We celebrated our sweet Selah's first birthday a couple of weeks ago. It was simple and sweet....sweet like my girl.
I didn't know what to write for this post. There are no decorating tips or gift guides I can share, nothing impressive for your party guest...in fact, other than us there were no guests at this little party. We spent the beautiful afternoon playing at fairy tale town, the perfect place for a one year old to practice her walking and stretch her legs. I made her a new little birthday headband to mark the occasion and we ended the day with a home made cake, sprinkles on top and an older brother and sister helping to blow out the candle. In between all of that there was a lot of serenading to our little birthday girl, because if there is one song these kids can nail it's "Happy Birthday". It was a Happy Birthday.
In the past we've done big birthday parties...I'm not sure if we'll do more, but for now, God's put on my heart a more simple approach to life. Stripping away some of the things I may have over valued.
There is often a lot of "noise" out in the world, sometimes we can listen to it and follow it. We have that large, expensive, overdone party that the guest of honor sleeps half way through and a giant stack of presents that truthfully a one year old never knew they needed and quite frankly can't even unwrap! We follow pinterest or the latest book trending amongst our peers, perhaps we follow the noise because it sounds reasonable or because we are convinced it is truth. But we follow the noise, we let it take lead in how we do life, never pausing to ask if any of this reflects the image of God. I'm guilty of this...let me be the first to stand up and raise my hand and say this is my problem and perhaps not yours. Truthfully, I'd like my life to reflect God's image and not the noise, from the small things like a birthday party, to big things like my marriage and attitude. So when you look at me, you have a more clear view of where my heart is.
I've fervently tried to block out a lot of this noise and focus more on God and his "cues". The more I push out the noise, the more clearly I can see God's cues for me. But pushing the noise out alone isn't all, it's replacing it with God's Word, with prayer, with applying all of that to my life. With trying to renew my mind and asking myself, how does this reflect the image of God?
It's a constant effort and a discipline I am working on. But God's word, God's living and life giving word says:
Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Freedom from the unnecessary noise that tries to lead you. Freedom. That Spirit transforms us, from glory to glory, it's not all done at once, it's done from "glory to glory" Never by my own strength but by the one who leads me.
On my heart:
"Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts desires that spring from delusion; And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness." - Ephesians 4:22-24 (AMP)
Friends, Can we strip away our former nature? Can we walk together, renewing our minds, encouraging each other and cheering for one another? Celebrating God's "cues" which is the Lord's Spirit leading us? Celebrating each glory from glory? I know we can....and that's why we are friends!