It's My Birthday, I Can Cry If I Want To

Growing up my mom always went to great lengths to ensure that our birthdays were our special day. When we were really young, we got to sit in the front seat all day. Which, if you are one of four children, is a big deal. We also were given a free pass on all chores, as well as our favorite meal for dinner. If our birthday fell on a school day, my mom would bring us lunch from McDonald's. Birthdays were a big deal in my house. As I've gotten older, February 5th has felt less and less like my birthday. My husband and my family still make me feel like a queen on that day, but as an adult I now have responsibilities that don't go away just because it's my birthday.

My brother commented on his birthday this year that as a parent he now has to remember that he can't push all responsibilities aside just because it's his birthday. His son still needs his diaper changed. His wife still needs help with the kids. And he is still the provider of his family.

The same is true for me. My husband needs me as his helper and friend just as much on February 5th as he does on February 4th and 6th (and every other day). My church still needs me as a faithful member. My friends still need me as an engaged friend. And I have responsibilities that don't end just because of my birthday.

Maybe other people don't struggle with the responsibilities of adulthood on their birthday like I do. But God had to work a ton in my heart these last few weeks to remind me that part of growing older is maturing and growing in selflessness. If the pinnacle of Christian maturity is being like our Savior, Jesus, then that means that my desires should be less and less about me and my own comfort and more about the people around me. Of course, this doesn't mean that my birthday can't be special. It just might mean that, for me, I don't get to be a baby when I don't get everything I want on my birthday.

While my mom did work hard to make our birthday special, she never allowed us to pout or cry when we didn't get the presents we wanted. As an adult, now that time and rest are the presents I want the same principle rings true. February 5th might be my birthday, but I don't have the license to cry and pout if I want to.