Well, as promised last week when I wrote about grief, I said that I would rejoice on the day of my birth. And I did that today. When I was woken up by our three-year-old a little after midnight, I glanced at the clock and thanked God the first of many times for this day.

I’m a simple woman, really, in that I never expect anything for my birthday, Mother’s Day or other such holidays and I never make elaborate plans to celebrate. Hello, introverted self!

Today put the S in simple, though. With a capital letter. Our garage door has been broken and we needed a new opener installed. We’ve been waiting for six weeks to have our trees trimmed. And low and behold, today was THE day that they could both complete this work. So, Ava and I stayed home all day, playing on the swing set, building with Legos, playing dolls, while we awaited the service workers to arrive for their respective jobs.

The day was punctuated with kind texts and messages, flowers being delivered from my husband, and a trip through the McDonald’s drive through with Ava. Not to be outdone by our lavish lunch, dinner was a delivered pizza, since the tree service arrived late and worked through dinner and Ava hadn’t napped (no car rides for the napless one at dinner time–that is a recipe for disaster and a LONG night).

The day definitely didn’t look the way I thought it would as I looked ahead to my 40th birthday over the years, but guess what, that’s okay.

Because there’s a gift with turning 40. A lot of gifts, I think, actually.

I’ve come to understand and appreciate over the past 40 years that in the grand scheme of things, no gift, no trip, no party will ever surpass what was done for me on the day that I was born. I’m alive! Nothing can touch that.

And none of those things will bring me the joy that being alive, being saved from death, being loved and cared for, bring to me every day.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not shaming anyone who has a party or anything like that. What I’m simply saying is, my simple nature is reflective of my experience, and for that I am thankful. When you recognize that life itself, your BIRTHday itself is THE gift, it changes the way you look at things and the way you live out your life.

Knowing my sweet husband, we’ll do something as a family this weekend to “celebrate,” but truth be told, he knows we don’t need to do any of that, because I’m simply just thankful to have a birthday, no matter what it looks like.

How about you? Are you simple like me when it comes to birthdays and holidays like Mother’s or Father’s Day, or are you more of a celebration 🎉 kind of person, even though you realize the basic gift that underlies that day?