Three of our four kids were born with in days of each other, in different years. This has brought to pass a special week of celebration in our home, which we lovingly call birthday week, and we just completed it this past Thursday. During this week, we are even more focused around celebrating and honoring the special birthday boys and Kylie.
We value traditions in our home, and one special birthday tradition we hold to, is having a family meal and allowing the birthday person to select the dinner choice on their special day. This year we built on that tradition, by asking each person around the table to share what they like most about, or to share a special memory of, the one being celebrated.
I was surprised to find that for some relationships, this was easy; but for others it was a little harder, and so we all waited while each came up with something, and in time – all were able to share at least one thing they really enjoyed. For our special birthday peeps, this was a major hit… Some were surprised to find out what the others liked about them; they laughed at the stories being shared, and as we went around the table – smiles got bigger, they sat a little taller, and really filled up with the love that was being poured out. It was for sure, a lesson in honor for them – how to give it and what it feels like to receive it. It was beautiful!
This new addition to our birthday tradition was a reminder to me, that with those we love and interact with regularly we always have the choice to focus on the negative; but when we choose the opposite and focus on and celebrate the positive – we are demonstrating unconditional love and acceptance; which goes a long way in building and strengthening those relationships. Also, when we honor one another in this way, we are imitating Christ and loving the way he desires for us to show love, just as it says in John 13:34-35[Amp], “I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves.” The apostle Paul also touched on love and honor in Romans 12:10 (NLT), where he wrote, “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
Love like this flows naturally out of hearts in tune with how much we are loved by God. If you are struggling today with knowing how much God loves you, I pray you have a new revelation of his love and grace. And if you are struggling with love, honor or forgiveness in any of the relationships in your family, I want to remind you that nothing is beyond God’s ability to heal, restore and repair… we serve a mighty, loving, gracious God!
Copyright © 2011 by Amy O’Donnell. All Rights Reserved