Friday, February 24, 2017

Make Your Birthday Fun

Yesterday was my birthday.

Early in our marriage, Murray taught me a great lesson. He tells people he meets on February 11, “It’s my birthday today.”

Why not? Most people smile and tell him happy birthday. It makes him feel good and adds to his special day.

For a week or so, I’ve been reminding my family of this. I don’t want them to miss out on the joy of making me happy.

On Sunday I told Benjamin, “Don’t forget, my birthday is Thursday.”

He was home for the President’s Day weekend, so he said, “I know. I thought I’d take you out to eat tomorrow.” We decided to go out for ice cream. Yummy!

What an excellent example he set for the rest of the family.

My friend Laura asked me on Sunday if I’d like to have our lady’s Bible study on Thursday. I told her sure. “But it’s my birthday Thursday, so you guys will have to sing happy birthday to me.”

God bless them—they did. And they brought me a cake. And presents.

I called my mom early yesterday so she could have the privilege of blessing me. She knows me. She said she almost answered the phone by saying “Happy Birthday,” but decided not to take the chance.

For Valentine’s Day I made Murray a chocolate bar in one of the molds we have with braille messages. I had enough chocolate for two bars, so I made a happy birthday one for myself. I took it out early yesterday morning and offered some to everybody as they came downstairs.

So I told everybody I could yesterday, “Have a good day for my birthday.”

I received sweet and funny cards, calls, emails, lots of Facebook messages.

The verse of the day from

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17

So much fun!

Murray and the kids were very good to me. Rebecca and Ping-Hwei sent me texts. Caleb called. Sarah sang to me first thing in the morning.

We had Five Guys burgers and rocky road ice cream for dinner, just like I asked. I should point out that they are always good to me, even without me asking.

They gave me many fun gifts, quite a few edible. My favorite?

Ping-Hwei gave me two rolls of wrapping paper to use to wrap presents for other people’s birthdays.

Guess whose birthday is next in our house? He is a smart young man.

Here’s a good reason for spreading the news of your birthday. I was a lot nicer to everybody else yesterday, too, since I was having a good day.

One day a year (why not?) make it all about you. Be sure to tell me when it’s your birthday. I’ll definitely give you happy wishes.

Another good lesson. A couple years ago, we were with our daughter Rebecca right around her birthday. We needed to make a decision about something, and she said, “It’s my birthday week. It’s my choice.”

So, even though my birthday was yesterday, if anybody wants to send me happy wishes still…

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fresh Start

I want to start writing again. I’ve been struggling with what to write.

A devotional? I recently had the opportunity to help with a book of devotions that will be published soon, and it triggered a desire in me to try to write more of those.

Something about the family? About Valentine’s Day? I live with such a fun group of people. Holidays are always interesting.

Look through our letters and memories about the kids, or pieces of my old writing, and put something together from there?

All Good ideas.

I decided just to write about my struggle with writing.

I wrote a lot as a teenager; I even had a few stories and poems published.

Then for over thirty years, I wrote very little. I was in school, worked, had a family. Good excuses? Maybe not, but thirty-some years went by anyway.

After my accident in 2012, I decided I had the perfect opportunity to start writing again.

I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, an on-line group with classes, critique groups, much more. What a blessing that has been. I feel like I’ve learned so much about writing better, and I hope to continue learning.

I wrote more short stories, some magazine articles, blog posts, five novellas and a children’s Christmas story.

All of a sudden last fall, I felt like I ran into a brick wall every time I tried to write. I had a hard time coming up with new ideas. I had an idea, and it fizzled.

Why did I think the stories I’d written were any good anyway? I lost the energy, the drive, to push myself to work at this whole writing business.

I told Murray I didn’t think I could write anymore. He was very sweet. He said he didn’t believe that. He said maybe I couldn’t right now, but that didn’t mean I never could again.

That gave me hope.

I’m still struggling. But I think about writing all the time. I think of myself as a writer.

When I read, I note the author’s skill and technique. Things that happen around me, conversations I hear, I imagine how I would put in a story.

If this desire, this skill, is a gift that God has given me, then I need to nourish it.

Lord, give me wisdom. Encourage me to work. Remind me to seek your will.