Sheila's Books
Click on the covers to read more or order autographed copies!

My Webrings

Crazy Hip Blog Mamas Members!



Medical Billing
Medical Billing

For ALL Your Graphic Needs

Dine Without Whine - A Family 

Friendly Weekly Menu Plan
Reflections on My Birthday
Birthday Cakephoto © 2010 Will Clayton | more info (via: Wylio)
I turned 41 yesterday.

I didn't notice it was my birthday until I had been awake for about an hour. It just isn't really that big a deal to me.

Last night my husband was on call and my kids had a big youth event, so we went out to dinner the night before my birthday anyway, and it was fun. I didn't receive any birthday presents; I'm really not into them. Honest. What we did do was to buy stuff I had recently lost (my iPod and my Blackberry charger) and recently broken (my blender). My husband was really upset that he was buying me a blender on my birthday, sure that that made him a bad husband, but I told him that's what I wanted, so we went out and chose one. So I still received stuff, even if I bought it myself. It was just my own fault that I didn't have those things in the first place, and I felt a little guilty replacing them until my birthday.

I'm not a gift person. It's so down the list on my love language test that it doesn't even register. For Mother's Day I just asked the kids to write me letters, and they did, and that meant more to me than anything they could buy.

But nevertheless, presents or no presents, birthdays inevitably are times to reflect. And reflect I did.

You see, I have now past that milestone that is 40, and when I was in my early 20s, I made several goals for myself that I would reach by 40.

Let's just say that I haven't reached any of them.

But that's not failure; it's just that my priorities have changed. When I was younger, I thought I'd be this fabulous entrepreneur, starting a huge company. Or I thought I'd be a big university professor, or somebody "important". What I failed to realize is that once I had kids, I'd deem what was important to relate to them, and them only. All the rest was merely a sideshow.

This last year has been a good one for me in many ways. I finally landed the big book contract I'd been waiting for for eight years (The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex will be out in January). I started more speaking tours. My blog has grown a lot! (Thank you all my loyal readers).

But best of all, I've had such fun with my girls. And they've both made our international team for Bible quizzing, and so over the next seven weeks, as I have to get the edited manuscript in to my publisher, I'll be primarily practising with my girls and their teammates, and immersing myself in teenage land again. And I can't believe how much I really, really enjoy that. I just love my kids' friends, and I love getting to know them, and I love the competition, and the laughs, and figuring out how to calm everybody down.

I think that's more important than what I originally had planned for myself.

I heard the country song "Nineteen Eighty Something" on the radio yesterday. It's quite clever. A few years old now, it recounts all the things that happened when we were growing up in the seventies and eighties, and includes this line:

"Now I've got a mortgage, and an SUV, and all this responsibility. And sometimes, makes me want to go was nineteen eighty-something..."

I wouldn't trade these days for anything. You couldn't pay me to go back to my teenage years, with insecurity, and wondering about my future, and wrestling with God.

Or even my early twenties, trying to figure out marriage, and having heartbreak with miscarriages and deaths.

These are the good years. Everyday I wake up happier than I was the day before. And that's all I could possibly want for my birthday.

Labels: , ,


At 11:03 AM , Blogger Terry @ Breathing Grace said…

Happy Birthday (a day late) Sheila!

I'll be 40 in July and I can relate to much of what you've written here.

May God bless you with many more years of spiritual growth, health, and success; measured by His values, and not the world's.

Happy Birthday!


At 11:47 AM , Blogger Herding Grasshoppers said…

Happy Birthday!

I too can relate to your contentment in the change-of-plans.

When my boys were quite little I read Psalm 37:4 with new eyes.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Ahhhhh.... He did! Better than fulfilling MY dreams, He gave me new desires in my heart!

Happy Birthday!


At 8:56 PM , Blogger Hippie4ever said…

Happy Birthday! Relationships are always so much better than stuff.


At 11:43 PM , Blogger Jen's Busy Days said…

Happy Birthday Sheila. I am the same as you, not big on gifts. Each year for my birthday we go somewhere as a family to celebrate, usually a local fete. The looks on my kids' faces as they ride ponies, ferris wheels and dodgem cards are the only gifts I want.

This year though will be big. I turn 40 and my eldest turns 13. I hope to be on the Gold Coast riding roller coasters and we are planning for the 2 of us to learn how to drive a rally car (4 laps) and then have a pro take us around for a lap. Oh boy, it will be fun.

Enjoy your blender, enjoy your letters. Hope the girls do well with their competition.

Best wishes
Jen in Oz


At 11:51 PM , Anonymous Jenn said…

Just read your post and it is such a great reality check.

I will be attending my 10 year reunion in August. I always thought I would come back as an "important person." Instead, just a houswife with two gorgeous baby boys, and a great Christian husband. I am going back dreams fulfilled!

Thanks for reminding me what is important.



At 3:09 PM , OpenID candytroutman said…

Sheila ~

Loved this post. Not reflecting or pondering is what keeps most of us in our chaos.

My reflection at 53 would be just the opposite of yours. When I was growing up, I didn't believe I was worthy of greatness. I always settled for what I thought I was worth. For so long I lived by obligation and duty but God has mercifully brought me on a journey of "moving toward joy". Everything about my life now is fulfilling and purposeful ... and joyful. I know a deep contentment.

I wouldn't be young again for anything. I "smile at the future". Prov. 31

Bless you, friend.


At 6:24 PM , Blogger Cherish said…

Happy birthday!

Post a Comment
<< Home

About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

See my complete profile

Follow This Blog:

 Subscribe to To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Follow on Twitter:
Follow on Facebook:

Important Links
Previous Posts

Popular Archived Posts
Christian Blogs
Mom Blogs
Marriage/Intimacy Blogs
Blogs For Younger/Not Yet Married Readers
Housework Blogs
Cooking/Homemaking Blogs
Writing Links
Blog Design by Christi Gifford

Images from

Related Posts with Thumbnails