Today is my birthday.  I am 37 years old.  Today I’ve been celebrated so well.  I feel loved, I feel special, I feel irreplaceable and I feel valued.  I am thankful for my family and friends and the blessings I’ve been given: gifts, words, messages, and thoughtfulness.  I woke up and found my 6 year old daughter in the bathroom secretly making me a card before I got up, she was disappointed I spied her, so I let her be.  When she was finished she handed me a stuffie she bought with my husband, that she had wrapped herself this morning, and the birthday card she was working on.  This girl has the gift of encouragement and gave my birthday morning a beautiful uplifting start.  As we sat on the couch she pointed out the roses on the mantel that my husband placed there the night before.  So wonderful!  And then the other 2 kids got up and (eventually;) ) my husband.  I received 2 more stuffies as gifts from my twins and a shirt from my hubby.  My heart was already so full. 
Then I had asked my husband if he would take me to the spa treatment I had booked and then go for a birthday lunch with me.  He chauffeured me.  I was pampered at the spa, (a gift from my sister in law and mother in law) — I kept reminding myself “it’s okay to be pampered, just enjoy it!”.   When I came home, a gift from a friend awaited me. It has felt so good to be loved on today.  Thank you.  (My high birthday expectations have been met!…and I still have a small gathering on Saturday and an extended family celebration on Sunday!)
Here are my contemplations about my birthday.
On my birthday I love to celebrate.  Oh I have always loved birthdays and loved mine.  It saddened me in my mid-20s when my birthday lost a sort of marvel.  Little did I realize, I simply lost sight of the marvel and failed to preserve it. 
I cherish celebrating birthdays – my children’s, my husband’s, mine.  They do not need to be elaborate (though it’s true, I do highly value thoughtfulness)—but in the celebration we acknowledge a praise of thanksgiving to God for another year and the gift that that is.  Oh that gift!  Since cancer entered my life and I became uncertain how many birthdays I have left (though really we are all in this category…) I wear each birthday like a celebration crown.  Oh I beam to add each year a bigger, older number to the celebration.  It is with joy I celebrate getting older.  I am approaching 40 and with each number bigger and closer to 40 I get giddy with excitement: a gift I cannot wait to unwrap.  A gift so precious so treasured, so valuable: LIFE.  Life with all its ups and downs, joys and sadnesses, hopes and failures.  
This beautiful life God has given me.  That is what I celebrate TODAY.  Thank you God for 37 years!  To You be the glory!