What I Didn’t Get for My Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. You can probably guess in all my sentimentality I am all about birthdays. Mine or someone else’s. It’s a big deal. I mean, come on, let’s celebrate LIFE. For me, each birthday is a victory over cancer, so it’s huge, and it always will be. You can imagine then, that yesterday was a day of hoopla and celebrating and lots of activity and cake and gifts and partying.


It wasn’t.

I didn’t get hoopla.

I didn’t get breakfast in bed for my birthday.

Instead I got to sit at the table with my three children, reading the Bible and hearing Ash-man pray for our day. I hadn’t done that in 10 days.

I didn’t get people stopping by.

Instead I got over 130 people wish me well on Facebook and a plethora of emails and messages.

I didn’t get electricity. It was out for over two hours in the morning.

Instead I got a gorgeous day of sunshine and sparkling grass still wet from the rains of Monday and porch swinging with my girl soaking it all in.

I didn’t get pictures.

Instead I made mental snapshots of the things most treasured to me.

I didn’t get a day up, out and about doing lots of fun things.

Instead I sat recovering from my surgery and snuggled with my sick Bella watching The Wizard of Oz.

I didn’t get a gift from my husband.

Instead I got what a wished for. Nothing. I asked him to spend no money on me so I could spend our budgeted money on others who need it more than I. He listened and brought me three gorgeous pink-tipped roses that brighten my windowsill and my heart.

I didn’t get any artwork to hang on my walls.

Instead I got a masterpiece created by my children full of tape and glue and toothpicks holding up drawn horses. They spent hours making it. I will spend years enjoying it.

I didn’t get a fancy birthday dinner.

Instead I went to lunch the day after with my sweet friend of 12 years, Sarah, who has spent the last three years never giving up on me or our friendship even when I couldn’t give back to her what she needed.

I didn’t have a party.

Instead I surrounded myself with people I love at our college leadership meeting (and got out of the house for the first time in almost 2 weeks). We left early and I was exhausted and asleep by 9:15, but it was so worth it.

I didn’t have a cake with lots of candles.

Instead I had a warm from the oven brownie with ice cream, chocolate syrup, and one candle to blow out while our leadership team sang raucously (and perhaps a little off key).

I didn’t get a chance to sing and dance with my Bella, worshipping together in the mornings like we do.

Instead I got to sit with friends at our meeting while my Brian played guitar and we all sang at the top of our lungs of God’s great love and mercy and grace.

I didn’t get a fancy card or gift from my parents.

Instead I got a simple note handwritten by my mother telling me of their love and two weeks of time spent with them while they cared for my family and me leaving her unable to even get out and shop for me like she wanted.

I didn’t see any of my closest friends.

Instead I heard their voices through phone calls and videos and I felt their love in my heart all day.

I didn’t get a day full of festivities.

Instead I got a day full of perspective.

I am here. I am with those I love. I am loved in return.

I didn’t get everything I might have wanted.

Instead I got the opportunity to be thankful in all things.

I didn’t get a raucous day full of hoopla.

Instead I got a day full of quiet joy.

I didn’t get the day one might dream of for their birthday.

Instead I got the perfect day.

4 responses to “What I Didn’t Get for My Birthday”

  1. Happy Happy Birthday Angie!!! Sounds like a perfect day to me too. You are in my prayers and hope for a speedy recovery.


  2. judieyoung@hotmail.com Avatar

    My precious Angie,

    Happy Birthday!! I thank God for letting you by in my life. You are very special to me.

    May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing that you may dwell in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Grace to you,


  3. It sounds like my kind of birthday. Glad it was so perfect!!!

    Happy belated birthday!!!


  4. Your perspective is always an encouragement and inspiration to me!

    Praying that perhaps the blessings of your birthday are extending even into today!

    Continuing to be grateful for YOU!


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