Birthdays come and birthdays go. Children eagerly count down the days to their birthdays with unbridled enthusiasm. We adults…not so much. Birthdays sometimes lose the thrill for us because, well…who really looks forward to getting old? I know this morning as I awoke to my new age of 49, my first thoughts were, “I am now five years older than my sister would ever be, and I am only six years from the age when my mom died.” Such morbid thoughts to begin a birthday! I know. Probably not the best mindset with which to begin a day, but that’s where I was….until I opened my computer.
My sister-in-law had sent a birthday message wishing me a day full of blessings and asking what I was going to do to celebrate. I responded with, “Thank you. For my birthday I will do school, make dinner, possibly make an apple crisp so Jeanae can sing happy birthday to me. I’ll try to sort through the mail. Living large on my 49th birthday!”
To that she replied, “Living a normal life for your birthday is really special! I really mean that. Reminders of David make it clear that normal is simply amazing!”
Her words pierced my heart. Her words were the perfect gift to me today.
You see, I have a brother (Dave) who has been fighting for his life for three years next month. On November 21, 2011, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) — the worst, most aggressive type of leukemia. For three years, he has been in and out of remission, fighting for his life, and praising God the whole way! If he had the chance to live one day without cancer…one day with a normal routine again….one day being able to walk again….if he had a day like that, he would be rejoicing from the mountaintops. Aren’t I lucky to be able to spend my birthday living a normal life….Normal is Simply Amazing!
A few days ago, we were listening to Dave’s latest message via the internet. He is a pastor of a large non-denominational church that he planted, and he is still preaching when he can. This particular message he had to video tape rather than deliver live to his church, but it was still full of wisdom and depth. My little girl always grabs a scrap piece of paper and her Bible to take notes when we listen to Dave. At the end of this latest message, she came to me and said, “The only thing he told me to write down was ‘Jesus is Grace'”. I smiled, told her that’s all she needed to know. Then I promptly wrote to Dave to tell him because I was so touched by the simplicity of this message getting to an eight year old child as well as this 49 year old mom.
Dave wrote back the next day happy that I had told him the story. He also told me: “Every day is a gift – getting to email you is a gift. I’m much weaker these days. Not sure what our Heavenly Father has planned for me. Just
wanting to make sure I’m glorifying Him.”
Wow again! And, yes!
Every Day is a Gift! Normal is Simply Amazing! Jesus is Grace! These are the gifts I received for my birthday! These gifts are precious and priceless!
I had a good birthday!