A Birthday Gift for Myself

My friend Dianna who blogs at The Kennedy Adventures! is on vacation this week and is sharing a series of guest posts while she’s enjoying some R&R.  I am honored to share the following post on her site with her readers. Head over to check out her blog – I especially enjoy her weekly Saints & Scripture Sunday series. Oh, and don’t miss her “All About Me” page; after reading it, you’ll want to be friends with her, too!

Sunday, June 26 marks my 35th birthday. I have never been a birthday “dreader” as I truly don’t mind adding another hash mark to my tally of years. And I love a party! I think that has something to do with never getting a class party during my grade school years given I had a summer birthday.

But as I approach 35 this week, I’m surprisingly having some different feelings about this year’s celebration . . . but more about that in a moment.

While an undergraduate student over fifteen years ago, I was given a “lifeline” assignment which required me to project a whole host of personal life events and when they would occur along my life’s timeline. If my predictions on that lifeline had come true, I would have married my then boyfriend by the age of 25, had three sons by 32, and currently be an elected politician working in Washington, D.C. (I aspired then to become the first woman from Iowa elected to higher office and sadly a woman still hasn’t been elected to national office to represent our great state.)

How idealistic life was through the eyes of my 20-year-old self!

A lot has happened since completing that lifeline 15 years ago, none of which I accurately projected. Thank God for unanswered projections! There are some similarities: I am married – instead to Joel, whom I met on a blind date shortly after the other relationship ended; I am a mom – just not to three boys but rather to Lucy, an energetic almost-3-year-old; and while I did enter the political world and my climb up the career ladder had begun, I chose to leave my profession last December in order to be more physically and emotionally available and present within our home.

And never could I predict the sorrows, trials, and tribulations that have been permanently stamped on my lifeline, mainly 2 miscarriages during our almost 7 years of marriage and my father’s death nearly 2 years ago.

All are part of the ebb and flow of God’s Divine plan and not so linear as the lifeline visually suggests.

As I write this, ironically on Father’s Day and one week before my birthday, I am still reflecting on a dream I had last night. I dreamt about my Dad, that he was still living but in the hospital and was upset that none of his children had visited him. While I don’t believe that every dream has some powerful spiritual message to uncover, I do believe that God can speak to us through our dreams. After all, Divine messages have been revealed through dreams time and again throughout salvation history.

So while I can’t say for certain there is some Divine revelation to uncover with my dream, I do know I’ve been struggling with some unresolved emotions and events in my life. And I can’t help but think there might be a deeper meaning there. The hospital might represent the continued healing I greatly need, and given I haven’t been back to my Dad’s gravesite since the week of his funeral, maybe that’s the connection with him being upset with his children not visiting him in the hospital.

I don’t know.

What I do know is this week I’m giving a gift to myself that includes a trip to the cemetery to visit the site of my Dad’s final resting place. I haven’t purposely avoided it, but I haven’t intentionally visited it either, and I’m not sure why. I have a feeling it’s all part of some of these unresolved emotions I’m experiencing and that once again God is asking me to go somewhere that I hadn’t planned to go. And just as I haven’t been able to predict events accurately on my lifeline up to now, I can’t predict what the outcome of this will be either. Clearly God’s plan for me has been far greater than I conceived at the age of 20, and I’m going to trust God’s plan rather than my own projections on this one as well.

Oh, and feel free to wish me a happy birthday!

One Comment

  1. Lisa,
    Happy early birthday!! As someone who is approaching her 32nd birthday, I love reading your story about how your plans for yourself are different from the blessings with which God has blessed you (and Joel and Lucy!). I am so honored to have met you on our pilgrimage and even more honored to call you my friend. I know your father is celebrating your birthday with the angels and saints.

    Love you bunches!

Join the conversation!