Perspectives for a Graceful [and Guilt-free] Birthdayfeatured

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My Over-Analytical Brain

Okay, so I just realized (as the birthday of my youngest is coming up in a few days) that I am beginning to experience some not-so-graceful feelings inside. Let me enlighten you and invite you into my brain.  (Are you sure you’re ready for this??)

I’m feeling a stressful pressure to make sure this birthday is special for my son. We already had his party this past weekend, and I’m feeling twinges of guilt because maybe it wasn’t good enough and I haven’t really planned anything huge for the actual day or spent a lot of money on presents.  I also feel guilty when I think about having to do other things that day besides just celebrating him.

Not to mention, I’m also feeling splinters of fear because I’m afraid that I won’t do enough, and my child will feel that I don’t love him as much as the others… or fear that when I think back on it I’ll feel guilty for not doing as much as other moms do for their kids.

And the funny thing is,  he’s only turning one.

Wow! Intense. Slow down, over-analytical brain. I laugh to myself and realize that my thought process is not at all logical. I am way over-analyzing things and being way over dramatic.

Into His Reality

Now, there is nothing wrong with planning a special day for your kids’ birthday, and I know that. The problems are the negative feelings of stress, guilt, and fear… Those never come from the Lord. Once those feelings are out of the equation, I know I can celebrate with my children the right way. Not out of pressure and fear but out of thankfulness and love.

So, I’m letting the Lord take me out of that false reality and into His reality. Where I am at rest in Him. Where I am enough.

This is not a new struggle for me. It’s an area in which the Lord has been helping me to realize my freedom for the last few years. I didn’t know it was a problem until I got married and had kids.  I guess it begins to surface every time a holiday or birthday rolls around, and each time, God works on me.

He’s helping me see things more clearly.

  • I am who I am by the grace of God, and I don’t have to do things exactly like anyone else!
  • I don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts for my kids to know that I love them.
  • My birthday parties don’t have to cost hundreds of dollars, and I don’t have to decorate or bake or plan creative party games just like the other moms.  I can do it my own way.
  • I don’t even have to do it just like my mom did.

Because I am ME. I am different and unique and special, with unique gifts and talents and personality traits. God made me the way I am and put me on the earth for this time in history, and gave me my kids because He wanted me to mother them, not someone else.

My Strategies for the Upcoming Birthday

In all reality, spending any more money on the actual day is not an option.  Normal chores and responsibilities will have to be taken care of as well. So here are some things I’m going to do on this birthday to intentionally love on my sweet Baby-Love, in my own way.

  1. With all of the kids, look at pictures of the day he was born.  Enjoy stirring up those special memories, and looking back at those special moments.
  2. Put a candle in his breakfast (whatever it may be) and sing the birthday song.
  3. Intentionally thank the Lord for my child throughout the day.
  4. Take him outside to swing and go for a walk around the neighborhood.
  5. Have his two sisters color him birthday pictures during our school time.

As I write this, I am feeling better already–Just taking the time to write this down.  I embrace His grace, take a deep breath, and say, “Bring it on.” 🙂

What are some  meaninful things that you’ve done for your kids’ birthdays that don’t cost a ton of money?  I’d love to hear your ideas and comments below!

About the author

Tasha

Tasha Medellin is a head-over-heels-in-love wife and not-so-perfect mother of three who loves spending time outdoors, curling up with a good book, and simply basking in the riches of God's glorious grace.

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