Thursday, August 9, 2012

My 35th Birthday

Today is my birthday.  35 years old.  I still feel like a pup.  For me, birthdays are like New Year's.   A great place for looking back over the year's blessings, and another great starting place for improving some aspect of my life.  It's easier to keep track of progress.  I'm giving up soda today - trying to decrease my sugar consumption.  I've been hearing (again) about how bad it is for your health.  It's one of the most obvious places for improvement, so I'm going with it.  I'm trying to increase my body's health, but decrease in other ways, so the Lord may increase in me.

The year's highlights include my first silent retreat and joining Regnum Christi, officially.  I have really learned the value of examination of conscience and it helps me live each day with greater focus.  I also had the joy of facilitating a couple of classes at Church and sharing the stuff of life with many beautiful women in the process.  Another thing that jumps out at me is consecrating myself to the Blessed Mother in May.  I haven't done anything differently because of that, but I feel good about putting myself in her hands.  I understand that I will remain there unless I make a conscious choice to remove myself, which I have no plans to do.  A couple of trips to Minnesota and the beach have been great, too.  I love going places and it really doesn't matter where.   

This was also the year for the beginning of this little "ministry" - my blog.  A Soul Laid Bare.  It seems to be helpful and encourage a small few.  Maybe 20-25 people on a regular basis.  My success is not mine to judge.  I know only God can make it fruitful.
The day has been beautiful!  A fruit plate for breakfast from my oldest, a chapel lamp lit (I still don't know who did that!), a Mass said, prayers offered in front of the Blessed Sacrament, cookie dough scented hand sanitizer from the neighbor boy, early morning phone calls from the fam, Facebook wishes out the wazoo (Thank you!), and a few birthday packages besides. 

As I was writing, someone just knocked on the door - It was my neighbor, Ms. Hannah.  She gave me a kente from Ghana (she bought it for me when she visited her homeland last summer!) and a wooden elephant.  Amazing, since we usually just smile and wave across the street to one another.  What a great surprise!!!

We'll eat dinner at home tonight and go out for Spoons later.  Life is good.  It seems like God is blessing me every time I turn around.

Overall, I am learning more and more that I am a small, but important piece of God's plan.  Thomas Merton sums it up well in his prologue of No Man Is An Island:

Only when we see ourselves in our true human context, as members of "one body" we will begin to understand the positive importance not only of the successes but of the failures and accidents in our lives.  My successes are not my own.  The way to them was prepared by others.  The fruit of my labors is not my own:  for I am preparing the way for the achievements of another.  Nor are my failures my own.  They may spring from the failure of another, but they are also compensated for by another's achievement.  Therefore, the meaning of my life is not to be looked for merely in the sum total of my own achievements...It is seen, above all, in my integration in the mystery of Christ...No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

Dear God, Thank you for my life!  Thank you for my parents who cooperated with you to bring me into existence.  Thank you for blessing me beyond all imagination.  Help me to be the woman, wife, mother, and friend that makes You happy and does Your will, no matter what.  I am overflowing with gratitude and love.  Amen.


  1. I love this, Heidi, especially the quote from Thomas Merton. Please keep writing!!! :)

    1. Thank you, Julia! Your encouragement is like "oxygen for the soul."