A peek inside this post: I hope to encourage you to embrace your birthday! This is an open letter to myself on my birthday, but it’s just as much an open letter for you on your birthday, too! Take a journey with me through the feelings a birthday brings as you age. I open up about deep rooted feelings and body image struggles. Let’s work on changing our perspectives and thank God together for letting us live another year!
Are you checking off another year on the calendar? How do you feel about your age climbing to a higher number, year after year? Some people meet each milestone with glee, while others would rather not acknowledge their age, or don’t see the point in celebrating their birthday.
Why I’m Writing a Birthday Letter to Myself
My birthday is coming up and I love birthdays! I love celebrating others and I love being celebrated. (Is that ok to say out loud? Ha!)
I never really understand when people tell me they don’t do much for their birthday. I feel like people need to (at least) be in a state of jubilation from the first light of the early morning until their over-celebrated and exhausted head hits the pillow.
Sadly, I have also ruined birthdays because my expectations were so high that I would feel super sad when those expectations weren’t met.
My hubby knows this about me and throws me a birthday week every year. He does simple acts of kindness or a big surprise party at my favorite taco place.
However, if I am not able to take time to process my birthday, my past year, my future, and everything else that swirls around in my head, then I could have 365 birthday celebrations and it still wouldn’t fill my heart with the joy, peace, and readiness to start a new year.
So, this year I am starting the process of processing earlier. I am writing an open letter to myself on my birthday, and maybe from here on out I will continue to write a note to self on my birthday.
This is meant to help me process what has been, what is, and what is to come, and then I can be fully present in the current year‘s jubilee.
I want this to be a letter to myself and for myself, but I also know that maybe my friends can relate, too. Welcome to my journey, I hope it helps you on yours, as well!
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Open Letter to Myself on My Birthday
Happy Birthday! You are another year older and *hopefully* wiser.
This is the year that the young kids said middle parts and wide leg jeans were “the thing,” and the millennials responded back with, “We like our side parts and skinny jeans, so deal with it!” (I’m actually not in either of those groups, but I tried the middle part and wide leg jeans and realized that my hair and clothes don’t matter because I am still getting older.)
So, Self, I’m giving you permission to wear whatever you like. Enjoy that current middle part knowing that in your life you have seen many middle parts come and go and you can have fun with whatever hairstyle you currently have.
Well…let’s not talk about 8th grade when you thought you were old enough to do your hair by yourself for school pictures, and it turned out that you weren’t. You are now old enough to know that a fad will never define you, but still young enough to enjoy whatever one you’re in.
During this year, you are reading a devotional called, Unhurried, by Amy Jackson.
Coming off of a pandemic and lockdown, “Unhurried” felt ironic. Then life picked up again, and you remembered just how much you daily need to slow down and meditate on the word of God.
Keep leaning on Jesus, and taking the time to do life the unhurried way. Breathing in Jesus and centering in the word of God are key components of this study. Keep getting filled up by it, and keep focusing on your Savior.
Don’t forget that this devotional encouraged you to write a letter to your body thanking it for all it has done for you. Remember how it was life changing and so healing. Tell as many people as you can about it, so that they can have an opportunity at that healing too.
It’s hard to be vulnerable, but it is always worth it. So, I’m adding it here, too. This way you can read it again when you’ve forgotten.
Please don’t forget to grow in loving yourself the way God intended when He created you. Read this and remember to be thankful for how God created you. There is purpose in it, and God will work it out. So, here goes nothing:
Open Letter to My Body
Truthfully, I don’t like you. I wish you were skinny. For some reason I have always thought that skinny equals pretty.
But you are fun and you have a great laugh, and you hold a heart that loves Jesus. So, I guess you are ok.
You make a pretty good canvas to express myself on, from doing my hair, or my nails, to my makeup. You’ve never really been super crafty or good at art, but this is your art. So, keep having fun and expressing yourself through it.
Don’t forget that you have held all six of your babies with bravery and strength with those arms. You didn’t carry all of your babies on the inside, but you sure never let that stop you from holding all of them, even when you were exhausted.
Those baby/toddler/preschool feet didn’t touch the ground unless they wanted to, and that is a tribute to your strength as a mom. Don’t give that strength up now that they don’t need you to hold them anymore. They will always need to be held, just in different ways. Be there for it!
I don’t always treat you the best, and for that I am sorry. Please forgive me?
You’ve loved your husband, held friends’ hands through so many trials, given thousands of hugs, made so many meals, and have taken care of so many others.
Body, please forgive me for taking you for granted.
I pledge to treat you more like a canvas for my expression, and less like a curse I have been taxed with. I realize I am truly thankful for you and blessed by God to have you.
Self, encourage your friends to take time to write a letter to themselves after meditating on Psalm 139:13-14.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.Psalm 139:13-14
And keep reading that passage over and over again until you believe it.
One of the best things that your mom taught you about aging is to remember that going back to any age would erase all of the good in today. If today is a struggle, remember that it is leading you to your next beautiful day.
If your wrinkles are feeling a little more pronounced, remember the good that you held in your arms that made those smile lines get a little deeper.
Would you want to trade those moments? I know you, and you wouldn’t.
Embrace the good with the bad and remember that today is a gift meant to be enjoyed. Don’t let the wrinkles and number of candles on your salted caramel cake define you. Eat that delectable dessert, and invest in some good eye cream, some concealer, and keep going.
Birthday Girl, you are on this earth to love people and share Jesus with them.
How are you doing that today? Are you reminding them that the hard things they are going through will pass?
Tell them about the hard times with your 6 crazy kids, but also tell them about the healing too.
Tell them about the conversations about faith, love, sex, sin, fear, failure, hope, dreaming, and so much more that you’ve had with those amazing kids. Those conversations have been worth every late night and tear you’ve cried.
Don’t ever give up on those babies, because you’ve seen how Jesus can change your life and theirs. Those relationships have changed you for the better and deserve to be celebrated.
So, what are you waiting for? Go celebrate!
Life was meant to be lived, and you can’t live to your fullest if you’re worried about aging. Get out there, Mama! You’ve got this!
Spreading Joy on my Birthday Looking for ways to celebrate your birthday that aren’t all about Y-O-U? Spread some joy all week long with these great ideas!
Soul Care for Women: The Recharge You Need Christian women know that true self care is about more than bubble baths and eating chocolate alone. Read this post to focus on 3 Key Areas your Soul needs to feel refreshed!