I've not really made a big deal about my birthday in the past several years. Usually dinner with the family was the extent of the celebrating. Sometimes I celebrated birthday weekend, but lets be honest that was just an excuse to not have to cook or clean. For my 40th birthday a few years back, my mom and aunt came up and we had a full weekend of celebrating. This year I decided to do things a little differently.
A friend inspired me to celebrate birthday month. And honestly this year I needed to celebrate myself and the life that I have been blessed with. This year February was the 1 year anniversary of my ex moving out, the date for the final court hearing for the divorce and my first Valentine's Day in 22 years without a significant other. I needed to focus on the good things to keep me from crashing down emotionally.
So that's what I did. I started the month with lunch out with my "birthday month celebrating" friend and I ended the month with a day trip to the beach. On the days in between, I celebrated the little things like sleeping in, taking a bubble bath, a warm sunny day or watching Netflix with the kids. I enjoyed a 9 day vacation right in the middle of the month. I celebrated special gifts and cards from family, friends and even a couple of strangers.
I was very thankful for the warning I got from the policeman instead of the speeding ticket. That was definitely a moment to celebrate. I had lunch with Bible study friends and dinner with some fellow February birthday girls. I celebrated the news that I had gotten the second job that I had applied for and I figured out the mechanical issue with my daughter's car. Madison and I celebrated Valentine's Day by going to see "The Greatest Showman". It was so good...we absolutely loved it!!
On my birthday, the kids and I flew to Chicago for a couple of days. We had fun shopping and exploring a new city. I got to eat yummy Chicago deep dish pizza for my birthday dinner and a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery for my "birthday cake".
And even though it was difficult, I was thankful to be able to finalize the divorce agreements and conclude the legal aspect of the divorce. During my month of celebrating another year of life, my 22 year marriage officially ended. I could focus on the sadness and heartbreak of that, but instead I am choosing to see the possibilities of new beginnings. I will celebrate who I am becoming, the lessons that I have learned and the strength that I have gained through the challenges. I will celebrate my growth from an insecure woman who was afraid to use her voice to the confident, bold woman who understands her value and her worth. I have faced so many challenges head on and have succeeded in getting back up every time that life knocked me down. I have learned that it's ok to have dreams and passions and to pursue those. God has put those things into my heart because he has created me to fulfill them. Anytime that I have pursued those passions, I have felt so much peace and joy. However, I had a habit of allowing the dreams and passions of my ex to take priority. I worked to make his dreams a reality and was supportive of him. I didn't understand why he could not return that support towards my pursuits. It has taken some time but I have realized that was his character issue not mine. When you truly love someone you support them in their God given purpose.
As I look forward into the future, I am so excited for new opportunities, new possibilities, new milestones and new things to celebrate. I am already making plans for fun things to do for Birthday Month 2019. I will definitely be taking another vacation week and maybe go somewhere new!!
But I'm not gonna just sit around and wait for next year to celebrate my life. I'm going to try really hard to find the good in every day.....the gift of family....the joy of friendship....the peace of God.....the blessings of gratitude......and the hope of true love.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.