“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” John 3:16
A couple of weeks before Easter it was my birthday. In turning another year older I decided to celebrate all the years God has given me on this earth. I wanted to do this by giving to others and filling people with just a little more love than they would normally have. I wanted to help them feel noticed and appreciated; to celebrate them.
I made a list of ways to give—one for each year of my life, and gave myself the same amount of days to accomplish them in. The past few weeks have been extraordinarily fulfilling. The love I have felt from giving and the love from the people I have given to has been one of the most incredible feelings. During the days of giving, I wanted to celebrate the life God has blessed me with by giving a little back, but in turn, I personally have felt more alive, stronger and happier, “…For it is in giving that we receive…”
God gave his one and only Son so we could have eternal life. He also gave us the exquisite gift of having an earthly human experience. We are all here on this earth for a snippet in time. I have always loved my birthday, no matter what age I am, because it means God has given me yet another year. One more year another person may not have gotten to experience, to love in, to be adventurous in, and see the beauty in. Each year I recognize, especially as I get older, that everyone will not get the chance to be this age.
Life is such a precious gift and one of my goals as a parent is to make sure my children know how delicate and precious this life is. I want to teach them to celebrate their lives, the lives of others, and not to worry about getting older and aging. I want my children to take care of the vessel (human body) God has given each of our souls to reside in while we are here on earth and to be able to take in the process of aging and fully experience the years we are blessed with. We never know when God will call us home and our time here on earth will be up. Each year we are given on this earth is a beautiful gift.
Celebrate life. Celebrate the lives of others because they are worth it. Celebrate your life because you are worth it. We are all worth it.
In the spirit of this most blessed season of Easter, how are you celebrating your one precious life?
Melanie Sextro is a military wife and mother to two sweet boys. She is a member of St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City.