My birthday was this week, so I’ve been a bit introspective. I use the word “bit” because in this post menopausal ADD season, a bit is obviously all I can handle. My mental life inventory is going like this, “Hey, I was thinking about something important a second ago! What was that?”

As Meghan (at age 3) would say , “Oh no, I forgot to be member!”

For the young women who might read this, don’t laugh. You WILL be here some day!

Sometimes I don’t know why I bother reflecting on my past year. My conclusions and resolutions are always about the same 2 things.

Losing weight and being more patient.

As for the weight issue, I can relate to Erma Bombeck when she wrote, “Over the past 2 decades I’ve lost 789 pounds, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.”

I have a few theories about my weight gain.

1. EVERY thing in my life causes it. Sleep deprivation, eating, stress, eating, my husband, eating, my children, eating, rocky road ice cream …you get the picture. (Just so you know-3 of these have been medical proven to cause weight gain)

2. No matter why you go to the doctor the answer is the same-“We see more of ____________  in people who are overweight.” I swear I could have an infected hang nail and that would be the answer.

3. It’s not my fault. Wait, that’s one of my delusions not theories.

My second resolution always involves my lack of patience. My huge lack of patience. I have some theories about that also, but like the ones about my weight gain, they are just excuses.

I want to be like Henri Nouwen, and not just because he was a thin person. Henri Nouwen lived the last decade of his life in a community called Daybreak which served severely disabled people. It would be more accurate to say that Daybreak was a place where people lived in community and some of those people had disabilities. Nouwen cared for a young man named Adam who had severe physical and cognitive disabilities. Phillip Yancey writes of a visit with Nouwen about his care of Adam.

“The time he spent caring for Adam had become an indispensable time of meditation.”

That what I want. I want my care for Nani to be an indispensable time of meditation. Sometimes it is, maybe I should say rarely, and I am refreshed, peaceful, quieted, overwhelmed by the privilege.

Nouwen talks about his time at Daybreak as the event of true love God placed before him. Nani is my event of true love. Her daily care acts as mirror that allows me to see into my heart. More often than not, I don’t like what I see there. Ugly impatience, resentment, selfishness, and entitlement to name a few.

But when I intentionally choose to serve her and serve her well, willing to be present in each moment of each mundane task, then I am aware that this life God has given me is full of a thousand daily graces. And it is well with my soul.

One Comment on “Birthdays

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