My Birthday, or National Holiday, as i call it, is August 16, 1971. Over the past few years, I decided that celebrating the day, or weekend, of my birth wasn’t enough. Why? Because I am special, I love me, and I deserve it.

Just like most of you, my family always celebrated birthdays. It’s a time of people getting together with the focus on one individual… the birthday boy (or girl). We’d have some sort of event whether it was a simple cake and ice cream party with seemingly every child that I knew, to more extravagant parties as I got older where we would dress up and go out to restaurants, concerts, or other random events that were going on. The thing that made these celebrations so impactful is that it was all about the honoree. The focus wasn’t on any of life’s other things but, it was simply about ME. These were truly happy times!!

One of the lessons that I’ve learned over the years is that HAPPINESS is external and JOY is internal. I was happy because people actually paid attention to me. People were calling me just to sing, Happy Birthday to you. People went out and bought presents and things just for me. For ONE DAY, I was special. It didn’t matter that the day before some of those same people and I were fighting. It didn’t matter that the day after we’d continue fighting. It was like an automatic flag of truce was waved because today is MY day.

Bringing things more current, we now have social media. I ABSOLUTELY love Facebook on birthdays. All of the well-wishers sending their birthday greetings, the random GIFs, the throwback pictures, and yes… all of the memories that are stirred when get that Inbox from a friend that you haven’t heard from since last year. It’s amazing and it can be quite overwhelming!!

It’s funny because I used to make it a point to send a personal response to every comment or post. But, when you get hundreds upon hundreds of comments, that can take hours!!! So, over the years, I’ve updated to the Love icon instead of Like on every comment. Why? Because, to me, Like is just an acknowledgement of your comment. But, more effort is required when you Love a post and I truly am honored that the person thought enough about me to send that comment. It IS a heart thing… ❤

So, why do celebrate for the ENTIRE month of August? Because I am special… I love me… And, I deserve it…

You see, as we mature thru adolescence and into adulthood a metamorphosis takes place. We grow up!! We no longer see the value of every day living. Our focus is on taking care of our responsibilities. Our lives turn into this mechanical thing. All we do is go to work, come home, eat, and repeat… over and over and over. Our lives are no longer FUN. Our lives are a chore. And, there’s NOTHING special about chores!!! But, one day I realized that life isn’t supposed to be a chore but it is supposed to be spent ‘more abundantly’. That means that I am SPECIAL!!

Abundant living doesn’t mean that I have a lot of ‘stuff’ but, that I appreciate ALL that I have, ALL that I’m blessed with, and ALL that the future brings me. I don’t focus on the things that bring me down, things that are hurtful, or things that truly don’t matter. Here’s why… 

At one time, I DID focus on all of the other stuff and that focus didn’t bring good things to me. In fact, during that time of trying to please everyone and be the answer to everyone else that I attempted suicide by hanging. I couldn’t handle everyone else’s issues AND my own. It was too much and I just wanted to end it all. But, God had another plan for me. He reminded me of how special I was to Him and how His love for me was enough.

Once I truly understood how much God loves me then, I began to love myself!! We miss out on so many great things in life because we don’t shine the love light INWARD!!! We can read every book of love, get counseling on love, see movies about love… But, until I can love ME there is no love for YOU!!

So, this year, I’ve been sharing the various events and my moments of celebration on social media. But, if you’ll notice, I’m not always with my wife or children. There are lots of times where I’m doing things alone!! That’s because I do love me and there isn’t a NEED for someone else to celebrate me. I can celebrate MYSELF because of that love.

And there’s no limit to what I’ll do to celebrate my own birth!! I was recently sharing about my “Happy Birth Month” shenanigans and the person said, “Hey, do you want to go rock climbing?” and gave me the information so that my family and I could go rock climbing for FREE!! I’m not necessarily the rock climbing kind of guy but, guess what? I will be THAT day!!

I didn’t ask for free rock climbing passes. They were a gift. Here’s a secret for you… People LOVE being a part of great moments. When we stop allowing life to run us and take control of our own destinies then, we become that great moment. It’s EASY to be negative. Negativity is common, average, and played out. Here’s another not-so well-known thing… I battle with depression. Just a few years ago, it had gotten to the point where I didn’t care about anything. Life was beating me up and I wasn’t fighting back. Work sucked, my spouse and I were at odds, my children were being jerks, my family wasn’t paying attention to me, church wasn’t helping me, my prayers only seemed to hit the top of my mouth and just fall to the ground. But, God showed me some things!! We have to live our lives ON and IN PURPOSE!!!

I choose to live life OUT LOUD!!! Positivity is my motivation and because of all the garbage that I’ve been thru in my life… I DESERVE IT!!! I had to realize that I am ‘uniquely and wonderfully made’!! I’m a King’s kid!! Heir and Joint Heir!! I am above and never beneath because God Loves Me, I Love Me, I AM Special, and I Deserve whatever God places in my life even if I have to celebrate all by myself…. 

I pray that this letter is an encouragement to someone. YOU are special. YOU are loved. And, YOU deserve to be celebrated!!

There is a Nu Sound in the Air…

I love you ALL!!!

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