Wednesday, May 13, 2009

HDG: Identity Crisis

Yep. It’s true. Today’s my birthday. And what is it they say? I’m older and wiser?

Well… the older part is definitely true. Hopefully the wiser will keep coming with time. :)

There’s something about being younger… you want to get older so badly because you think you’ll be settled. You’ll finally have the job and the house and the husband and the kids. You assume that as life goes on things will become clearer and you’ll be more settled and everything will fall into place.

And then life happens. And you shake your head and laugh at the younger version of yourself for believing life would turn out just as you imagined it. And you look back on the road you’ve traveled and marvel at how, at every turn, you were upheld and loved. You were provided for. You were sustained through every change and every challenge.

The reality of how different my life is was brought home to me in the oddest way recently. A good friend of mine asked me if there was a magazine I would like to have a subscription to. My first thought… you know, being mature and all… was a celebrity tabloid. But since I check everyday already, it seemed like a waste to duplicate. :)

But as I thought of magazines I’ve had in the past, I realized they didn’t fit me anymore. I used to love working out. I had Shape magazine and Self magazine, and was always investing in some workout video or another. That wouldn’t work for me now.

Getting magazines about sprucing up my house or the latest clothing trends and jewelry didn’t make my heart go pitter pat anymore. It still interests me, but there’s a part of me that just doesn’t want to feel the envy of watching people flitting about in their cute clothes while going to a movie or lounging in the park. It’s just not my life anymore. I can admire it, I can appreciate it when other people are experiencing it… but it’s no longer me.

That’s when I realized, for sure, that something had changed inside of me. All those years of people proclaiming that it’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are… I finally, really, fully understand that. I had to lose my job, my health, my abilities and my hobbies… all the things that made me “who I was” to see who I am.

There’s not a magazine that can define me anymore. There’s not a magazine that can tell me how to dress, or how to decorate. Not one can tell me how to workout to achieve my best body or how to find the man of my dreams. What I have can’t be found in the pages between covers.

What I’ve found is that I’m resilient. I’ve found I have fortitude and faith. I’ve found that I care more about your feelings than mine. I’ve found there is nothing that cannot be redeemed and there is no one that doesn’t need encouragement. I’ve found I don’t need to be who the world wants me to be, because all the world really needs is who I already am.

The truth is that life at 36 is no better or worse than I wanted… it’s just completely and utterly different. The wisdom comes in knowing that it is exactly as it should be. The joy comes in learning to love it, not despite all I’ve lost, but because of all that it has brought to me.


Now, since it’s my birthday today, I’m giving a present to one of you. :)

To win today’s canvas, leave a comment telling me the most memorable birthday gift you’ve ever received. Leave your comment before midnight CST, and I’ll let you know the winner tomorrow. [Only one comment per person, please!]


  1. Christina J. WerdebaughMay 13, 2009 at 1:05 AM

    What a BEAUTIFUL reflection, Sara! Happy Birthday to you!! As far as mags go, I understand. I miss SELF and stuff like it. Have you heard of HopeKeepers Magazine? I think you would really enjoy it. Life:Beautiful is another good one. And, of course you can't go wrong with Guideposts. But. . . sometimes I find I just need a break from my reality, and that is when USWeekly or something silly like it comes in handy :).
    Hope you have a wonderful BDay!

  2. Another Godwink - you share a birthday with my baby girl! Bless you this day; it's so very meaningful to me.

    My best birthday gift ever was a handful flowers gathered by my kids, stolen from the neighbors. I think they meant more to me than they did to her, anyway.

    You and your work continue to be such an inspiration to me. I love the canvas! It's so YOU! O:-)

    Recent blog post: Happy Birthday KT, (alternately titled Mother's Day, Part 2)

  3. Happy Birthday again :)

    My most memorable birthday gift was for my 4th birthday when my granny gave me a robot that did lots of robotic things, like shoot lasers, walk stiltedly, and spin its head around.

    It lasted for less than a 3 weeks before I decided I needed to know how it did all that stuff. O:-)

    There's a lot of stuff in a robot...

    Recent blog post: Worship : 10 May 2009

  4. A vacuum cleaner!
    from my husband!
    Memorable, but not REALLY appreciated! *DONT_KNOW*

  5. Um, that might the most profound post you've ever written.

    "I’ve found I don’t need to be who the world wants me to be, because all the world really needs is who I already am."

    "The wisdom comes in knowing that it is exactly as it should be. The joy comes in learning to love it, not despite all I’ve lost, but because of all that it has brought to me."

    I wish you could see me nodding my head over those lines. We're here celebrating the day you were born, because you're a wise, wise woman.
    And that canvas, exactly what I need to remind myself of. He will not leave us hanging.
    Yes, yes, yes.

    Most memorable birthday gift? That's one I actually bought for myself, my very first car which I still have, a Toyota Starlet from '96. That was a special birthday, about 4 years ago. Although I haven't been able to drive for over 14 months now, I love that old tiny car and haven't given up hope yet that I may drive it again, if God allows.

  6. happy, happy, happy birthday sarah!!!

    favorite gift... probably a leather jacket i received from my parents at 15... i was too cool for school! ;)

  7. Happy Birthday!!!

    favorite gift is always the cards my children make me. They are so special..

  8. Happy Birthday!! I hope your day is great!

    My most memorable gift was when I was about 16 or so, my grandmother bought me a pair of hip hugger jeans, I wanted those jeans so bad, they were red. The red snap hip huggers were all the craze and my mom would not let me have a pair, my dear grandmother got me a pair and I don't think I took them off for a week. Funny, but that is what I remembered when you asked the question....thanks for the memory, and Happy Birthday again!

  9. Happy Birthday!! Hmmm.... my most memorable birthday gift... I would have to say that my husband gave me that gift this year when he planned a surprise getaway (just the two of us) and lots of quality time together without our son...... It was much appreciated.... Thanks again for sharing!!! Love the quote on this week's canvas :)

  10. The best birthday gift ever was an engagement ring! I'm a simple girl, and when my husband had proposed 2 months before, I told him I didn't need a ring to prove that we loved each other! I lived halfway across the country and a surprise birthday package arrived! With a beautiful sapphire engagement ring! It is a treasure that I still wear today!

    P.S. I love that quote!

  11. Oh, Happy Birthday! I hope it's a good one. My favorite gift of all time was my husband getting me tickets to see Les Miserables. I loved the book in high school and had the dream cast CD, but I had never had a chance to see it. He's not a fan of theater and musicals in particular, so it's the only time we've ever gone to a professional show, which made it even more special.

  12. I just wanted to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    ps-I don't really have any memorable b-day gifts....that's kinda sad. lol :-P

  13. Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! I don't think I have any memorable B-day gifts other than a baby I got as a little girl that when you fed her she peed! Ha! Happy Birthday! I heart your blog!

  14. Just yesterday I read Maya Angelou said “resiliency is the key to love.” Happy Birthday, Dear Heart. Early in our friendship you were physically bouncy - curls and all. And now you are bouncy in joy and love.

  15. Happy Birthday, Girly!! :) I hope you're day is as special as YOU!! :) When you have a chance...hop to my blog and check out what I put up! I honestly had YOU in mind when I posted the video...instead of a plain old picture! I hope you enjoy!!

    Anyways, my VERY best and most memorable b-day gift was last year. My sister came home and TOTALLY surprised me, while I was at lunch with my mom and dad! Yes, I possibly (ok, totally) screamed at the top of my lungs, but it was just my instant reaction. The people at the restaraunt thought something was seriously wrong with me, but I knew and that's all that mattered!! :) Then, after lunch, she also told me that I was going to be an "Auntie!" An amazing I will NEVER forget!

    Love you, friend! May your day be blessed beyond words!

    Recent blog post: Wordless (Video) Wednesday!

  16. A very happy birthday to you my friend!

    What an amazing post today!! Thank you!

    I think my most memorable gift was when I was probably about 9 and I wanted a train set. My parents wouldn't get one for me because it was a "boy toy". Then my favorite aunt got it for me anyway saying that my parents were being rediculous. I did love it!

    Hope you are feeling well today!

  17. Happy Birthday Sara - and many blessings on your day. My favorite gift was an actual present, but when I turned 40, my family conspired with my siblings to surprise me with a visit. The spontaneous housecleaning by teenagers to prepare should have tipped me off, but I was oblivious. An awesome time!

    Recent blog post: Pine Siskin Tells All

  18. Happy Birthday, Beautiful!!

    My most memorable gift? Maybe my Bible I got in 1986, because it's the only gift I still use on a daily basis. (totally falling apart, but I don't want a new one!)

    If I win, you may pass on the canvas to someone else. I WON LAST WEEK AND CAN'T WAIT TO GET IT IN THE MAIL!!!!! :)

    Recent blog post: m is for moms and p is for… something else

  19. Happy Birthday, old lady (hopefully you can "hear" the tongue in my cheek as I say that because I'll be catching up to you in less than 3 weeks : )
    You're so right that a magazine can't define you, or even come close to it ... you should write your own magazine ("Inspirational Writing, Painting, Home Decorating, Self Hair-Cutting, Dog Loving, and Family Honoring for the Home Bound" ... catchy title, right?)
    My most memorable birthday gift as a series of random gifts I got on my 29th birthday from my dh. We had just found out that day that, despite our months of trying, we were still not pregnant. A sad thing to realize on your birthday. DH felt so bad that he went out shopping and bought me the most random assortment of little gifts from a local garden store ... including a Weasel garden tool. Every time I see that thing hanging in my garage I smile, and think of how my worries and fears, so overwhelming at the time, are a part of my distant memory. If only I knew back then what I know now ... there's no need to worry about stuff when it's all in God's hand anyway : )


    When I was in second grade my family all acted like they forgot my birthday; my Dad took my sister and I out to cut firewood. When we got home my Maternal Grandparents where at our house and had brought my old best friends down for a surprise party for me! (We had just recently moved to a new town about an hour away, so seeing our old friends was not an easy thing to do.)

    Recent blog post: Flowers are appropriate for this weekend

  21. A very Happy Birthday to you, sweet Sara! Wow! I love what you have "found." That is completely awesome. Amazing post and amazing woman of faith!

    Much love!

    Recent blog post: Happy Birthday Big Girl!

  22. Happy Birthday!!!
    Hmm, probably the most memorable would be the lovely cross necklace my Grandpa Berne gave me. It was the last gift I'd receive from him before he passed away. He had my mom take him several places to find just the right cross so I'd always have a special keepsake from him.

  23. Since I am 30 now and the memory is starting to go and the baby is zapping the rest of my brain power. ;)

    I will have to say the 30 days of my 30th Birthday last month were the most memorable. I was so fun to get a little something everyday for a month.

    PS When I get further along in the pregnancy and know what I am having I was wondering if you would be willing to make the little peanut a canvas?

    Love from WI,


    Recent blog post:

  24. Happy Birthday, Sarah!!! Hope you feel better today! All Birthdays ae special as I got to enjoy another year of the world's beauty.
    Blessings to you.


    My most memorable birthday gift was a stuffed animal dog when I was little. It was the wrong one, but when my parents offered to exchange it I started sobbing about returning him. So I kept the wrong one. And loved him!

    Recent blog post: American Idol - Top 3

  26. Mary Grace McNamaraMay 13, 2009 at 8:54 AM

    Lots of Happy Birthday wishes to you

    Our first child was due on my 28th birthday, so even though she arrived one week early, I would have to say she was my most memorable birthday gift! And she will be graduating from high school in just a few weeks! Hard to believe!

    Love today's canvas...another inspiring one that I would love to win!


    Recent blog post: Lizzie Anne Quilt Giveaway

  27. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! :) Tomorrow is my birthday.

    Most memorable birthday would be my 20th - it was the first birthday after I started dating my now-husband and my friends threw me a small surprise party at my house. Good friends, family, boyfriend and gifts - what more could a girl ask for?

  28. House on RancheroMay 13, 2009 at 9:00 AM

    Happy Birthday to my BIRTHDAY BUDDY!! Now, really how are people going to believe we are still 29 if you tell the whole world that you are 36???!!!!
    My most memorable Birthday gift was the birth of Alex 10 years ago. He was born 40 min. before my birthday. So I held my little crying bundle of love on my Birthday. And my second most memorable gift will be my Birthday today when I woke up to Alex getting sick in the bathroom. He just can't stop giving me memorable birthdays-even 10 years later!!!
    Have a great Birthday, girl!! LOVE YA LOTS! :*

  29. As always, you continue to amaze me with your wisdom. You are truly a beautiful person inside AND out. Happy Birthday!!

    My most memorable gift was when I turned 16, my now husband, then boyfriend, skipped hockey practice to spend the evening with me. It was a much bigger decision then it sounds, b/c it was try-outs (for a very important team.) He bought me a necklace as well, but I was thrilled that he was spending the evening with me. I was 16 after all!! lol

    Recent blog post: Happy Birthday dear Hannah...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!

  30. Happy, Happy Birthday! Hope it's wonderful!

    What an great post! You are such a talented writer, very inspiring!

    Isn't it awful but I don't have a most memorable birthday present? Sitting here trying to remember what I got for my birthdays and can't remember one specific thing that truly sticks out. I do remember my mom always and still does make our birthdays special because "that's our special day".

    With that being said I hope your special day is extra special!

  31. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a GREAT day! I have a May birthday too!

    My most memorable birthday gift was a video camera from my Dad right before my 1st child was born so that I could capture all of those special moments.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  32. The first thing that came to mind was a rubber chicken. My kids went shopping for my birthday and came home with a rubber chicken. What is the world coming to.

  33. My most memorable birthday gift was a car on my 16th birthday!! Don't get me was NOT given to me...I had to pay for it...but my parents helped with a down-payment as part of my birthday gift. It was awesome! :)

    I sure hope I win this today! If I don't win, is it possible to purchase one of these from you? I absolutely LOVE this saying and would LOVE to have a copy in my house! :) Let me know!

    Recent blog post: Pure Sweetness

  34. Happy Birthday Sweet, Sweet Sara!!

    I love this post. You are amazing, resilient, real, and almost ready for anything. How's that for alliteration?

    My most memorable birthday gift is one of two things...I think that they tie. The first was when my husband and kids couldn't find anything to wrap in, so they put a pair of pjs in tupperware and closed it with a bow. The second was my parents sending me a box of bread and scones from Great Harvest Bread (we'd just moved and I was missing "home" this year)and I got to eat THAT for dinner instead of the spagetti I'd prepared for the rest of family, simply because I declared it was my birthday!

    I love those that love me, and my birthdays would hold absolutely NO memories worth having without them involved.

  35. Happy Birthday and beautiful post!

    Maybe my favorite birthday present (or the one that comes to mind) is a red Kitchen Aid mixer. Comes in so handy since being diagnosed with Celiac and am making my own bread.

  36. Probably a trip to Asheville, NC for my 30th birthday. IT snowed a foot!

    I also got a dog for my 6th birthday.

    Recent blog post: You Must Be A Liberal

  37. Happy Birthday!! I was born on my mom's birthday, so I don't remember presents, but her "presence" every year!

  38. Happy Birthday! Eat lots of cake, that's always my favorite part. :)

    My best birthday present was probably for my last one... my fiance (now husband) completely surprised me with the nicest necklace I've EVER owned! I felt so special... especially since I'd suspected that he'd completely forgotten. :) Teach me a lesson, right?

    Recent blog post: Food Network, baby.

  39. What a great post - Happy Birthday! My 28th birthday (yesterday) was pretty nice. My sweet Kindergartners brought me homemade cards and pictures.

    Recent blog post: Ummmm. . . .

  40. I hope you have a FABULOUS birthday!! :-)

    We moved from Chicago to VT when i was 10 and it devestated me. I had a great group of friends that i hated leaving! For Christmas that year, my parents bought me a plane ticket to Chicago for a week to visit friends. It was the first time i flew alone and the best trip ever!

    Recent blog post: Spring is in the air…

  41. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Recent blog post: Bacon? I don’t get it

  42. Happy, Happy Birthday!!!!!

  43. Happy Birthday.
    My most memorable moment for my birthday is my son, he was born just a few months before my birthday and that was the best present i could have ever asked for then, on my birthday i had his name tattooed on my back. That means a lot to me to.

    Recent blog post: Wordless Wednesday

  44. Happy Birthday Sara!!! Wishing you a lovely day and a joyful year ahead! I don't know that I've had one memorable birthday gift....anymore my birthday's are all memorable when I can enjoy my family's good health, happiness and contentment....
    Be thinkin aboutcha always...

  45. My most memorable present was the presence of my friends on my 30th birthday. Instead of giving presents to me, my friends gave money to help homeless children in Africa.

    Happy Birthday.

    Recent blog post: give them something

  46. Happy Birthday!! I think my most memorable birthday gift would have to have been a blue sapphire ring my husband gave me on my birthday the year we got married. My birthday is May 4, and we got married May 26. He said the ring could be my something blue. It was so sweet.
    ~ Leslie


    I’d have to say that my favorite birthday present was my first date with Jack (my now-husband) – he’s 7 years older than me, so we weren’t allowed to date when we were first “interested” in each other. When I turned 18, though, my parents let us go on one date (though we still wouldn’t be allowed to start “dating” until I left for college). Jack kept teasing me about taking me to McDonalds (I did NOT just have to correct the spelling of that because I accidently typed “MckDonalds”).

    On the day of, I got all dressed up in a dress, and he showed up in jeans and a country-type button down shirt. I assumed we’d be going to Trail Dust, a country-western steakhouse with a dance floor and a giant slide (a place I love), so I wanted to change, but he wouldn’t let me. We got in the car and drove off, and he actually did take me to McDonald’s! There, we walked in to find one of his friends waiting for us. Jack and he traded car keys, and we drove off in the friend’s Z4! Evidently, Jack didn’t know how to drive a stick-shift, so he had borrowed his boss’s truck the week before so he could learn how to drive it just so he could take me on the date in this car.

    We got in the super-fancy Z4 and started driving again, this time back to my house. When we arrived, he told me I was “a little too fancy,” and I was relieved and thought I would get to change. “No, you’re too fancy for me, so I’m going to change.” He had stashed a suit and tie at my parents’ house, and went in to change his clothes, coming out all fancy-looking.

    He drove me to a really nice restaurant that I’d always wanted to go to, and when we arrived I was so surprised. Even after he pulled into the parking lot, I kept asking “Are we really going to III Forks!?” The dinner was absolutely incredible, and I never felt so fancy in my life. There were real towels in the bathroom, for crying out loud! It was amazing. Afterward, we came home and watched a movie together. It was a perfect evening.

    I don’t remember what he bought me that year, but I do remember the planning that went into that super-special date, and that memory was definitely the best gift I could have gotten.

  48. Happy Birthday, Sara! I've been thinking of you today. Kari and I talked about it being your birthday this morning while Emma and Lauren were at tumbling class. I'm sorry I didn't get a card in the mail to you this year. I'm usually so good about that, but the past 5 weeks have been extra busy at our house. I'll do better next year. I do hope you have a very happy day. Thanks for being my friend!!

  49. Happy Birthday! My most memorable birthday gift was a card that came from my nephew. He is just turning 6 next month and he gave it to me when he was 4. He gave it to me and said "Aunt Amy, I know this isn't the best give that someone will give you but I wanted you to have it because it comes from my heart!" Doesn't that just melt you? I said "Austin, because you said that, it IS the best give anyone will EVER give me!!" His face lit up with a big smile!
    -Amy Starnes

  50. I hear ya. I finally settled on Cookie Mag, a professional mom type magazine. Happy Birthday! My favorite birthday gift is just a little bit of quiet time alone with a good book.

    Recent blog post: The Best Selling Accessories for The Kindle

  51. Happy Birthday! I think the most memorable birthday present I ever had was a surprise party. I LOVE LOVE a great surprise and my parents pulled it off. It was the best present ever! :)

    Recent blog post: Last Week/Weekend Recap

  52. I just came over here from Jessica Turner's blog. I had to comment because today is my 9th wedding anniversary!! Happy Birthday!

    My favorite b-day gift was from my husband last year. He gave me a pandora charm bracelet.

  53. Happy Birthday!
    My KitchenAid mixer was, by far, the best gift ever!

  54. Hey there! I'm so glad I stopped by today because now I get to tell you Happy Birthday!!!

    I love the canvas but I would feel guilty taking it when I already have two! If you draw me just draw again so I can share with someone else. :)

    The birthday gift that stands out in my mind was the surprise party that my English as a Second Language students threw for me last summer. I had lost my brother four months before and honestly, I was dreading my birthday gathering at my mother's house because he wouldn't be there. One of my students said she had cooked dinner for my family to have at home (something she did from time to time) so I would drive to her house to pick up the food. Another student took all of my children to play at her house. When I went to pick up the food, all of my students were there with my children, food, cake, gifts, and great music ready for dancing! We had so much fun that I forgot my worries for a couple of hours. It was such an amazing thing and the gathering at my mom's was much easier since I had experienced such a tremendous act of love from my students. I still thank God for the love they gave me that day!

    Sorry this was so long, but I had to share how and why the gift meant so much.

    Recent blog post: All But Grounded

  55. Happy Birthday! I think the most memorable birthday gift I've ever received was...the flu. I had it the year I turned 8 and spent something like a week in bed.

  56. Happy Birthday!! :) Hope your day is fab!!

    My best birthday gift... maybe a sapphire and diamond ring from my mom for my 16th b-day. I still wear it and I'm 33!!

    Recent blog post: Sisters

  57. Mary @ Giving Up On PerfectMay 13, 2009 at 2:27 PM

    Happy birthday!!!

    Sorry not to play along with the birthday gift question, but I just got off of a very boring conference call. My brain is melted right now!

    I hope you have a GREAT day!

    Recent blog post: Taking a shortcut on Wednesday. And Tuesday.

  58. Happy Birthday Sara. Mine is next week. You are 30 thirty years younger than me.

    I don't remember any birth day gifts I got as a child. Of course, having lost a few brain cells over the past 66 years, I can't remember what I eat for breakfast yesterday.

    I hope you and Riley enjoy some birthday cake. You can let him blow out all those candles. :)

    Recent blog post: Music Videos –

  59. My sisters "kidnapped" me for my 18th birthday and took me to Chicago for the weekend. I didn't know we were going ANYWHERE until we had already been on the road for about 2 hours. We spent the whole weekend in the city and deal was that I had to choose everything that we did. It was so much fun.

    3 years later we went back to Chicago and saw Wicked for all of our birthdays. That, too, was very memorable.

    Recent blog post: To My Mother, On Mother's Day

  60. Happy Birthday Sara. It's awesome to share the same birthday with you. :)

    My most memorable birthday was in grade school. I can still remember swinging on those huge swings when out of no where something hit my mouth. Some boys were throwing rocks nearby and one of them flew my direction. My lips swelled up almost immediately. The saddest part? I wasn't able to eat any of my birthday cake, which was my favorite.....strawberry angel food cake with strawberry icing. humph....boyz!

    Hope boys only throw kisses your way. :) Blessings, SusanD

    Recent blog post: Wordless Wednesday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY

  61. Hey Gitz!!! Happy Birthday!!!

    On my 19th birthday a few years ago, my mom was sick with cancer. She was just a few days out of the hospital after a major surgery, and was heading into her chemo/radiation treatments. There was alot of uncertainty surrounding us at that time. But that year, my parents made my twin brothers and I's birthday extra special. My friend and aunt traveled hours to visit. On the day of our birthday, my brother and I were taken to a helicopter launch pad. We were able to fly around the valley, which by the way was absolutely awesome!!!
    The females later had manicures and pedicures, and we all had a bbq after. When it was dark, we went to a local corn maze, which was huge, and got lost in it. I remember, I had my camera, and it was dark, so I would take the camera and put the flash on scaring people every time they turned a corner. It was great.
    Yep, that is my favorite birthday :)

    Recent blog post:

  62. ARE very wise! Other people in your situation may have decided to wallow in what they've lost, but you have chosen to focus on what you've gained. I'm so proud of you!

    I can't think of my "best birthday gift". However, I do remember the birthday that I had my best friend look in the shopping bags that my mom had put on our dining room table. I had her tell me everything I was getting! That birthday was a big let down because nothing was a surprise. Never did that again!!

    Birthday blessings to you! (Ahhh, I remember 36...the good old (young) days!)

    Recent blog post: How Appropriate!

  63. What a beautiful post. Just love reading your stuff.

    Memorable gift for me would have to be the bright red Guess jeans and enormous white Guess t-shirt for my 13th birthday. I thought I might die of happiness. And then - joy of joys! - my sister also gave me those round sunglasses with the gold rims. I was 1992 TO THE MAX. ;)

  64. My most memorable Birthday gift came this past November, when a far-away Facebook friend, whom I barely know, and have never met face-to-face, made a charity donation in my name, and designated that it be used to buy a bed net for a child in protect him or her from contracting Malaria! It touched my heart more than just about anything anyone has ever done for my Birthday before! I don't need a thing...but that child needed that net & it made me feel so very warm and LOVED! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to YOU, Beautiful Lady!

  65. Happy Birthday!!

  66. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope that you are having a day as wonderful as you!

    As for my most memorable b-day gift, that would be the hood ornament off my first car (a '74 Dodge Dart) that my Dad took off before he took it to the junk yard. We've never really done birthday gifts in my family, so it was a really sweet gesture from my dad, who knew how much I loved that car.

  67. Happy Birthday Sara!! Hope you have a great day!

  68. You a wonderful writer. I loved your entry. :)

    It was February 17 of this year. Technically one day before my birthday, but a birthday gift nonetheless. My hubby told me he was finally ready to add on to our little family--an answered prayer of mine!

    We unfortunately lost the little one just last week :(, but in the pain and darkness, I see the light. It will always be the best gift ever. I don't think any present will told 2.17.09.

  69. Your blog is so inspirational! Happy Birthday my dear!
    Most memorable birthday present is the one I received for my last birthday. My husband kept it very secret. He and our then 20 month old daughter, Mackenzie made something very special. Mackenzie's hand prints in clay, baked in the oven. He took pictures of her doing this and framed all of it in a shadow type box. The sweetest and most thoughtful gift ever.

    Recent blog post: Kenzie's Birthday Party

  70. Happy Birthday!!

    I think my favorite birthday gift every year is the small get together my family throws for me. We sit around and enjoy the company and have so much fun! :-D

  71. My most memorable was 6 years ago. I spotted the daily special on QVC right before I went up to sit with my dad in the hospital. It was a beautiful outfit - I picked royal blue. A skirt and top. My mom ordered it when she went home to rest. My dad just barely got to see me model it before he died 8 days later. I still have and wear the outfit.

  72. Happy birthday! I hope you've had a wonderful day - the canvas is beautiful!

  73. going way back to the 7th grade... at the time, it was awesome... my FIRST IOU shirt... remember those?? yeah, it was awesome!

    Recent blog post: Wordless Wednesday

  74. Happy Birthday Sara! My most memorable was last year when my daughter Kaitlyn was born. Her due date was December 28- a day before my birthday- but she ended up coming 2 weeks early on December 14th. It was by far the best birthday ever being home with my beautiful new gift from God to love and care for! Thaks for the awesome giveaway!

  75. Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! I hope you enjoy your day because it should be "all about you"! I love the canvas. That is one of my favorite quotes.

  76. I run a food pantry and would love all things
    you can give us. We serve all---no questions asked. We need help/ Thanks so much.

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  77. Beautiful! Happy Birthday!
    Best gift I received was being told I could actually get pregnant after 3 doctors told me it wasn't possible. Best gift ever. :)

    Recent blog post: For a good cause

  78. Happy Birthday. I love your work. The most memorable birthday gift I've ever received was my youngest sister who was born on my birthday. We've had a special connection ever since.

  79. Happy Birthday sweet girl :) I hope you had a wonderful day today. Wonderful post. What I admire is that what doesn't grow old, despite everything else, is your words.

    In grad school, all of my classmates went with me for a day of tubing on the river, twice because we had so much fun the first trip through, and then we went and ate pizza and drank beer and played pool.

    Recent blog post: Super cute snack idea or birthday frogs.

  80. Happy Happy Happy Birthday to you!!!!!!! I really hope you have a great one! Let's please catch up soon!

    My favorite gift...well, there are many, but I enjoy the gift of being surrounded by all of my family and friends to celebrate my day!

    Recent blog post: Swimming

  81. This may sound "sappy"; but, the best birthday gift is always the possible gift of the next year. Does that make sense... I either recieved the best gift the prior year of the coming year or I will receive the best gift of the coming year on my next birthday... being here on earth with family & friends for another year is a gift in itself. Happy Birthday to you .... you inspire me to do better, be better and to continue on. Thanks

    Recent blog post: Mothers...

  82. My sweet 16 birthday. I had my 1st boy/girl party and I rec'd my 1st kiss. You know the one you will never ever forget... I still talk to this guy and we are now 57 yrs old! I never married him but.... I will always have that special feeling in my heart...he left a lasting footprint in my heart that day!

  83. Robin~All Things Heart and HomeMay 13, 2009 at 9:08 PM

    Oh wise woman...this is good, really good. I am amazed by you all the time, but this post just speaks to the core of me. I love you and I love who you are. Gotta think about this one some more.

    Recent blog post: Legacy detour…Aging Gracefully…(and a little giveaway!)

  84. The summer before my senior year in college I was getting ready to celebrate my birthday. I was living in another state and had just lost a family friend to a tragedy. I was having a hard time dealing with being away from my loved ones. I decided that I'd make a cake for my birthday. When I got home my roommates had already done so and they gave me a little surprise party! Then my best friend from home called and said she wished she could be there to celebrate with me... as we were talking she was at my door (a 3 hour drive from out of state) We had the best night and she spent thenight and then left super early to go to work. A great birthday!

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  85. Happy Birthday to you! My best birthday was my 30th because my family threw a surprise birthday party and I had NO idea. I was having a hard time with turning 30 and this made it all the better.


  86. Happy Birthday Sara!!!!This is Jessicas Mom I have been to your Blog....and watch for you comments about Elias...I know you think he's just as cute as I do...thank you for always bringing SUNSHINE to Jessica's blog!!!!Hope you have an amazing Bithday just like you are !!! :) mom schim

  87. My engament ring :)
    Happy Birthday!!!

    Recent blog post: FFF- Mommy!

  88. my most memorable birthday gift would be my engagement ring. how could anything out do that? it was a special moment with a special ring. loved it.

    Recent blog post: Car rides with dad....

  89. Happy Birthday again Baby Doll! This is such an amazing post, you still know how to bring a tear to my eye whether it's your words, your singing or your writing. I LOVE the canvas quote it's beyond words fantastic! You never cease to amaze me in your resilience at life and perspective and you never cease to teach me life lessons. I continue to thank God for having you in my life and wish I could wave a hand to wipe away the years we have lost to being busy with life and not making time for each other. I would give anything to go back to college and dance the night away with you again! As for my best birthday gift it has to be my 29th birthday when I found out the baby I was carrying had a heartbeat, finally! After 3 losses it was complete elation to finally have a heart beat. My husband surprised me with the ultrasound on the table next to my favorite ice cream cake. Then to make the story even better, Patience, Steve & Cooper came over the next day for left over cake. Of course we weren't telling anyone yet based on our unfortunate history but Cooper walked into the guest room to get a book from the collection we had started for our first baby that we lost and turned to me and said "so when is the baby due". Tom and I were at a lost for words and just started crying. Ironically Tom and Patience also share the same birthday. Ode to the Frankl's, God's gift to us all . . . =-O

  90. Robynn's RavingsMay 14, 2009 at 12:15 AM

    I'm comin' in after the deadline but I hope you still get this Happy Birthday!!! wish anyway. (Maybe you're up late.) What a beautiful post, Gitz. You gave us ALL a present with that. Love to YOU!

    Recent blog post: Time For Word Wackiness!

  91. you have such a great perspective. you really model Christ to me...

    oh---and what magazine did you pick?

    Recent blog post: worthy of my suffering

  92. Happy Birthday! Loved this post! Birthdays were never a big deal in my family but I love celebrating them. My most memorable birthday was when my husband and I were dating. We were both broke and right out of college. He bought me this sweater from the GAP that I had loved but couldn't afford. As I was modeling my new sweater, my hubby said, "That'll look great for your party tomorrow night." My response was, "What party?" My roomates were throwing me a surprise party the next night since I'd never had a real birthday party. When he realized he'd given away the secret, the look on my husband's face was priceless and adorable! He felt so bad and the next day, he had some friends convice me the party was cancelled. I arrived home later that day to a house full of guests and an awesome birthday party! My roomates had even gone to the trouble of inviting friends they knew I hadn't seen in a long time. It turned out great!

  93. Hi, Jen! If you're interested in a canvas, can you email me at so we can discuss what you want? I can't see your email through the comments, I can only reply back to you this way.

    Recent blog post: Flashback Friday: The Blender

  94. Hi, Jessica's mom :) I just wanted to say thanks for the birthday wishes, and tell you how much I adore your daughter and her little family. She was raised very well :)

    Recent blog post: Flashback Friday: The Blender