Today is my 29th birthday!
I have to say the late twenty-something years have really been great. I will share a “secret” with you… my birthday wish while blowing out candles for as long as I can remember has always been “I wish for a beautiful happy family and a wonderful life ahead of me”. Through the years it became a prayer, and it really wasn’t just on birthdays. This has been the desire of my heart that I have consistently asked God for for so long, and I was lying awake last night thinking,” I need a new birthday wish because God has so amazingly answered my prayer”. I remember so many years of so many fears that I would never get married, or I would get married but I wouldn’t be happy. I feared we wouldn’t be able to have children or that some vague “bad thing” would just pervade my future. In reality, it’s just been a deep down sinful anxiety doubting God would be good and do good in my life. But here I am, with an amazing gift of a husband that I love more and more every day, a super awesome cat that is our sweetest companion, and an adorable baby that is just too cute on the way (even in the black and white ultrasound, our baby is so cute, for real). We live in honestly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen-the skyline at night, the blossoms in spring, the lakes in the summer, the snow covered hills of winter-I just constantly have to catch my breath as I drive through our city. I have a great job, a super loving and supportive family and some of the best friends I could have ever asked for.
Now if you were to zoom in with your macro lens of life, you’d also see plenty of sorrow. Marriage hasn’t always been easy and family hasn’t always been happy. We have debts to pay and stubborn sins to fight daily. Some of my family and friends are not Christians and some nights my heart is so heavy all I can do is cry. I have prayed “Lord, change their hearts. Show them Yourself, show them Your truth” over and over for years, but God’s timing is not mine, and I am waiting. I have health and fitness goals yet to be met, life goals yet to be accomplished and there are still days where I just feel I cannot get it together for some reason or another.
However, in the big picture, all these things tend to fade away and I really see and live “a beautiful happy family with (God-willingly) a wonderful life ahead of me.” So what to pray now?
“More. More Grace, More Joy, More of You, Lord.”
Pastor John once shared the analogy of asking for seconds…as in when I attempt a new recipe and my husband not only tells me he loves it but asks me if he can have more. This makes me super happy. (see sweet and sour chicken for one of our new favorite dinners we just discovered last week. Lots of requests for seconds and fighting for leftovers!!) The compliment of the meal is one thing, but asking for seconds not only verifies the authenticity of the compliment but doubles my joy. On an even greater scale, when God blesses us and we ask for more blessings, it affirms who we believe God to be –generous, a joyful giver, unlimited in resources and simply GOOD. God is GOOD (Matthew 7:7-11). My husband can only ask me for more sweet and sour chicken so many times until it will be gone, I will have none left. If you ask a restaurant for more food they will also ask you for more money. If you ask a clothing store for more food they don’t have it at all and they never had it. But God never runs out of good things for us (Eph. 3:20), He never asks us to pay for it (because Jesus already has, Romans 5:6-9) and these gifts are part of who He is and He is the one who created them (Romans 11:35-36), so we are asking from the right Source. So asking God for more is one of the most God-glorifying, Christ-exalting prayers I can pray. And as John Piper would say “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
And that’s all that I know to ask for this year. God has been SO good, and SO gracious, and SO kind and brings me *so much deep down heart-fulfilling joy*, all I can do is come gratefully and boldly before the throne and pray/wish “More Grace, Lord!” Or as the Psalmist would say
“What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits to me? I will take up the cup of salvation and call upon the Lord.”
I find I am “drinking from my saucer ‘cause my cup has overflowed.” And to all of you who are part of what fills my cup, you truly do bless my life and today and always know that God gives me such joy in and through you. Cheers to 29!