Reagan mentioned to one of our friends at church the other day that I had a birthday coming up. This friend then asked me, “Is it a ‘significant’ birthday?” I told her not necessarily….I would be turning 33…but aren’t all birthdays significant?

And I guess they are. Just the sheer fact that we’ve lived another year is something to celebrate. And I’ve had a wonderful day today and opened some beautiful gifts, but I want to tell you what I really cherish.

Opening my eyes each morning and knowing that my husband and daughter are safely near.

Hearing my mom, dad, or sister’s voice on the other end of the phone.

My husband’s arms around me and the sound of his laugh in my ears.

The company of friends.

A church family and a faith that is continually growing, stretching, failing, and being reborn again.

A body that doesn’t always cooperate but tends to treat me as good as I treat it and learning to treat it better.

Music, books, art, nature – the things that give life color and passion.

Words and the ability to express myself through them.

New opportunities and the freedom in letting go of things that are no longer beneficial.

Forgiveness – granting it and having it granted to me.

Hope. And that’s a big one. I love that my birthday falls so near Easter and springtime because hope is something that I have learned I can’t live without. There have been many times in the last few months that I have felt hopeless about different situations in my life. But something inside me, wayyyyy down deep, has held fast to hope and today, on my birthday, I am thankful. I am thankful that hope abides eternally within, and for all the blessings of my years up to now.