Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reflections on a happy birthday

Reflections on a happy birthday. 

The computer has a virus, which means I'm composing this on my phone, which means I'm using a finger, so I need to keep it concise. Good luck with that. 

I began looking forward to this day when I volunteered to do special music at worship, truly as a gift back to God on my birthday. I immediately learned it wouldn't go as planned, but as the week progressed, I was grateful to be able to have a part in God's greater ministry. You will never convince me that I am a good singer, but God through my family and friends has convinced me that He wants me to use the voice I have to praise Him. I am humbled and blessed to do so. 

When I realized I would be singing at early church on the weekend of the clock springing forward for daylight saving time, I panicked. And then I decided to trust God. And for the first time ever, I set the clock ahead, went to bed based on the new time and awoke rested. One of the Scriptures for my Jesus Calling devotional today was 2 Corinthians 5:7 -- for we walk by faith, not by sight. The devotional reminded me to trust God and not to limit myself by what I think I have time or energy or enough rest to do. But I also saw that if I ask Him to help me, I just might actually be able to have a full, restful night and awaken refreshed. It still seems like a minor miracle. 

Despite plenty of sleep and a good plan for the morning, I still was late for early church. I could blame it on the rain or the distraction of birthday greetings, but the truth is running late is just something I do. 

As I prepared to sing at church on my birthday, I thought of two very special Sundays for me last year.  I sang His Eye Is on the Sparrow last March 20 on my Dad's birthday, and I sang Blessed Assurance Sept. 18 on Mom and Dad's anniversary, both at their church. Singing may seem like a public thing, but it also is a very personal, heartfelt communication for me. 

That made me think of and thank God again for the great cloud of witnesses that influences me from heaven and on earth. Jesus Calling is a daily devotional I bought for myself after Mom mentioned a copy was given to her around the time of Daddy's death. As I center myself for prayer, I remind myself to breathe in deeply through my nose and exhale through my mouth -- something I picked up in Dad's therapy related to lung surgery. The focused breathing is calming and makes me smile to think of him. And the Bible I read the Scriptures from belonged to my husband's Dad. And he had underlined some passages on the page I read from today. 

I thank God for so many gifts, today and always. May I use them to His glory. 

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