Friday, July 03, 2009

This Vessel

I've been giving much thought to this birthday post over the past few months. We all know, deep down, that birthdays only mark the passage of time, they don't speed it up or slow it down. But somehow, they always get us contemplating our age and what it means. And these decade birthdays seem to get more attention than others; I guess we like to think it tens? I've been getting comments all year like, "you're turning thirty this year! Is that hard for you to think about?" Or, "The big 3-0 is approaching, how are you feeling about that?" I know these questions are usually asked in sympathy as the asker expects me to be bemoaning my age. But I can say, in all honesty, that I am feeling quite different than one might expect about this thirtieth birthday.
Thirty years ago today, my parents were having one of the most amazing moments of their lives! At 4:17pm on July 3rd, 1979, their 5lb. 13oz. baby girl entered the world, their first born child. As morbid as it may sound, there are so many people who die in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood, I have been touched by so many of these stories, babies who never leave the hospital alive, etc... So to complain about getting older is to complain about the precious days God has allowed me to live on this earth, each of which is such a gift!
This vessel has served me well, friends, I cannot complain. And that is what my aging body is, yes? A vessel, a vehicle my soul gets to ride in through this journey of life. Don't get me wrong, I have my moments of vanity, wishing my skin looked like it did when I was 18, wishing the skin on my stomach had a little more elasticity to pull itself back together after three babies stretched it halfway around the world and back. But alas, I have stretch marks and moles, and the beginnings of fine lines on my face. Shhh! don't tell anyone, but I even found my first "age spot"! But I'm not going to get stuck on this laundry list of pettiness, NO! I am so blessed!
For thirty years, I have watched the seasons change, seen the glory of sunsets and even a few magical sunrises. I have anticipated warm holiday times with family and friends, laughed until I cried, cried until I laughed, sometimes cried until all my tears were completely dried up. I have been in love, and then learned what real love is, the kind you choose. I have carried life within my womb, something so miraculous and wonderful, I just can't find words for it! I know what it is to be "Mommy", I know what it is to be "Sweetheart, Baby, Wife". I have mourned and rejoiced, had times of excitement and times of quiet "normalcy". I have known the joy of becoming more mature, of being able to look back at where I was and see the amazing growth and fruit God has worked out in me. With each new sentence I write, my smile grows bigger! The whole package of my life, the blessings and hardships, ALL of it has been such a gift! And what has been the greatest gift of my life? Jesus Christ! It is because of His death on a cross and Resurrection that I have the promise of eternity with my God, it is because of Him that I can call Him "my God". And this eternity does not just begin when I die, He has given me abundant life NOW, joy that overpowers circumstances, peace that washes my soul even in life's greatest storms, hope and purpose and love beyond measure!
I am thankful, bursting with thanks really for the gift that is my life! I will leave you with these verses of promise and hope as I celebrate thirty wonderful years on this earth. Thank you Lord for this vessel!

Philippians 1:21
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Romans 8:11
"And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you."

Philippians 4:12-13

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."



Janene said...

What a great post.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

The Robinson Family said...

Happy Birthday! What a well-written post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Praise God for 30 years of life! Love, the Robinsons.

Amy... said...

A great expression of you life! Much love to you on your birthday!!

Katie said...

Turning 30 is such a huge milestone. I love that you are embracing it!! What do we have to complain about really? Nothing! Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day... even with Sawyer sick =(

Summers Family said...

What a great post! 30 was great for me too. I hope you have a wonderful day, week, month and year.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday big Seeder! Great outlook on getting older. It really is a blessing to age. Can't wait to celebrate with you next weekend. After all, you are thirty, flirty and thriving. ; )

Maryann said...

What true and lovely sentiments!!
Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

MamaVigil said...

Happy Birthday! Great Post!

Beka said...

Happy, happy birthday to you, dear friend! Thank you for these precious thoughts-- this post ministered to me in a special way, as I also am about to turn 30 next month.

Lots of love!

Sheri said...

Ah, happy birthday Sarah! Love your "This Vessel" thoughts and scripture. Amen! Birthday hugs too!