Celebrate Your Birthdays with God

Longtime Daily Guideposts writer shares a birthday tradition that deepens her faith.

By Carol Kuykendall, Boulder, Colorado

WEB EXCLUSIVE

“Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain…”—I Chronicles 4:10 (NIV)

This year, my birthday fell on a regular workday, so I took the day off, just as I’ve done for the last several years. “Why?” asked a co-worker who is many years younger. “When you become an adult, isn’t your birthday just like any other day?”

“Actually, I have this thing about birthdays,” I told her. “I see them as God’s gift of a once-a-year day to celebrate the person He’s created each of us to be, and an opportunity to pause and consider where we are in the process of becoming that person.”

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She rolled her eyes, so I continued to defend my birthday theory. “It’s a day when you’re supposed to have a private birthday party with God.”

“How?” she asked.

“I like to find a nice quiet place outside. Sometimes it’s at the table on our back patio, or on top of a rock by a stream in the mountains, or on a bench in the shade at a nearby park. I take a notebook and my Bible. I read and reflect back and look forward and talk to God and listen to Him, asking Him where we are in my growing-up process. I always end by writing a birthday prayer, filled with ‘thank-you’s’ for past blessings and ‘pleases’ for future ones. Then I tuck the prayer in my journal or Bible so I can read it several times during the year. Later in the day, I like to celebrate with my family and friends.”

She gave me one more roll of her eyes before turning and walking away, as if my birthday tradition sounded a bit odd to her. But when her birthday fell on a regular workday a few weeks later, she took the day off, too.

Father, thank You for my once-a-year birthday and the opportunity to celebrate with You.

This devotional is excerpted from Daily Guideposts.

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I love the way you celebrate your birthday. I love it when my birthday falls on a Sunday. I used to work on a Sunday and it was hard to get off to go to church. God had me working on that so I could encourage the people in the group home to attend the church of their choice. My boss encouraged it also. We would have a special treat at the Sunday meal for the ones that did attend. I don't work there anymore, but 2 of them are in my Sunday School class and one of them is always trying to encourage her friends to attend. I'm on vacation this week and I'm trying to start my day off with the Lord. Trying to get into this habit again of beginning and ending with him not just in prayer, but in reading His word.