Oh, to be 1 year old.
A cake all to yourself.
And you can eat it with your fingers.
Get it all over your cute outfit.
Everyone thinks it’s cute.
We recently went to a 1st birthday that really made me stop and think.
Most babies find the “Happy Birthday” song rather intimidating.
A stick on fire coming at you.
Big people singing loudly.
Everyone is staring at you.
(Put this way our tradition is slightly terrifying.)
But not this sister-girl!
She was in her high chair when we started singing and was sporting her birthday hat. As soon as the song started she lit up. If she was big enough it would have been like she was saying, “For me?” I am not sure I will ever forget the look of pure delight on her face.
She did not stop there. The entire time we sang she scanned the crowd from one side to the other, looking all around. Still smiling. Then, as mom started to bring her little cake to her she opened her hands like she was going to receive it.
Oh to be just like that.
As we lovingly make space for others it is also worthwhile to consider how we receive it when space is made for us. Do we light up and rejoice when we are celebrated?
As Anne Marie (the 1 year old) beamed with excitement it made the song even more special for us to sing. We were happy because she was happy.
Think about this in light of our good Father.
He loves to lavish His love on us and He has wonderful gifts for us. Do we even unwrap them? Are we embarrassed about having been given such extravagant gifts that we feel like we really should apologize.
Or do we open up our arms and gratefully receive them? Do we look around in amazement and joy as we see what has been done on our behalf?
I have some questions to consider:
Is it easy or hard to receive love and attention?
If it is hard, does your reception change based on the size of the crowd?
How do you do receiving love from God?
Would you say you feel loved? Appreciated?
What is the biggest barrier or obstacle to receiving love?
If you have struggles in this area I challenge you to see this as an invitation. You have a heavenly Father who loves you dearly. He delights over you. If you have had a barrier to receiving that love, today is the perfect day to ask Him to begin to show you how much He loves you. Ask Him to give you eyes to see Him as He works around you and in you.
As my 45th birthday approaches this week I am challenging myself. I am going to receive well this birthday and from now on. I want to be delighted and receptive whenever anyone wants to bless me. (That sounds silly unless you understand…)
May I forever be a person who loves to be loved as well as one who loves to love.
That’s a lot of lovin’.
So be it.