, I’ll be honest. My birthday is really not my favorite day. I get kinda stressed about it all and never know what to ask for or how to act when I’m opening my presents. I love the whole Facebook birthday wishes, but all of the rest of it feels a bit forced and awkward. I must have been like this even as a child, since this picture makes me think I was trying to get away from my birthday and my Auntie Ruth had to stop me. This year is a bit different though, I’m in an interesting transition season, and I think I finally know a few things I want and I’m not going to act awkward when I get them.
Joy! I want the kind of joy that fills me and overflows to the rest of the world. No longer do I want to be moody in any way. I want the deep joy that only Jesus can give me and that, despite hard or ugly things happening in my life, can never be taken away. I know it’s real because I’ve seen it and tasted it. I also know where to get it and it’s absolutely free for the asking. Yep, I want lots and lots of it! This is my joy year and I can’t wait to see what it looks like! [pullquote]Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you…—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. ~Matthew 11 The MSG[/pullquote]
My other birthday wish is for contentment. Materialism is not my problem, but I am a restless soul and a dreamer. My heart often lies elsewhere and I’m no longer okay with that. I’m starting to see that life is incredibly short and I don’t want to miss what is happening right before me. In order to live in today, I need to be content. God wants me to be satisfied with the way things are in my life, with his provision, providence, and power. So although I am quite aware that I have to work at contentment, I know that God delights in this request and will meet me right where I am, growing me and changing my heart to be more like his. He tells me that all I have to do is ask for it and it’s mine.
I’m pretty excited about what God is going to do in my life this year– it’s like anticipating a big move to a sweeter and more peaceful place. These God-gifts won’t disappoint me, I’m sure of it. You see, joy and contentment are gifts that I won’t get tired of or grow out of. Nope, joy and contentment are exactly what I’m counting on growing into this year.