Birthday Wishes

“Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing…. Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.” -Ann VosKamp, One Thousand Gifts

Today is my birthday.  31 years ago I was welcomed into a loving family that nurtured me and taught me to love God and others.  As I blew out my candles with the help of my two eldest girls, I was struck with the mystery of time that holds us all in the delicate balance between the immediate, the pressing and the eternal.  My girls, with their 4 and 6 years under their belts, embrace life with such force I think someday they’ll burst.  And yet, as I watch them enjoy my birthday, in many ways more than I do, I am taken back to the wonder of wishes, and dreams and possibility.  They remind me to stop, to really listen to others, to engage the moment and to remember.

In a season that is so often marked by full schedules, hurried meals, parties, and shopping lists I hope that you are able to go against the grain, to choose the slow, the quiet and the simple.  As C.S. Lewis says so beautifully, “It comes the very moment you wake up each morning.  All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals.  And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.  And so on, all day.  Standing back, from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.”

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays friends!



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About Betsy Curlin

Betsy is married to Caleb and they have three children. Betsy is home with her girls and spends her days teaching, cooking, exploring, and taking part in endless tea parties. In addition to helping Caleb with everyday farm chores, Betsy also runs a photography business. She enjoys reading, hiking, skiing, and spending time together as a family.

2 Responses to Birthday Wishes

  1. Paula Brown says:

    Happy Birthday! Today is my birthday, too, but I’ve been at this a little longer than you: 47 years. I wish for you many more. I just read a piece this morning that I thought you might like. I hope the author doesn’t mind that I share it:
    1 Corinthians 13 Christmas Style
    ©By Sharon Jaynes
    If I decorate my house perfectly with lovely plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny glass balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
    If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
    If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
    If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
    Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
    Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
    Love is kind, though harried and tired.
    Love doesn’t envy another home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
    Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of your way.
    Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
    Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.

  2. Julie says:

    Thank you for the reminder. I and, I am sure, my family, will have a much merrier Christmas if we can remember this.