Friday, September 18, 2009

Birthday Thoughts



Today is my 38th birthday. Really hard to believe that 38 years have gone by already. It's been a really good day so far. Carol asked what she could make me for breakfast this morning. I wasn't really incredibly hungry, so I asked for a blueberry smoothie and she made the BEST blueberry smoothie EVER! She's been awesome and got me some really cool stuff. This afternoon she brought my some lunch (sushi) with an iced coffee from Starbucks. She also gave me 2 gifts ... 2 Steeler DVD's: The 2008 Season Review and the Steelers Road to XLIII (has 4 complete Steeler games on it from last year.) Can't wait to watch them. We have some plans tonight as well, so it's been a great birthday so far.

The picture of the cake above is one the guys in the office got me today. They sang me Happy Birthday ... some whacked out country version ... :) and they gave me this cake which says, "You Break the Wind Beneath My Wings." I love serving here!

I've also been reflecting a bit. The two pictures below were taken 2 years apart.



The first was on September 18, 2007 ... Ezra was just a little over 4 months old and I was well into 5 months of chemotherapy treatments. The second picture was taken today, September 18, 2009. Ezra is over 2 years old now and Mercy just turned 8 months old on the 8th. It's amazing what can change in two years (except for my messy office ... that remains the same). Thankfully, I've learned to appreciate birthdays a little more since 2007 and have just gained an appreciation for life in general. I'm so thankful for Carol. I'm so thankful for Ezra and Mercy. I'm so thankful for my friends. I'm so thankful for Grace Community Church. I'm so thankful for axis, our youth ministry. I promised myself after my cancer experience in 2007 that I would NOT take things for granted any more. I've been trying my best to honor that promise. I'm learning that I have something to offer others ... and I say that humbly. I don't want to die without having passed something on to others. I want my tank to be empty when I pass on and I want others to have been better for knowing me. I've often disguised my lack of willingness to invest in others as a "false humility" when in reality it was more of an insecurity ... what would someone want to learn from me?? Why would someone be interested in hearing from me?? Since 2007, I've learned to be more confident simply because I feel that God has become a whole lot more real to me and has instilled me with his "Holy Boldness" as Pastor Jim often says. Sure, I still cave to my insecurities at times, but with God's help I've been learning to give myself away more and invest in others. I'm trying my best to do that, especially with Carol, with our kids, and with, specifically, our teenagers in axis. Neil Young has a line in one of his songs that says "It's better to burn out than it is to rust." I've always like that line because it speaks of giving your absolute best. I really want to do that.
Anyway, just some of my birthday musings. Time for more cake. :)

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