Number one, PRESENTS! Sorry, I couldn’t be spiritual there. I love birthdays. My father-in-law is such a Godly man. I am so blessed to have married his daughter. First off, I got the smartest, prettiest, best wife a man could ever hope for. She is the most amazing person I know. On top of that, I got two more parents who God uses to shape my character and that of my wife and children. Specifically though, my father-in-law amazes me in his reluctance to accept gifts on his birthday or Christmas. He is really that much deeper than me. He would much rather have a nice card with a heartfelt note on it. Me? I love presents. I mean, I go nuts on birthdays and Christmas. I love tearing open the paper and discovering whatever it is that someone got me. My wife is one of the great gift-givers ever because she is so thoughtful. She may purchase gifts for people MONTHS before the big day. She listens. She cares. And, I do my part. I go absolutely crazy! My mom and sisters do a great job too. Mom is a big gift-giver. I think that is one of her primary ways of expressing love. My sisters and I all have kids and college educations and weddings we are paying for, so we’re bigger on getting each other funny cards that make us laugh. I love these too. Now that my 4 daughters are getting older, they’re starting to give gifts, cards, or notes. I guess these show that I’ve got a little of my father-in-law in me. Just hearing a loving “Happy Birthday Dad!” from my daughters makes my day.
Number two is the people. They really should be number one. I know that. But, I’m kind of assuming that they had to be there to get the presents, so, I’m sticking them here. In real life, if it came down to it, I promise I would pick my family and friends over my presents. That said, if it’s my birthday and you come hang out, feel free to bring something. Nothing big is necessary. Find the most ridiculous card, or perhaps better yet, find me the funniest YouTube video you’ve ever seen and send it to me. Then, just come hang out and tell stories (the same ones we always tell) and laugh with me for a couple of hours. Birthdays are a great day to celebrate family and friends who’ve gone through ALL THESE YEARS with me.
Number three. Birthdays are calorie-free days. That’s right. You can eat whatever you want on your birthday and it doesn’t affect your health. Cake. Ice cream. French fries. Fried Chicken. Mexican. Repeat. No problem. Okay, maybe I’m stretching it a bit here…like I stretch my belt on my birthday! So, maybe it isn’t a calorie-free day, but it’s definitely a day to enjoy the foods you like.
Seriously though, today is my birthday. I am so grateful for the 52 years I’ve had to learn to love God and others. I’m grateful for God teaching me to appreciate His creation and the people He has brought into my life. I am grateful that He sent people my way who loved me enough to teach me about Him. I can remember photos from days at 1139 Kawanda Lane with my sister Jessica and our shared Circus Cake, circa 1974, or my 12-year-old birthday at 724 Oak Drive with Chip, Andy, Scott, Tommy, Micah, and others. I remember my 40th where my wife surprised me with a trip to Las Vegas, and my 50th where she surprised me with about 50 friends from across the years who showed up at my house in Chelsea, Alabama. I love birthdays because they are a great reminder of what has made my life great. Thank you to Jennifer, Mom, my sisters (Jessica and Jill), my daughters (Morgan, BK, Alli, and Maggie Leigh) and everyone who has been a friend to me. I really appreciate each of you.
Each day we go into the world with the opportunity to make an impact. Each person whose paths cross ours matters. Lives intersect for a reason. I believe there is One who directs our steps to these sometimes seemingly random meetings. My goal for these encounters is that I make a difference. That is my desire for those who venture across my blog. I hope you are blessed and it makes a difference for you.