It was my birthday on Saturday.
I LOVE my birthday.
I always have. This year’s birthday was especially wonderful. Friday has been David’s day off for a while, so we made a two-day celebration out of it, and it. was. perfect.
David and I have been learning a little more about the 5 Love Languages. I have suspected for a while that Gifts was a pretty strong one for me, and I was right. I love giving gifts just about as much as I love receiving gifts. So I decided that this birthday would include some gift giving on my part. I suspected that it might just increase my love for my birthday even more, and I was right again.
My first gift was to spend some birthday money I received on a zoo membership for our family. I know Ellie probably won’t have any memories of time spent there, but I’m looking forward to spending time there with her (and David) this summer, before Little Sis gets here. We went for the first time on Friday, and Eliana loved looking at the animals, waving to everyone, practicing her walking, and playing with some of the exhibits.
We spent the evening together relaxing, but woke up in the middle of the night to sweet Ellie’s first fever. It was so sad to see her feeling unwell, but I can’t lie. I love baby cuddles, and Ellie just hasn’t been as into them now that she knows how to walk.
We spent my birthday with some dear friends from college, eating delicious food, talking, and spending time together. It was a blessing to me to celebrate with them, not only my birthday, but also the new journeys the Lord is taking each of us on. It was a privilege for me to give small gifts that celebrate these exciting new places the Lord is leading them. I think I hesitated to claim Gifts as a Love Language because it felt selfish to me, but I’m realizing that the joy is just as full in the giving as in the receiving. I felt new freedom to take a lot of joy in getting thoughtful gifts from so many considerate people, and it was an added joy to be able to give a few small gifts, also.
The day wrapped up with birthday dinner with family and a whole night of taking care of a poor sick baby. I thank the Lord for the grace to see even this challenge of parenting as a gift. I was tempted to feel self-pity that my daughter would have her first fever on my birthday. But I was gently reminded of what a privilege it is to care for and cherish this special life, and felt called to recognize the opportunity to give her the gift of my time, my patience, and my love while she felt sick. It seems strange to write, but I really loved spending the last hours of my birthday evening holding my sleeping babe, not dwelling on how many or few hours of sleep I might get that night, but just thanking the Lord for all the fullness of the gift of being this sweet girl’s momma–all the hugs, drooly kisses, and smiles; and all the tantrums, huge messes, and late nights/early mornings of care taking.