Birthday Beauty

This weekend I celebrated my twenty-fifth birthday.

To be honest, in recent years my birthday has carried a certain sting of heartache. That one day somehow tends to magnify any already-present feelings of being unseen and uncelebrated, perhaps because I have seen some amazing birthday celebrations here that embrace all the unique ways that a person reflects the Lord’s heart.

So this year I approached my birthday with some tentativeness, trying to guard my heart by not expecting much. But lately God has been taking me on a journey of discovering that He never designed me to protect myself or to live in lack. Throughout the weekend, He wove that truth all through dozens of small celebrations of the things I love:

– A sunny fall day
– Brilliantly colored trees
– Dinner with Derek
– A double portion of one of my favorite foods
– A small gathering of friends
– A house full of candlelight
– Words of blessing spoken over me
– A lovely scarf, full of deep rich colors
– Fresh flowers in reds, yellows, and oranges
– Apple cider
– Dancing with one of my favorite little girls
– A baby in my arms
– A few thoughtfully written notes
– A tiny succulent plant, wrapped in yellow
– A fragrant heart
– A phone call with my mom

All of which crooned the Father’s love over my heart: “You are seen. You are loved. You are beautiful. It is good that you exist.”