When I tickled Teddy’s feet to wake him up this morning, he opened his eyes, blinked, and said, “Happy birthday, Mom.”
It was so sweet.
I am having a perfectly lovely birthday.
The sun is shining, I just returned from a long (slow) run, and there was a surprise waiting for me on the doorstep. I just love surprises.
My mother even called me, which is unusual for her. She usually calls the week before, or the day after, but because of her faith, she will never utter those two words that have been showered on me today. But she called. And it made me happy. We talked about birthing days and when she couldn’t remember what time of day I was born it didn’t even matter. So when we finished our conversation I ran to get the boys’ baby books and to make sure I never forget. It’s not the most important thing, I know.
But I don’t want to ever forget.
It’s wonderful to have a birthday in the spring, when all the earth is waking up. With each year I celebrate I am reminded that I am re-made—I am reminded of resurrection.
On this day last year I was in New Orleans on a surprise birthday trip. Have I said how much I love surprises? My husband knows this well. The memories of that trip I will savor my lifetime over. And last night, he surprised me again.
I was having a terribly self-pitying evening in which I made Jeffrey cry with ugly words. But he swallowed his tears and went to his drum lesson, leaving me ashamed and empty. So I walked. I walked around the bricked streets of the square and up on the Adena burial mound. I looked out over the city and felt like I was on Mt. Nebo, staring into the Promised Land but forbidden to enter. When I slowly descended a splash of yellow caught my eye. It was a lonely little daffodil, hanging its head in a sea of grass.
When the boys were done with lessons, I took them to the base of the Mound and showed them the flower.
“Sometimes God puts a flower in the middle of a bunch of grass,” I said. “It might seem a little bit lonely, but it shows off the flower’s beauty all the more.”
I was half-joking/half-apologizing for my moodiness earlier. But I was a little bit serious too. I was telling myself more than them. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Laura. Look at this lovely grass around here.
They understood. Sometimes it’s hard being the only female in the house. They don’t always get me.Sometimes I just need too much.
Fingerface said, “I’m a flower, see how beautiful I am?” And we laughed and all was forgiven. But I still felt ashamed.
And when we returned home…this surprise waited for me. A perfectly overindulgent, amazingly wonderful, terribly generous gift.
All I wanted was a new bird feeder.
Today I am feeling very spoiled. And very loved.
It still amazes me how God will bend over backwards to reveal that to me. I know that He has been there all along–that He has seen the entire making of the wreck of me. I know He held me when I was a wee one and He caught my tears in His wineskin. He knows why I say ugly things sometimes and He sees the scars on my heart. He knows why I doubt myself and am filled with self-loathing at times.
But He sees me the way He wants me to be too. He believes in me. And as I let go of those wounds from the past, I feel the freedom there is in loving myself…in seeing myself as He does.
It allows me to let others love me too; to be the grass—the solid ground I root into.
Oh, Happy Birthday to me.
The grass is beautifully green on this side of the fence.