So yesterday was a big day for me - my 29th birthday!  I have always enjoyed my birthday - in a house with 3 girls, one single day where we had to do exactly what I wanted with no compromise was rare and perfect.  Now as I am getting older, people like to joke with me that I am getting old - gray hair, close to the big 3-0, etc.  I know some women who stop celebrating their birthdays because it means you are getting older, but I don't think that will be me.  I am pretty sure that won't be me.  I love birthdays - come on people, an excuse to get presents and eat cake?!  How can you go wrong with that?

On the more serious side - birthdays are excellent time markers.  They allow you to stop and take measure of the life you have lived in the past year.  Are you where you wanted to be? Are you the person you thought or hoped you would be?

Last year for my birthday, I made a list of all the things I wanted to do in the coming year.  And I really didn't even look at the list after I made it until just now for a refresher.  The only things I accomplished on the list were the some of the superficial things - like planting flowers for our balcony or getting a tan.  I want this year to be much different - perhaps not quite so superficial but a little more meaningful.  They say wisdom comes with age - knowledge you may have at quite a young age but wisdom is knowing what to do with knowledge.  I may not have all the answers, but I am becoming more aware of who I am, what I want,  and what needs to change.

First and foremost I want my life to honor God - everything comes through that filter.  I want to live a life of integrity where my actions line up with my beliefs (thanks to John for that one).

Second, I want to love.  His mercies and love for me are new everyday; therefore, the love and mercies I extend should be also.

Third, I want to be a better steward of the gifts and abilities I have been given.

Finally, days are gifts - precious gifts from God that we are not promised.  I believe that rates a celebration unlike any other.

I must say, "thank you so very much" to all of you who wished me a "Happy Birthday" yesterday.  To complete this I will leave you with a few pics of birthdays past.

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