Tuesday, January 12, 2010

38 Years

In my head I am still 25 years old, but the calendar tells me differently, because today I turn 38 years old!

The funny thing is, the last few birthdays that I've had, I seriously thought that I was already the age that I was about to turn! So, on the day of my birthday, I haven't feel badly about the age I am, because I already thought that I was that age anyway!

I like to take a few moments on each of my birthdays to reflect on my past year and life in general. I started doing this yesterday and found myself very emotional. When I think back on my last year, I feel kind of sad, because what do I really have to show for it? In my head, not much.

Sure, I lead a very busy life having 4 children and a husband to care for, but is that really enough to show for myself? I mean, it is quite a feat that they are all actually alive, well and thriving today, because there have been many days this past year that I have felt like strangling their necks! So, I suppose this is a lot to show for myself, since I curbed my desires and allowed them to live, right?! And, I'm only half joking when I say this!

You should have seen my morning today. I often tell Joel that we could make a ton of money if we were on a reality t.v. show, because our family would be very entertaining to most people! And yet, it's not so entertaining to me!

Yesterday the boys asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I told them that all I wanted was some peace. I wanted them to do what they were told right away, try not to be so goofy all day, get along with each other, and just show some love. I didn't think that this was asking for too much.

Well, this morning brought about the same old chaos that ensues every single school day! I even reminded them what I wanted for my birthday, but do you think that did any good? NOPE! Actually, there were only 2 culprits this morning; Nolan and Caleb. They are usually the issue and they made sure to start my day off the same way that they always do!

They are always EXTREMELY slow each morning and they always goof off and waste lots of time. Plus, they have to add many "Stop looking at me's!", or "Why do you always have to do that's?!" And, today they decided to argue over who's lunch bag was bigger, for crying out loud! And, when these 2 argue, they are loud and angry, so Happy Birthday to me!

I try to control these boys, but they are very strong willed and every morning I drop them off at school feeling defeated and sad because very few words out of my mouth were pleasant words. Plus, I am usually giving them a speech on the way to school.

Today's speech went something like this:

"This has to stop! There is no reason to act the way that you do every morning! You guys are nice to others outside our house, so why can't you treat each other the same way?! It makes me sad to see such hatred between you two! If it makes me this sad, how do you think God feels looking down on you? He has given us SO MUCH and this is the way you repay Him?! I can only imagine how sad it would be for God to have to look down on all of us humans each day and see how dumb we act each day! He must feel very sad, having cared for us and loved us and then seeing so much hatred in the world! We are all sinners, but we should try very hard each day to be kind to one another and loving and less selfish. Don't you think? I love you guys and it makes me sad to see you behaving this way. We have a lot to be thankful for, so please start showing your thankfulness more often, O.K.?!"

Then we arrive at school and I say, "Have a great day! I'll see you after school. I love you!" We only live about 5 minutes from school, but I'm sure that they feel it's a long way to school each day! :) But, while I have them captive, I need to use the time to set them straight each day!

So, the fact that my family is alive and well is a huge accomplishment at the end of each year!

Actually, I have to share the good too!

1. Lastnight Joel came home from work with flowers for me for my "birthday eve" and bagels for the boys and I to eat for breakfast today. Thanks Joel! This was very thoughtful of you!

2. Jacob studied really well and hard for his test today, with very minimal complaining! Keep it up Jacob!

3. A dear friend brought over a cake for me. The boys wondered why she did this and I told them that "Women have to look out for other women in their lives, because we know that most of the time, the men in our lives don't do special things for us on our special days." After hearing this, Nolan (our sensitive one) brought his brother down stairs to make cards for me for my b-day! This seriously touched my heart, because I try really hard to make birthdays special for all the members of our family(including the dog!), and most of my birthdays seem to just pass right by because I'm the one that does all the birthday planning in our family, so knowing that my boys made cards for me, without being asked, is a REALLY special thing! I don't really care if I get anything for my birthday, but it is nice to be remembered, right?! Plus, I do try to instill respect and giving for people and especially wives and mothers, in our children. This way they will hopefully be great husbands one day, because I believe that a "happy wife, makes for a happy life!" And, also, I want grandchildren someday, ya know?! :)

4. And, my aunt sent me a card that read:

"Thinking of you on your birthday and wishing you...A little more joy than you've known so far, more pleasure in being just who you are, a little more peace in your heart all year through...and, God's love shining warmly on you!"

5. I've already received a couple of birthday calls and e-mails this morning wishing me a great day!

6. I went out this weekend with some friends and family for a girl day, and my sister surprised me by coming to town!

7. My mom and I are going for pedicures this afternoon while Gavin and the boys are in school!

What more could I ask for?!

As for looking back on my life:

I was born. I went through many years of schooling and ended up with a nursing degree that benefitted me greatly when Gavin came along! I was born into a wonderful family, that I thank God for each day! I have worked various jobs in my life.(Babysitter, Floral arranger, Retail and Sales, House Cleaner, Nanny, Nurse in a hospital setting, Nurse in a home care setting, and finally Homemaker.) I got married to a wonderful man and birthed 4 wonderful children.(And, they are all still alive! Ha!) I have made lots of friends and lost a few friends. I have went through the divorce of my parents and although it saddens me to this day, I have weathered it fairly well. My mom, my sister and I fought hard to live a great life together, just the 3 of us and we formed a wonderful relationship together...at least I think so! I hate that my parents got divorced, but I gained another mom, sister and another set of grandparents out of it all! And, they have all helped to make me the person that I am today! I have spent months in the hospital with one of my children. I have seen things that no parent should ever have to see their child go through. I have learned MANY, MANY lessons through all of it and met some wonderful people because of it! I have had the priviledge of getting so close to people that I've never even met in person and they have made my life a brighter place! I have felt like I was on the receiving end of angels on earth, by the kindness and giving spirit that has been shown to me and my family in our darkest days! I have seen human goodness in the best possible form. And, most importantly, I have learned that God, TRULY does not give us more than we can bear. It may feel like it at times, but then He sends us people to take some of our burdens from us and who give us what we stand in need of to get through our trials. And, I know that this life is only the beginning for me and that, because I know God, the best is yet to come!

It took 38 years to do and learn all of this! There has been lots of heartache, lots of pain, lots of stress, but it sure has been a WONDERFUL and FULL 38 years!

Thanks to all of you that have touched my life in a very special way! I have been blessed with some wonderful people in my life! And, Thank You God for everything!!! I am very excited about the next few years of my life! Bring it on!

"And this testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." I John 5:11-12


Alicia said...

Happy Birthday, Alicia! I hope today brings sunshine, happiness and love for you!

I love how you can express your frustrations with the men in your life and yet still express how blessed you are by them!

Oh, BTW, I am happy to hear that the botox is actually having some effect. I can't imagine how frustrating it is for you and how painful it can be for Gavin to be so stiff all the time. Praise the Lord for medical technology and advancements!

Have a great day Birthday Girl!

Lacey said...

Happy Happy birthday dear friend. May your day be great!
I can't believe they kept Gavin in the hospital while coming off meds. It took about a month to come completely off, thats crazy!

Anxious AF said...

Happy birthday, to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Alicia, happy birthday to you.The older we get the less anyone sings that to us, so just incase you hadnt been sung to today:)

Jenkins said...

Happy Birthday! Hooray (clapping and whistling) for the birthday girl!

I am pretty sure my conversations/yelling at my boys are the same...but all done with love.

Thank you for sharing your testimony and the hurdles throughout your life.

I am certainly appreciated the peek into your life.

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. Happy, Happy birthday!!! You have truly packed so much into 38 short years. I can only imagine what it must be like parenting four boys, but I know one day you will wake up and say, "gosh I did a good job."

Cammie Heflin said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Heather said...

Happy Birthday Alicia.I hope this day shaped up to be a great one.One filled with a little bit of that peace you so yearned for.You continue to do an amazing job and from an outsiders perspective,you have accomplished amazing things in these 38 years.Be proud of yourself,as I know so many others are in you.Like me.A stranger in many ways but one who has been a recipient of your kindness and support and steadfast prayers during some of our darkest days.And you continue to be.So celebrate,rejoice as the best is truly yet to be!

Amy said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, sister! I love this post of reflection; what a great way to spend your day of YOU. I, for one, wouldn't be who or where I am if it weren't for the 38 years you've been on this Earth. I'm blessed beyond measure for having you as sister and friend. I love you!

xoxo A~