I have never understood when people don't like it when a big deal is made out of their birthday. I like it when everyone knows and I feel celebrated in all facets of my life. It was my birthday last Thursday and I have had a wonderful time celebrating. My best friend came into Philly for a long weekend and we had a party with all my friends on Sunday. I love having a special time to do your favorite things with your favorite people each year.
Part of the beauty of birthdays is that we can be celebrated without humility. As a Mennonite, it can be hard to take a compliment, much less abide a whole day of being celebrated. But on your birthday, it is wonderful to just allow yourself to be celebrated. To thank everyone who tells you something good instead of finding ways to refute them. To receive gifts with gratitude and not embarrassment. To show your friends you love them by receiving their celebrating.
That's part of why I love birthdays so much; but I think the bigger reason I love them is that it is the only day that we celebrate people for nothing more than existing. The other celebrations we have for people usually center around accomplishments like promotions, new houses, pregnancies and engagements. You don't have to accomplish anything more than being alive to be celebrated on your birthday. I know that some years just being alive is an accomplishment in and of itself; but more often than not it comes easily.
Being celebrated just for existing feels similar to God loving us just because we are. God rejoices when we accomplish things, but God also celebrates when we simply wake up in the morning. Having a day dedicated to just celebrating ourselves can help remind us of the way God loves us. God loves us with all the joy and encouragement that we receive from loved ones on our birthday.
Allowing ourselves to be loved for nothing is not as easy as it sounds. It can be easy to feel unworthy of God's love. But scripture tells us over and over again that God's love is given freely, just because we are. We do not need to do great things or be a good person or make all the right choices, God loves us just because we are. On our birthdays, we get to be celebrated just because we made it another year. What a blessing.
|A few snapshots of my fantastic birthday weekend.|