Hi Beloved ones!!
It’s Birthday Blowout time!
As you may know, there’s a true “spirit of discontent” that pervades many homes and families, and he–along with lots of other bad spirits such as the spirit of family discord and the spirit of tension–almost always shows up on people’s birthdays and on holidays–and especially when lots of family are gathering, and you’ll know he’s there because all of a sudden there will be a huge family blowout of some sort, complete with shouting, name-calling, hurt feelings, door-slamming, and tears.
We’ve all met these bad spirits, I’m sure, and now that my own birthday is approaching, I’d like to offer a solution to this problem.
First, for the birthday guy or gal, please wake up on your birthday morning and think, wow, this is my birthday, I’m going to get everything I want, I’m going to get to do everything I want, and on this one day, everyone else is going to treat me perfectly, and my life is going to be simply perfect . . . um . . . NOT!
Instead, I’d like to offer that the special grace you feel about you on your birthday morning is actually the Holy Spirit’s way of asking you to THANK GOD THAT YOU WERE BORN and that He has given you life to this point so that you can someday be in heaven forever with Him and your other loved ones who are there with you. So first, please tell God that you are so grateful for the people He’s placed in your life, for the gifts of home, family, work, and countless other gifts. Tell Him that you would like to do more for Him and others, tell him you’re sorry you haven’t done more but that you’re asking Him to help you. The other thing that the Holy Spirit is asking of you on your birthday is to DO THINGS FOR OTHERS–either to physically help others in some way or to emotionally help them by telling them how much you love them, how happy you are that they’re in your life, what traits they have that make you happiest, how much you think about them and wonder how they are, how much else you would like to do for them if you could. Literally go through each and every member of your family (even the ones you’re not speaking to!) and personally tell them that because it’s your birthday, you want to share this gift of thankfulness with them. And THAT is the blessing of your birthday–in other words, the spotlight is definitely on you, but NOT for selfishness like what do I deserve today and what am I not receiving. The spotlight is on you for SELF-LESS-NESS, meaning goodness and generosity to others, like what don’t I deserve but have anyway, what am I receiving, what do I take for granted. And that’s it!
Oh, and did you get a gift or two, a love note, a phone call? How wonderful!! It’s all an extra blessing, but that’s what it is-extra. Not necessary, not expected. Why? Because you already have your gift, which isGRATITUDE TO GOD.
Next, for the family of the birthday guy or gal, please wake up that morning and think, wow, it’s their birthday, I’m going to smile and say happy birthday, I LOVE YOU!!! first thing. I’m going to write something down on a piece of paper as simple as loose-leaf or as fancy as a store-bought card, and I’m going to WRITE DOWN ON PAPER at least two special traits of the birthday guy or gal that mean a lot to me. Then I’m going to give that piece of paper to my loved one, in person if possible. Finally, I’m going to DO one thing that is simple but unusual for that person, such as bake them a cake, give them a small gift, do some work for them, take them somewhere, watch a movie with them–the possibilities are endless–but they need to be something simple and easy to do ON THAT DAY.
Now, all of this counts also for holidays and any type of family gathering, and especially when tensions are running high, and you can adjust the details to fit. The bottom line, though, is that when we have these special days, if we place our focus on what we know we have rather than on what we think we deserve, everything can change!
In conclusion, here’s a quick idea for some family fun and a way to begin any true celebration of love: It’s called the LOVE, RESPECT, AND GRATITUDE GAME. You’ll need a caller, a timer, some paper, and your family members. Simply give each family member a piece of paper that lists every family member’s name with another family member–jag the list so that every member pairs with every other member one time for the first member, and one time for the second member. Then set the timer for 3 minutes. The caller calls out Start. At that point, each member goes to the first member on the list and tells him or her one thing that is especially good about that person or why they’re thankful for that person. When the three minutes is up, the caller calls out Next and everyone moves to the next person on the list, and so forth till everyone has met with everyone else at least TWO times–once for the spotlight to be on the one person, and once for the spotlight to be on the other person. Then practice, play, and REPEAT . . . forever and ever.
And enjoy your birthday!!