When our children were old enough to understand the meaning of their birthdays, i.e., lots of presents, treats and fun, they were not hesitant about asking and expecting surprises, gifts and a special day of celebration from mom and dad and anyone else who wanted to join the party. As parents, we secretly planned to give them the desires of their hearts as much as was in our resources and imagination to give. We have fond memories of many celebrations. Having four children and nine grandchildren, let’s see, with all of our ages, it adds up to a grand total of almost 350 birthday celebrations. Now that all of our children are living independently; our birthdays are celebrated somewhat quietly, but still uniquely. Mostly, they seem to involve friends and restaurants!
Every year, my husband, Skip, still asks me what I want for my birthday. My past few birthdays have gone by with small requests and celebrations; but this year, God made a special provision a few weeks earlier. We received a new credit card with a large sum of credit and no interest for one year. In order to understand the extravagance of this, it’s important to understand that we have not felt the need to have or use a credit card in over ten years. In response to his question, I answered with my desire to buy a brand new refrigerator and use the credit card. Throughout the years, a refrigerator was a necessary item – nothing to get excited about. We usually bought a good used model or an inexpensive model on sale. No bells and whistles. I mean, really, it was just a place to keep our food fresh and the choices were white or white mostly.
Anyway, this year, I was excited about this gift. So, we began our due diligence. We prayed for favor and wisdom. We searched online, checking out the models. We checked out Consumer Reports recommendations. Oh, so many choices! We went to several stores and wrote out the prices, pros and cons. Finally, we found an exquisite stainless steel French door-in-door model with a pull-out drawer that can be a freezer or a refrigerator depending on our temperature setting and a large freezer with two pull-out trays. Of course it dispenses water and ice (cubed or crushed) and lets me know the temperature of all storage spaces. We delighted in our deal of a $4K unit for $2.5K! Favor was given to us. I eagerly anticipated the delivery of our new refrigerator on my birthday. It arrived six days early!
The 29.7 cubic foot beauty sits proudly in our kitchen, gleaming from the reflections of the lights. It took Skip about 3 hours to move the old refrigerator and prepare the space for the delivery of the new one. It took me 5 hours to empty out the old frig, clean it (it still worked just fine) for the next family and sort through the jars and containers to determine which items deserved the new shelf space. Then, we moved the old frig onto the front porch and called a thrift shop to pick it up and be a blessing to someone else. Finally finished. What a blessing. Thanks, Father!
I want to keep opening the doors and looking inside at the cool bluish lights and the organization, but after 60 seconds, it beeps at me reminding me that I’m keeping the door open too long! In addition to the new refrigerator, Skip surprised me with 6 crab cakes and 5 Maryland Cream of Crab soups shipped directly from a favorite restaurant in Maryland.
It’s been a grand birthday this year. I took a few days off work. My daughter sent me a box of huge, sweet chocolate covered strawberries and my sister-in-law sent me a tea cookbook and a special license plate that says, “Jesus put the song in my heart”. It seems like hundreds of people wished me a happy birthday on Facebook. Quite different from the last few birthdays that I simply wanted to spend a quiet day at home catching up on lingering projects and enjoying the fact that I didn’t have to put on any makeup. The lean birthdays enrich my soul and always draw me closer to God.
With our without the gifts bestowed upon me this year, my heart remains the same. I’m joyful and grateful for my life. But this year, God is stirring my heart for something different.
This morning as I celebrate 63 years on this planet, I sitting with God and thanking Him for these many years. Of course I acknowledge that He gave me the refrigerator because He provided the extravagant provision for us. As I was running through my many blessings in my mind, I began longing for the time when I will meet Him face to face and celebrate eternity with millions of loved ones. Oh, what extravagance in Heaven and for all eternity. I thought about something that I heard a few years ago. A pastor spoke about a time when he was talking to the Lord on his birthday and God asked him why he didn’t ask God for a birthday present. God brought it to my remembrance.
“Well, Father, what would I ask you for? I already have the greatest gift a person could want. My sins have been forgiven through Your Son. I am your daughter-in-law and I will spend eternity with You. What more could I want?”
I know that. What do you want for your birthday? Ask extravagantly, like your children used to do.
I had to think before I opened my mouth. Should I really ask Him for what I’d like to have? I don’t deserve…wait! I am from the Royal Family of Heaven. My Father is the King of kings. He owns everything. I have not because I ask not, He says. Well, I thought, it’s a bit late for me – after all, I’m already 63 years old. But, what would happen if I asked for everything that is in my heart? I mean, our children did not hesitate to gleefully ask us for everything that was in their hearts. Due to our parental wisdom and limited resources, they did not always get everything that they asked for, but that did not stop them from asking. I have so many dreams still lingering in my heart. I don’t know, but here goes.
Okay, Father, I want to be rich, really rich, like billions of dollars. I want to spend the latter years of my life living extravagantly with no sorrow. I want to experience a lifestyle of a real princess that I’ve only dreamed about. I want to bless my family and many others with extravagant gifts. I want to be debt-free and travel around the world. I want to laugh a lot and share Your blessings with as many as will receive. I want to be a Shaklee Senior Master Coordinator and receive the keys to that beautiful Mercedes from Roger and Sloan Barnett. You know what that means to me. I want to be fearless, courageous, strong, gentle, loving and lovely. I want the gifts of the Holy Spirit to flow richly through me.
I want to live like the Princess that You made me to be. I want excellent health for me, my husband and all of my family. What good is it to have great wealth without great health? I want to write all the words that You have put in my heart and I want the books that you give me to write to change people’s eternal destiny. I want to live in all the pages of the book that You wrote about me. I want to see Your glory.
I want you to restore all that the devil has stolen from me and my family. I want to live in a lovely, spacious home and have a few strategically placed condos throughout the world. I want to be blessed with special people who will help maintain those homes and can be trusted. I want Your anointing, Your favor, Your protection, Your power. I want You to heal people through me. I want to see people get up and walk who are bound in wheelchairs and beds. I want my brother Ricky to be whole! I want You to raise the dead through me. I want to be like Jesus because You said that I should be. I want Your Word to come alive in me. I want to expose the lies of the enemy and see people set free from the chains that bind them.
I don’t want to spend one second in doubt, fear, rejection, sorrow, pain or suffering because You said that my soul is whole through Your wounds and beatings. You said that You came to give us life and more life! I want ALL that you intended for me to have. I don’t want to be cheated out of one second, one blessing, one challenge, one promotion, one victory, one jot or tittle on those pages.
I want to hear from You personally every day. I want to obey Your voice because I know clearly that it is Yours. I want to hold Your hand and walk with You. I want to sit high on Your shoulders. I want to hug You and feel Your warm embrace. I want intimacy with You. I want my hands to be Yours to use as You will. I want my body, my mind, my talents and Your gifts to flow and mingle together to accomplish Your sweet purpose. I am Your Royal Princess and I want the world to see that You are real and extravagant.
I want all of my family saved from Hell and I want to be raptured with all of my family in these last days. When I meet You and stand for my reward, I want You to hug me and say, “Well done, Georgia!” I want to see You smile, throw back Your head and laugh delightfully because one day, I finally had the nerve to ask extravagantly.
I can’t think of anything else at the moment. But if I could ask You for an extravagant birthday present, this would be it.