Sunday, June 24, 2012

Birthday Reflections

My birthday directs me into reflection. There is gratefulness for life - God’s gift of days to me that today number sixty-nine years. I’ve received a wonderful outpouring of care, yet one gift took me by surprise and it is via its offering that I share my reflections with you.
As one who has entered the world of social media, I have been blessed to meet people online who have become friends, enriching my days. Through my writings for Rest Ministries, there are those who share in the challenges of living with chronic pain and/or illness. Other support sites have become places where understanding is given and received.
But Facebook crosses all spectrums of my life experiences: friends from over the years, work colleagues who remain friends, my former students, and those in the groups mentioned above. Additionally, a whole new community of friends on Facebook “find each other” because of shared interests.
 I dedicate this blog post to one such friend, Owen, in thanksgiving for the gift he brought to my page  -  birthday greetings with a song. We met online because of our mutual admiration for the trumpeter, Chris Botti. I had not expected greetings from Owen which made the ones he sent most exceptional. I could not contain my tears. As I told Owen, “Chris and Christ brought us together!” How could it be otherwise when I live near Seattle, Washington and Owen lives in the Philippines.
Though the song he shared is most known for its being sung at weddings, it mirrors the relationship that Christ longs to have with us. Here are its lyrics  intertwined with my birthday reflections for this year.
I Will Be Here
(composer and lyricist: Steven Curtis Chapman)

Tomorrow morning if you wake up
and the sun does not appear
I will be here
Sixty-nine years ago, at six months gestation, I was born as a wee preemie.The words that greeted my mother were, “There is no way your daughter will survive. There is hope for your son [my twin], but not for her.”
Four complete blood transfusions later + one incubator + a God with plans had me resting in His care for two months before being released to go home.
“You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” 
(Psalm 139:15-16 NLT).
If in the dark, we lose sight of love
Hold my hand, and have no fear
'Cause I will be here
Baptized at birth, a conscious awareness of Jesus all my life, and an adult commitment to Christ as my Lord and Savior have equalled ensuring years filled with joys and challenges and always God’s faithfulness.
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a NLT)!
I will be here
When you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind
I will listen
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” 
( Hebrews 4:16 NLT).
And I will be here
When the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winning, losing and trying
We'll be together
I will be here

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:7 NLT).

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the future is unclear
I will be here
Just as sure as seasons were made for change
Our lifetimes were made for these years
So I will be here
Twenty years ago this month, it became necessary for me to take an early retirement from my beloved teaching career. God brought His peace to what would have been a gut wrenching decision without it. June is a natural time to reflect on those priceless years and young faces. My students are grown now, many with children of their own. In my daily prayers for them I turn to this gift from God’s Word - words that  held me steady during my teaching years.

“He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young”
 (Isaiah 40:11 ESV).

I will be here
And you can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we're older
I will hold you
And I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here
True, the mirror of life reveals changes as I have grown older. Yet the gift of years is to be treasured if I have followed the One leading me and helping me learn life’s lessons along the way - lessons that keep me close to Him and to those who are gifts in my life.
“Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you” (Psalm 35:4-5 NLT).

I will be true to the promise I have made
To you and to the One who gave you to me
With God the Father’s plan in place, Jesus lived out his earthly days and, as promised, reconciled me [us] to my [our] Creator. In turn, being true to Him is being true to the One who sent Him to model on earth the life I am to lead.

“I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me” 
(John 17:6-8 NLT).

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I will be here
Oh, I will be here.
Birthdays are special celebrations. Yet a new day is birthed within me each morning and with it comes the Lord’s glory and presence uniquely greeting me. May I be faithful to carry that gift to others for more years to come.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1 ESV).

Thank you, Owen for the gift of this song as recored by Gary Valenciano

(composer and lyricist: Steven Curtis Chapman)

"The Masterpiece" print by Bette Myers
Photo taken by Lynn - scene in her apartment


  1. Thank you, Lynn, for sharing these beautiful thoughts on your birthday. I've always loved this Steven Curtis Chapman song, and you gave it new meaning today.
    A very happy birthday to you! Your life is a blessing to us all.

    1. Thank you, Nancy!

      I have always loved this song so when it showed up in the way it did, well - you read what happened. God is faithful and I appreciate the blessing of your friendship and your sweet words here on my birthday!

  2. Lynn - Try two on posting here! I wanted to say this is a lovely, lovely post - as is the woman who wrote it. I hope you are doubly blessed today! Love, deni

    1. deni - thanks for persevering to share your loving words with me. I know how temperamental such times can be, trying to post to some of these sites.

      I am blessed today to have you stop by - and blessed to have you in my life. Doubly blessed by you!


  3. Such a blessing to read your words, Lynn. May God continue to pour out His love to you in His own creative and inimitable way. What a blessing you are to me and others. A belated Happy Birthday!

  4. Thank you, Carol. I am so happy to have you stop and I appreciate your loving comments.
    Thanks for the birthday wishes, too.

  5. Your writings are such a blessing dear Lynn. You were called to write and bless others. Just wanted to tell you I have the same picture of Christ that you have in our dining room. : ) Nancy Dittert

    1. Nancy - thank you!
      We are now more than Birthday Twins - we have "twin" prints of Jesus on our home walls.
      That is nice to know.

  6. Lynn,

    I have, for years, loved that very Steven Curtis Chapman song, but never have I looked at it in this light before. Thank you, my dear friend, for giving this song a brand new meaning with wonderful scriptures behind it. Be blessed, my friend.

    1. Thank you, Shelby - so glad it blessed you. I first heard it in a wedding context shortly after SCC recorded it. For those of us who are single, it is to Jesus we go for He remains faithfully close through all events of our life. I have always believed that any really good love song is one we can also apply to our relationship with him, too.


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