Sunday, June 25, 2006

Birthday Thoughts

I turned 24 on Saturday. Having a birthday always brings the questions of "So, how does it feel to be __ years old?" Of course it never feels much different - except if you happen to have turned 16 and now have that lisence in your hand, or turned 18 and are "legal", or just turned 21 and are still hungover when you are asked the unavoidable question of how it feels.

This year, I can honestly say, my birthday felt different. Or at least I remember it differently than other birthdays. I didn't do anything terribly exciting, besides talking to a lot of friends, and spending some really good, really much needed, really relaxing time with my family. (If you want the details, feel free to ask, but the more important stuff will be discussed if you just keep reading.) This year, more than I can remember compared to any other year, it just felt like a day where I was completely, and totally loved.

Spending a lot of time with mom was something we didn't do that often, and when we did, it often ended up with one of us feeling hurt. Getting older, I have been so blessed to be able to learn how to relate to, spend time with, and love my mom - as my mom, as a friend, and really as an amazing woman who I can definitely learn things from.

My dad is the man I can always count on caring when I really need it, and who can always make me laugh by doing those stupid things that would embarrass me years ago, but now I appreciate so much because they are what make him my dad. He didn't fail to do both of those things this weekend, and he made me love him even more for it.

Matt is better than the best brother I could have ever imagined. He's a 16 year old, who looks forward to the weekends I can come home, and has passed up "chilling" with friends to spend time with me if we have plans - even if those plans are just running errands. The way he hugs me, and makes sure to say goodnight and tell me he loves me, are things that I've learned to value and appreciate so much lately, and have given me yet another standard (in addition to my dad) for the way I should expect to be treated.

I was also blessed so much this birthday to have a ton of friends who called just to say they were thinking of me and to wish me a happy birthday. (I'm sure this happens to most people, me included other years as well, but it hit me in a different way this year.) Those wishes and words became invaluable this year. Hearing things like "I hope you're being spoiled and loved on, because you most certainly are loved!" and "I just wanted to tell you I'm thinking of you and love and miss you!" was the best gift I could have been given. If I started to thank people by name, I would surely miss someone, so please all know how very much it is appreciated! I love you so much, and I am blessed more than I have sometimes believed. This birthday was an amzing reminder of just how awesome that feeling is! Thank you!

And another story of being loved on, in a way that doesn't really make sense today, but is incredible nonetheless.

I had the coolest thing happen tonight. At our Core Group meeting for the church launch (starting at the end of September! Yikes!), my pastor showed us all an incredible act of love, and a really inspiring example of having a servants heart. We had just read John 13, which finds Jesus in the day(s?) before his crucifixion, just having had a meal with his disciples. He proceeds to do something that seems crazy wierd to us today - he interrupted their meal,and washed the feet of all of his disciples. This act made sense in that culture, but the fact that Jesus did the washing was pretty much out of the ordinary. Long story short (and overly-simplified in an effort to keep you reading!), knowing that he was going to leave them soon, he needed to show them "the full extent of his love," and give them an example of having a servants heart - a heart that loves on people right where they are, as they are, needing whatever they do. After reading this passage, Jeff went on to explain to us all that he was going to wash our feet, as an expression of his love, and as an example of the way we ought to be loving others. Now it's a strange (and a little uncomfortable!) thing to have your feet washed by someone else! In this situation however, that strangeness was pretty easy to get over when I thought about and realized just what this act symbolized. It was yet another way of someone showing me how much they cared, that they would humble themselves before me in that way, just loving on me! What an awesome display of his appreciation and teaching, but even more, what an amazing reminder of the way God loves me!

1 comment:

AndDro said...

Too bad for Jaeger's sake that you didn't get the pedicure at the Waters spa... PU!!!