Birthday Reflections

This week, I hit a significant number on the birthday scale. I won’t reveal which number, but it is synonymous with a change in healthcare coverage. As I ponder my age, and the years that got me to this point, the following come to mind:

History

I am thankful for the family of which I am a part, both sides. I learned so much about life and faith from my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. My history influences who I am, and I am grateful those influences were positive.

While our history influences, it doesn’t necessarily have to define us. If your history isn’t positive, you have the option to make different choices, change patterns of thought and behavior, and become all God created you to be.

Love and Affirmation

On my birthday, I felt great love and received so much affirmation from those I know well and others with whom I have infrequent contact. The words of family and friends were a boost to me and reminded me to express love and affirm others not just at special times of the year, but with every opportunity that arises.

Challenges are No Respecter of Dates

Each year, my birthday and Tax Day are in close proximity. This year, an extended deadline placed my birthday on the bullseye, so when the phone rang early, and I saw our CPA’s name on the caller ID, I knew my morning was about to get busy, and it did.

Challenges never respect dates. Intrusions, annoyances, emergencies, and deadlines don’t care if they happen on a significant date on the calendar. Challenges erupt and demand attention as if the day were unimportant. As my wise Father used to say, “You’ve got to learn to roll with the punches.” So, on my birthday, I wrote big checks and rolled with it.

Meaningful Gifts

For my birthday, I received meaningful gifts—my favorite perfume, gift cards to favorite stores, flowers, lovely cards, and a picture of precious grandbabies. Giving meaningful gifts requires you know the person well. I cherish the knowing as much or more than the gifts. Often gifts that mean the most are intangible, such as acts of service, heartfelt words, or the gift of time.

Gratitude

On this birthday, gratitude is the overarching theme. I’m thankful for parents who taught me about life and faith and loved me unconditionally. I’m grateful for family and extended family, especially cousins who are like brothers and sisters to this only child. And most of all, I’m grateful for my Heavenly Father, who comforts, loves, directs, and convicts to fuel forward motion and keep me on the narrow path.

Anticipation

A milestone birthday begs the question “What’s next?” For me, more writing and learning, time with grandchildren, adventures with my Favorite, and the yet-to-be-revealed. I look forward to it all, knowing that no matter how many birthdays are ahead, each day can be significant, meaningful, and joyous.

“For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life” (Proverbs 9:11 NIV).

©CandyArrington

Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

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