The Beauty of Grass

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.


  1. says

    Happy Birthday dear friend. I celebrate your life. I celebrate your birth. To think that this day was appointed for you to be brought to this earth.. to think of the joy and pride that swelled in the Father’s chest as He heard that first breath.. His breath of life given to you. HE celebrates you… I celebrate you!

    You are a treasure, a gift of love to the earth.

    I’m blessed to know you! Happy, Happy Birthday!

  2. says

    I’m so thankful that God made you as He did and that He chose to reveal Himself to you…He knew you intimately before any cells joined together. He knew His plan for you…He is a gentle embrace of peace, be still…you are loved.

  3. says

    you are feeling life in such deep ways here today ..i can say that this post touched me in such a special way…YOU are the gift giver…and on your own birthday …blessings as a new year stretches before you

  4. says

    Happy Birthday Laura! You and your writing is a gift to me. One that gives me great joy when I unwrap it with a keystroke.

    May you continue to find great joy and contentment on grassy knoll this side of the fence!


  5. says

    Happy Birthday, Laura.

    May the sun bless you with warmth, the moon with light through your window, the flowers with beauty in your home, and His presence to hold you close.

  6. says

    Happy, happy, happy birthday!

    You know how some adopted kids from some countries don’t know their birth date? I think they just pick one and call it theirs. I’m sure it’s not the same, but maybe you can just pick your favorite time of day and call it yours.

    Are you a morning baby? Or middle-of-the-night baby? Just pick!

  7. says

    Happy Birthday to you, dear Laura. You are beautiful inside and out, and I feel blessed to have you as my friend. Your words are a balm to me. Your love for God inspires me and moves me to want that close relationship with Him that you have.
    I pray a lifetime of joy and love for you.
    Hugs and love!

  8. says

    sorry i missed yesterday…but happy birthday! many happinesses for you, dear one!! I love this post and how you noticed the green grass on your own side! 🙂 what a treat.

    it is often a gift to be the only flower in a house full of grass! but at least whent hey all smell of grass you can still smell sweet! 🙂

  9. says

    Spoke with a friend the other day of the importance of making things right when we wound our kids, even when we just make a mistake. She found it important to show them we are human, we blow it.

    I think it goes past that. In my core, I believe they already know. Mine do, anyway. (Perhaps it’s so much more obvious with me?) I’m convinced they know and they watch to see what we will do with it.

    And so it becomes so much more important that we go show them the flower, ask forgiveness for our failings. Not to do so wounds them doubly, perhaps?

    Bravely done, Laura, this exchange with your boys. I’m confident they see that in you — not perfection, but humility and softness of heart.

    It matters. Happy birthday to you.

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