#43 (or 15,695 days)

doggie birthday

Today is the big day. I am a year older. Hopefully, I am a year better, a year more mature, perhaps, a year the wiser. Time will only tell, but that is what I am hoping for. Today I am remembering, relaxing and resetting the year. It’s gonna be a good day.

By the end of the day I will have eaten lunch with a beautiful woman, watched my son march in a big TX band, dropped my daughter off for Pinocchio practice, and watch son number 2 head off with friends to do teenager things. I’ll open a few cards, respond to a few texts, read a bunch of Facebook “Happy Birthdays” and think about how lucky I am that people like/love me.

It is raining in Houston today. It’s a real gully washer. And I love it. I walked my dog in the rain. I am thinking about singing in the rain. If you come over we can even play some football in the rain. Rain on my birthday is no problem. Rain washes away the dirt and brings moisture to the dry grass and terrain. Rain is both for cleaning and refreshment which is kind of like how God wants to work in my life. And I love that too.

At the end of the day I will be 43 and 1 day. Then tomorrow will start day 2 and so on. Before long I will do it all over again and celebrate 44. I bet that day will be good too and I can’t wait for it although I probably should try to slow down the calendar a bit. Time is passing quickly these days. Yesterday, I attended Trevecca as a handsome freshmen and the day before that I was playing for team Coca Cola in the Summit Dixie Youth League. Where has time gone?

God, help me to see today for what it is. One of many that you have given me to enjoy. One of many that you have presented to me to use up and be used up for. One of many that you have accompanied me in moments of great sin and shame as well as moments of grace and redemption. We’ve had some tough days, but most of our days have been pretty remarkable. You have constantly faithful and true in every one of them. I have needed you and you were there.

Thanks God. I don’t say it enough, but thank you. My life is not perfect, but it is the one you gave me. It is not glamorous or prestigious, but fame and power is not (should not be) my goal. Thank you for giving me a special day to remember the prayers of parents who got me here and the pain of raising a boy like me. Thanks for giving me a special day to remember the friends who forgave much as I worked hard to grow up and get over myself. Thanks for giving me a wife who I enjoy so much and children who help remind me that “I’m not so big or important” after all. Thanks for about a million other memories and friends that give meaning to my life and make this day extra special.

Thanks. Let’s do it again next year. I’ll be right here waiting and you will be right here too. Let’s make this my best year ever. It is up to us. No one decides how I feel about it, but me. No one determines how I use my time, energy, emotions, talents except for me. No one chooses tomorrow for Donnie B except for me. Of course you will help me all along the way and just I hope that I remember to say thanks again before we get to #44.

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful. The Lord protects the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I kept my faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”; I said in my consternation, “Everyone is a liar.” What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones. O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 116:5-19)