Sorry this is one week late and scattered. I try and do something meaningful to celebrate life each birthday, to make it about blessing others instead of merely receiving. Last birthday, I helped “build a library” (the ego-massaging way charities label financial giving these days…hee). It was a nice way to celebrate!

This year I decided to pause. I needed to. I didn’t have it in me to do anything special. But I hope I can now bless you with my birthday thoughts. 🙂

You know what the Bible says COUNTS in life? Gal 5:6 says only faith working through love.

Wow. As I turn 23, the thought that consumes me is this: oh I want to live a significant life. I can’t take no for an answer. I know I have been gifted with much, and not to use all of that seems like a tragedy. I don’t know. It’s an instinctive thing.

My next thought is, Have I lived significantly in the past year? Have I touched any lives? It doesn’t seem enough! How do I love life more in the next year? I want to love so much more! At times, these thoughts threaten to wreck me and push me over the edge of despair–when they tilt inward just a few degrees and I start measuring myself. They suck the joy out of me.

What’s interesting is that assurance from friends never provide much comfort in times like these. What I have already done with my life matters not one bit.

What gives me strength from unknown places to combat the gloom is dwelling on the thought that God is GOOD, FAITHFUL, TRUE. My friends who remind me of that give encouragement that’s fiercely strong and pregnant with substance.

It is real HOPE I can cling to, because this hope is not based one bit on how privileged or unprivileged your life is, not on how many talents or problems or failures or successes you have,  nor on how much pain you’ve been through. When I think of that, despair at this sick world is replaced by energising and refreshing HOPE.

And this HOPE of love is mind-boggling to me. This love confounds me. Someone said to me, you should not be consumed by melancholy about what you’re doing or not doing, because your worth is in who you are. That touched a tender part in me. It’s a truth I’m still grasping. It…frees me to have an abundance mentality.

So I know what I want for my birthday. Yes, I want joy to live, contentment and graciousness, confidence and steadfastness and a more lavish love for others….all those things.

But all those things, although glimpsed in many human lives, come primarily from the Creator. Jesus. I want to continue distilling my faith. I want to be able to fix my eyes on the Giver and Transformer of my life. I want to be able to stand on Jesus the Rock when the storms come. I want to have real strength.

So that’s what I want for my birthday.

P/s: Thank you, everyone who showered me with love. 🙂