Birthdays are a time to STOP!

Yesterday our chocolate-eyed Hannah Banana turned four.

We did our simple birthday traditions. I hung up the shiny “Happy Birthday” sign in the kitchen. Hannah got to choose the birthday breakfast between waffles and pancakes (she choose waffles). She selected her cake mix and ready-made frosting at the grocery store, because I AM BETTY CROCKER. Then she proudly made her cake and iced it while consuming at least 1/8 of the tub.

Like other mothers, I get emotional at every birthday. Birthdays, like holidays, make us STOP in life and reflect on the important things in life. But there is a different sentence I say on every child’s birthday, because of an experience I had early on.

After Samson was born, we were thrilled to get pregnant again. But at a 10-week sonogram, we saw a still baby resting at the bottom of my womb with no heartbeat. Three weeks later, I miscarried. After we waited the slow months for my body to heal, I wanted more than anything to get pregnant again. I wanted to stifle the hurt and loss with the joy of another baby.

But we didn’t get pregnant and month after month, I cried out to God with the same prayer, “You give and take away, but my heart will always say, blessed be the Name of the Lord.” I didn’t always *feel* this truth, but I said it. Over a year later, we finally got pregnant. And when the baby was born, we discovered it was a GIRL – our precious Esther Lynette.

That experience of loss and then the challenge of getting pregnant forever changed me. The pain slowly peeled back my clamped fist of control of my children. I eventually, month by month, opened my hand of ownership of my children until it was a flat palm. Yes, Lord. These children are not mine. I am a steward. They are 100% Yours. I am a steward, and I am blessed that you have loaned them to me this side of heaven.

Now at birthdays, I always say my unusual sentence right before we blow out the candles. “We thank you, Lord, for the four years you have given us with Hannah.”

Moms, EACH YEAR, each month, each day is a gift from above. I have friends that have lost children as babies and even as toddlers and children. And not that this makes us fearful of how many years we will have with our child. It makes me CHERISH each year God gives us.

Have you ever stopped to realize each year of your child’s life is a gift? That parenthood is not a norm, but a special blessing from above? Do you have friends, like me, that would give anything to be able to celebrate their own child’s birthday? Mothers, we are truly blessed.

Take time at your child’s next birthday to thank the Lord for another year of life with your precious gift from above.

Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD , The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Want more stories like this? Check out Leah Spina’s Amazon Best-Seller book Stop and Smell Your Children: Laugh and Enjoy the Little Years.

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