Happy Birthday!!!!

In my family, birthday celebrations are not a big event. However, I have learned that for many people this is not the case. Celebrating someone’s birthday is a time where the birthday person is lavished with exceptional kindness and generosity. This past week I celebrated my birthday, but in a very different way than in past years.

The difference this year is due to my roommates. They went above and beyond what anyone could have thought a birthday celebration to be. The day started off with cinnamon rolls and flowers, continued with birthday cake and presents, and concluded with a birthday dinner at Olive Garden! Maybe the fact that we are all college students made me even more flabbergasted by their immense generosity. It was hard for me to fathom taking time out of their lives to plan for all of these components of the birthday surprise and to be sneaky about them.

It is mind boggling to me that people would do this when I did nothing to deserve such a wonderful gift. If you think about it, I did nothing to be born. My mother did all the work, but yet I am praised for it being my birthday. This same concept is similar for being a part of the family of God. I did nothing to be accepted as a part of this amazing family, and still I am part of this community of believers and reap so many benefits. I have so much to be thankful for: my family, friends, roommates, and community of believers to name only a few.

I encourage all of you to see how you can influence someone’s day for the better. Whether that be opening a door for someone else, or offering a word of encouragement. It is amazing how much these little gestures add up to a brighter day.

Laura McDowell

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