celebrating for singles

I was recently out for birthday milkshakes with a little friend who had just turned 11. We share a love of all things birthday and were talking about that as we wandered the shops. Her main case for the joy of birthdays was that “Christmas and Easter are great but they’re about everybody, your birthday is just about you.” Good call. 

I have 4 reasons I love birthdays. 

  1. I get to be loved on by my friends and enjoy the affirmation and affection of others. 
  2. I get to express my gratitude for the people who share my life. 
  3. There is a chance to reflect on the year that has passed and acknowledge growth, change, successes experienced and challenges faced. 
  4. It’s all fun and cake! There are special meals, outings, singing, and all the joy that comes with celebrating. 

Every person gets that experience once a year. Birthdays are the best!

If you get married, you add two more celebrations to the calendar. Your spouse’s birthday and your wedding anniversary. Two extra opportunities to celebrate the above four things in your home. 

And then, if you have a child you add three more annual celebrations. The child’s birthday, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Three extra opportunities to celebrate the changes in your home and life, to affirm your love and appreciation for one another, to give cause for a weekend away or a special dinner out; to eat cake and share joy. (And of course, extra birthdays with every additional bundle of joy.)

So, how do we reflect on that for the Single person? 

At the very least, it probably could cause us to consider afresh the significance of a Single person’s birthday for them to both give and receive the affection, gratitude and celebration of another year of life together. 

Perhaps it might also cause us to consider including Singles in celebrations where their place in other’s lives can be affirmed?

Think about the Singles in your world. What do you think this means for them? Maybe it’s worth some consideration or a conversation.  

happy birthday, book

One year ago this God-dream was finally birthed (the “finally” was about me finally cooperating more than any delay on God’s part)!

This book has made it into the hands – and its message into the hearts – of Singles, marrieds, leaders, parents, mentors, friends, Pastors and interested persons across the country and the world. 

My greatest hope has always been that it would encourage a conversation and spur people on to deeper understanding of the unique needs of Singles and grow us all in the greater cause of embracing and connecting with one another. 

I have been continually encouraged by the feedback I’ve received, the opportunities it has facilitated and the people who have shared their stories with me in return. 

What a year it has been! It’s so great to pause and reflect on all that has passed. But it’s not done yet, I’m sure. 

Every good birthday needs presents – so here’s mine to you. For the next 7 days postage is FREE!! That’s right, FREE! So if you haven’t got your own copy yet or had been thinking to send one as a gift now is the perfect time. Simply go to THIS PAGE and choose the “collection” PayPal option. (Ends midnight Mar 27)

Even though this book was finalised in print, the story is still being written. Thanks for being part of it!!! 

“12 thoughts of Christmas” #7: Party Time!

Yesterday was my sister-in-law’s birthday so family and friends had gathered at her house to celebrate with her. A friend made a stack of macarons and stuck some candles in a few of them. We sang, we hip hip’ed and then she blew out the candles. Then her 1 year old daughter wanted a turn, so they were re-lit and she blew them out. Then her 3 year old wanted in on the action, so they were re-lit and she blew them out. Of course, the cousins had to have a turn … as did all the other children that were gathered. By the end of lighting, blowing out and re-lighting there was hardly anything left of the candles and we were finally able to get into the macarons!!

You’ve all no doubt been there before. You’ve scraped the wax (& a little bit of spit) off a cake after some enthusiastic blows! You’ve had the party hats and balloons, wacked the piñata, played pass the parcel, eaten a few footy franks and the odd slice of fairy bread. We do birthday parties! From the quiet family gathering to the themed extravaganza; the BIG numbers that need extra acknowledgement to the years that slip by relatively unheralded (or mentioned out loud); the McDonald’s hosted to the ‘hostess-with-the-mostess’ home party … all sorts, sizes and locations. Birthdays get celebrated well in most households and families.

So, given that Christmas is essentially Jesus’ birthday party, what part does that play in your Christmas gatherings and traditions? Does He get a mention Christmas day or does He get lost under the tinsel and mountains of discarded gift wrap? How do you acknowledge Him on the actual day?

I’ve heard of families that have a birthday cake for Jesus as part of their Christmas lunch. Others read the Christmas story together before they open their gifts. One family reveals baby Jesus and adds Him to the nativity scene. Some will honour Him in their prayers of thanks when the family gathers around the meal. I recently heard a child excitedly noting that Jesus’ birthday is one of the only birthdays you ever get to celebrate where you GET presents as well as GIVE them – that’s how generous and kind Jesus is!

What about you? What do you do? How do you include Jesus in His special day? Share some ideas below.