Yesterday I turned 32. However, it wasn’t without protest.
All of my life I have LOVED my birthday. I have always loved the idea of being a princess for a day. Give me a crown and a coffee and take me on an adventure! I love gifts and quality time, so my birthday has always been one of my favorite days.
This year was different. I wanted to run away for the day, and since I couldn’t, I attempted to cancel my birthday. Maybe it was the grief of a hard year. Or maybe it was the reality of turning another year older without babies. Maybe it’s just because I can sometimes be a brat! Whatever it was, I didn’t want to “do” my birthday. So, I told Dan my birthday was cancelled.
Of course, Dan loves me way too much to let me live in a pity party, so he “forced” me to celebrate my birthday. As a matter of a fact, he forced me to start my birthday celebration with a pretty spectacular gift from him (Bluetooth headphones – still totally shocked by that one). Then he forced me to go to an aquarium and a museum. He even forced me to eat some of my favorite foods. (He sounds like a total monster right!?)
Somewhere in the middle of the fun day I remembered something…
My attitude is my choice. I can choose to be focused on the negatives and things I do not have, or I can choose joy. My dear friend Caroline recently shared her thoughts about thriving during all seasons over on her blog (you can read more about her thoughts here.)
When I first read Caroline’s words, I was quick to say “Amen!” I even posted a comment about how my heart needed to read her words. However, I wasn’t quick to actually apply the truth Caroline’s words reminded me of. I recognized my heart needed the encouragement, but I continued to let my bad attitude win. (I think this is why the bible says we need to live by faith AND works. We can’t simply just read the word we have to actually apply it.)
Anyway, Caroline’s blog reminded me John 10:10 says:
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].
Somewhere in the middle of my birthday celebration, I realized that when I choose to be grumpy, it is giving the enemy ground. It’s allowing him to come in and steal more than just my joy. It opens the door to sadness and depression. However, John 10:10 says that Jesus came so that we would enjoy life fully. God delights when we choose joy. God wants us to live full rich lives.
When I decided to stop being grumpy and start enjoying my day, everything got better. I relaxed and laughed more. I was able to enjoy the moment for what it is, and not focus on what I perceived to be missing.
So, if your birthday is coming and you are dreading turning a year older I encourage you to choose joy. Or maybe your life doesn’t look exactly as you hoped it would today, I encourage you to work to change your perspective. Don’t give the enemy any room to steal your joy. It’s so much more fun to live with a smile than to live in a pity party!