20 years, 20 Blessings

One rainy Sunday morning an expectant mother in labor was rushed to the hospital. The father-to-be drove as his mother coaxed the woman in breathing through the contractions. The car blew a tire on the slick roads but he kept driving. At the hospital, the mother-in-law rushed the expectant mother inside as her son changed the flat tire in the rain. Doctors and nurses rushed around. The woman was so far into labor, she didn’t have any time to change into a hospital gown. The joyful mother-in-law cheered with every push, excited to be witnessing a birth. The father rushed in, wet from the rain, and not a moment too soon. The baby slid out and announced her arrival with a strong cry.

That is how I entered this world 20 years ago today on October 31st.

For a while I’ve tried to think of a way to make this birthday special. None of the ideas I ever thought of interested me. When I was younger my focus on my birthday was all about what kind of party I’d have, who would come, or what presents I would get. I didn’t want that to be my focus this year. So I started to think.

My family has a tradition we do for every birthday. At dinner when we are all gathered around the table, we say why that birthday person is special to us. Thinking about that tradition, the wheels in my head started turning. There are so many things I have been blessed with in my 20 years of life. So many people I am thankful the Lord placed in my life. I thought about creating a list, for myself, of 20 things I have to be thankful for this birthday. Then I thought, why stop there? It’s great that I recognize that I’ve been blessed, but why not let others know? Why not let those that have influenced my life know how much they mean to me? Why wait until someone is dying or dead to tell them that they’ve made a difference in my life?

So I decided to make my list. My list of 20 blessings I’ve received during my 20 years on earth. Today I will release that list, one item at a time. My prayer is that my list will encourage others to make lists. Think about the many ways God has blessed you. It doesn’t have to be as long as mine, I have numerous things to thank God for but I chose 20 to commemorate my 20th birthday. Let the people who have influenced you know that they made an impression on your life. I have one person on my list that is no longer here but I pray she knew how much I loved and appreciated her. Life is short and our time is limited. Don’t wait until it is too late to say “I love you” or “You made a difference”.

Whether your list is composed of people, things, or both, know that you’ve been blessed. Now it is your turn to bless others. That’s what I hope to do today as I celebrate my 20th birthday.


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