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Birthdays

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We celebrated my sister-in-law’s 50th birthday and my brother’s upcoming birthday this weekend.

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Her celebration comes shortly after the Christmas where we celebrated the birth of our savior.

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Last October, we celebrated my dad’s 80th birthday.  That’s a big one!

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Truth be told though, birthdays have always been a bit awkward for me.  Since they are a gift from God, I am learning to embrace them.

How do you and yours celebrate birthdays?

Blessings, Rebecca

Birthday

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This day in 1965, my in-laws welcomed my husband into the world.  Happy Birthday Randy!

Birthdays can be bittersweet in that we celebrate our family and friends’ special day. Yet, for some, it is a somber day of reflection for the loss of a loved one. In our case, we lost a baby in between Austin and Alicia for which I am gently reminded each November.

My husband shares his birth day with my step-mom who is celebrating a very special birthday as she is undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer. I am thankful she is still with us and doing extremely well under the circumstances.

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Our family celebrates birthdays in a variety of ways. Sometimes, we throw parties. Sometimes, we simply share a family dinner. We have fun picking out cute birthday cards and gifts for one another.

How do you celebrate birthdays?

Blessings, Rebecca

The Birthday Wish

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This week, I wanted to share a story with you about a time God blessed my mother’s heart.

Blessings, Rebecca

My five-year-old daughter, Alicia, nudged her tiny face next to mine. “Mom, can you buy me a Barbie RV and Play Kitchen for my birthday, pleazzzeee?”

I gazed into her penetrating blue eyes and ran my fingers through her soft blonde pigtails. “We’ll see Sweetheart.”

A few days later, I drove to the toy store, and wove my way to the Barbie section. Great there’s one RV in stock!  I reached for the box and glared at the price tag. “One hundred and nine dollars!”  I ambled to the Play Kitchen, and scanned the price. “One hundred and ninety nine dollars!” I took a deep breath, and slowly released it.

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As much as I wanted to purchase these items for my daughter, I couldn’t. My high tech management job moved overseas two years earlier, and my husband ran a struggling business. We simply couldn’t afford them.

Alicia didn’t throw tantrums if she didn’t get what she wanted. She often donated outfits and toys to needy children at a clothing exchange program I created, as well as her Dad distribute supplies to local homeless men and women he established. I hoped that if I didn’t get her those gifts, she’d still be fine. I loved my daughter, and wanted to bless her.

Crushed, I lingered in the toy aisle and prayed. “Father, please somehow make a way to fulfill Alicia’s birthday wish, or help me find the words to tell her we can’t afford them right now.”

I meandered to my car and sank into the driver’s seat.

My mind drifted back to our recent family reunion in Oregon and how Alicia enjoyed  playing with her cousin, Audrey.

Alicia squealed, “Look Mom” as she pressed a bright pink Barbie RV steering wheel. It “beeped.”

Audrey summoned Alicia over to her Play Kitchen. “Help me cook something yummy for your momma.”

Alicia jumped up, pulled out the pots and pans, set the table with miniature dishes. Then Alicia draped a white dish towel over her arm and asked, “Ma’am, what would you like to eat?”

I leaned forward, “I’ll take one large cheese pizza, please.”

“One cheese pizza coming up,” she giggled and skipped off.

When I returned home, I received a temporary teaching assignment on my answering machine. I thanked God I had an opportunity to work at my children’s school, yet wasn’t enough to cover the gifts.

One of the teachers, Mrs. Kim, approached me. “Rebecca, do you think Alicia would like a Barbie RV? My daughter has outgrown hers, and I’d like to find a good home for it.”

I fought back my tears, “Absolutely. I wanted to get her one for her birthday but —.”

She placed her hand on my shoulder, “I understand. It’s hers.”

My voice cracked, “Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.”

The following day, she walked me to her car, opened the hatch and handed me a sparkly pink Barbie RV.

“Here you go. I hope she enjoys it.”

“Thank you so much. She’ll be surprised.”

I placed it in my trunk., turned around and she proceeded to hand me a purple box brimming with accessories.

“I thought Alicia could use these as well.”

I grabbed the handle, “I don’t know what to say – Thank you.”

At the end of my shift, I rummaged through the box and it was packed with new and gently used RV gadgets, Barbies and doll clothes. This is awesome!

A day or two later, our family picked up two of Alicia’s friends and headed to the beach for her sixth birthday party.

After a perfect outing, we drove her friends home. Their mother opened her screen door and stepped onto the porch carrying a little girl on her hip.

“Rebecca, I wasn’t able to buy Alicia a present today, because I had to babysit my niece. I’ll run to the store later.”

I brushed her niece’s golden hair, “Don’t worry about it.”

She pointed to the backyard, “do you think she’d  like a Play Kitchen? My girls no longer use it and you’re welcome to have it.”

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I moved towards it, “Yes, she’d love it.” It’s perfect; pink and comes with miniature dishes and food.

 She pivoted, “Does she want a Play Makeup Station too?”

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“Are you kidding? Alicia plays dress-up all the time. Yes, I’ll take it.” This is unbelieveable. The Lord blessed Alicia with a RV, Play Kitchen and Play Makeup Station. Wow!

As I drove home with a truckload full of toys,  my eyes moistened. I whispered, “God, You are so good! Thank You for granting my little girl’s birthday wish, and for answering a mother’s desperate prayer.”

We pulled into our driveway and Alicia crawled onto my lap. I nuzzled my nose next to hers and looked deep into her eyes.

“Sweetie, I believe God  has blessed your faithfulness. He loves you so much!”

She wrapped her arms around me. “I know Mom that Jesus loves us.”

“Happy Birthday Sweetheart!”

Delight yourself in the Lord;

And He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4

Do you have a tender moment you’d like to share with us? I’d love to hear about it!