Yes, chicken feet

A birthday cake.

It represents more than mouth watering sugary goodness. It symbolizes so much more than a way to tell someone “hey, I’m glad you were born.” In the right context it can evoke emotions that would normally be created from watching a Hallmark movie. In the proper setting it will remind a person just how fleeting this thing we call “life” really is. 

The birthday cake. 

From the time Reece turned one, I have viewed the cake as the primary focus of her parties. This year has marked the fifteenth time I have made her birthday cake. The fifteenth time I have planned her party…or shall I say…her event. And the cake has always served as the centerpiece from which all decor and schedule of events derives. 

It began somewhat accidentally. When she was going to turn one I found a cake pan shaped like Noah’s Ark and figured that surely I could do it. Surely I could pull off making the cake myself. To my surprise and delight, I did! By the time I placed the last frosted ear on the giraffe I was hooked. From then on, every birthday for my daughter would cause me to go into full event planning mode. 

One year 18 little princesses got makeovers and prepared themselves for Cinderella’s ball. Another year fifteen little dog trainers “showed” their dogs and were judged at the “Eastminster Dog Show”. A few birthdays later, 20 little pre-teens received a mysterious fancy dinner invitation only to find out they would become part of an investigation for a mysterious pet rat kidnapping. Making a movie, attending a sock hop, a surprise pool party…sigh. 

As she becomes older it is becoming more clear to me that my party planning days will soon come to an end. Instead of pretending to get ready for the ball she will one day get ready for her groom. (Even though she insists her busy life schedule will leave no room for a husband).

Yes, the birthday cake. Once it was adorned with a three dimensional farm scene. One day it will just be a cake with too many candles on it. One thing will never change. Being her mom has been and will continue to be the greatest gift I could have ever imagined. Her personality has no match. Her talent has no limit. She has taught me how to be a mom and how to love more than I thought possible. 

Hopefully she knows that beyond the exhilarating stress of carrying out her parties each year, I view each of her birthdays as a sacred day. The day I realized that every one of my heart beats were not just for me but also for a gorgeous 6 pound 10 oz new human being that depended on me for everything. The day I realized how heart wrenching it must have been for God to let go of His own Son on the cross. The emptiness I already feel when I think of her heading to vet school fails in comparison to God’s experience of His own loss. 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” 

John 3:16 has to be the most familiar scripture even to those not familiar at all with scripture. It has become so familiar, in fact, that we often tend to let its meaning and seriousness become dissolved in a spiritual concoction of indifference. When, in truth, the complexity of this verse is beyond comparison to so many other bits of scripture. John 3:16 serves as some of the strongest evidence of how much God loves us and the extremes to which he has gone to show us that love. 

Ponder this today. Ponder the seriousness of what God did according to this verse. Meditate on the divine new birth He offers to those who are willing. And soak in the extreme sacrifice that was made to save you.

A birthday cake reminds us that we have lived 365 more days. God’s Word reminds us we can live for eternity.


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