So last month I wrote about approaching the milestone of turning 40. Well I'm here to say that I not only survived but I enjoyed that day immensely. It was by far one of my best birthdays in a long time.
Over the years, I had really downplayed my birthday. When you have a house full of little kids and a hubby that's working so hard to support the family, then you just keep things simple. I was very happy to have a special dinner with the family and then a day out shopping by myself while hubby watched the kids. This year I was looking forward to my birthday falling on a 4-day weekend from school. I told the kids that I would be taking the day off from mom duty and they were gonna take care of me. Well thanks to the extremely mild winter we were having, my mom and aunt were able to come up from Georgia for the weekend.
My birthday started with hubby and the kids making breakfast and my aunt taking pictures. She took pictures of the kids cooking. She took pictures of me doing my devotions. She took pictures of us eating breakfast. All she said was that she would be taking pictures throughout the day to chronicle the events of my 40th birthday. And I would understand more later. I must say I was a little puzzled and and a bit excited at the same time.
We spent the afternoon at Hobby Lobby and the mall. I'm sure people thought we were crazy when we kept taking pictures of each other with different signs in Hobby Lobby. We were laughing so hard at some of the sayings. That evening Rich made my birhday dinner request....Manicotti!!! It's my favorite and we don't have it very often because it takes a while to make it. Then the highlight of the day happened.
My aunt gave me a gift bag with a large scrapbook in it. When I opened it there was a poem my aunt had written in the front. As I turned the first page, I realized it was a scrapbook about me and my life. There were pictures of me as a baby and a toddler. Pictures of me with my grandparents, who are no longer living. The next page was all of my school pictures from kindergarten through high school, then college. There were pictures of me over the years with siblings, cousins, aunts & uncles. Then it moved on to pictures of me & Rich. Then there was pages dedicated to each of my 4 kids. There were pictures from when I was a baby all the way through to my kids playing Upward this year. The last 2 pages were blank. That's when I realized why my aunt had spent the day taking pictures. They were the ones needed to complete the scrapbook.
I loved showing the pictures to Rich & the kids and sharing all the stories and memories that went with them. I was amazed at how all the memories of certain things came flooding back just by looking at a picture. I was so happy and felt so blessed that they had taken the time to create such an amazing gift.
As I look at the pages in that scrapbook, I'm reminded that it's the people in our lives that make the difference. It's the people we share our lives with that make life special. It's not the clothes we wear, the homes we live in or the cars we drive. It's not the trips we take or the events we attend. It's about the people. It's the physical family God gave us at birth and the spiritual family we join when we get saved. Jesus was like that. He focused on the people. I think that's why Jesus commands us to love others. "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
So as I embark on this next chapter and journey towards the next milestone,I want to spend time loving people and showing them God's love. I want to remember to focus more on the people and less on the "stuff".
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.