Today I welcomed myself into my late-20s. It’s funny to think that when my mom was my age, she just had me (her first baby). I can’t image having a baby right now. Life would be so different! This past year has been so crazy. Within the past 12 months, I got engaged, planned a wedding, got married, served at and led various youth group events, trained for and ran a 10 mile race, and kept busy with my day job. I’m so grateful for every moment and event of this past year though.
Birthdays aren’t as exciting as they used to be, and I don’t get any new privileges with this particular age, but I do still wake up wondering if people will do anything special for me. I think that goes along with the natural desire we all have to feel loved by others. I don’t want to expect anything from people, but as I got to the age where my parents didn’t host birthday parties for my friends, as my birthday approached each year I started wondering:
- Will my friends decorate my locker and/or give me ballons? (That was a big thing back in high school. Everyone gave you helium balloons on your birthday–at least if you were a girl–and the more balloons you carried around, it seemed the more popular you were.)
- Will people remember it’s my birthday and say “Happy Birthday” to me? (Sometimes I wonder if some of my closer friends–the ones I see every week–would remember it was my birthday if it didn’t say so on Facebook. Other people who post on my wall I know are only doing it because Facebook told them so, but I’m still appreciative.)
- Will my roommates plan anything for my birthday? (Because now you hate to plan something for yourself) And I wondered if my friends from home would IM me birthday wishes while I was in college.
- Will my co-workers do anything for me at work? (I wondered this the first year I worked at Tyndale, but then my team surprised me by going all out with my cube decorations and made me the “PR Angel” for the day.)
- Will Gerald do something special for me? (I used to wonder this when we were dating, but now that were married I think he’s even more obligated to do something nice. )
I guess those are just my insecurities showing through. Today I wasn’t disappointed. My PR team used its creativity to turning my cube into a cupcake cubicle with REAL cupcakes today. Although they didn’t quite finish decorating before I showed up at work and didn’t end up going to chapel today. Oops!
They even gave me a cupcake card that happened to have an image of three cupcakes inside with wrappers in my wedding colors!
Tonight Gerald took me out for dinner (he let me pick the restaurant) and then we ended up walking around the mall doing a little shopping. It was all pretty low-key. Last Saturday we celebrated my birthday with family and friends at our place. Gerald and our friend Ryan did all the cooking (lots of Korean food and homemade pizza…yum). After Gerald and I came home tonight we shared a slice of a Mariano’s cake.
So on this birthday, I’m reminded that I can’t depend on other people to make me happy or feel good about myself (whether on a birthday or any other day). At some point, people are probably going to disappoint me. That’s why I’m glad God reminds me of how special I am to Him daily. This morning, I woke up to this:
I don’t need balloons, sweet treats, cards, or birthday greetings or human validation when I have a God who cares so deeply about me and reminds me of that fact first thing in the morning. I am blessed.