It’s My Birthday So Why am I Struggling?

imageIt’s Valentines weekend! Not only that but it’s also my birthday and I don’t mind sharing it’s the big 35! But in all honesty this is turning out to be a difficult birthday for me.

It’s been a challenging yet amazing year. Last year at this time I had a 2 week old and was celebrating Punkin’s second birthday. My mom had flown in to meet the new baby and help celebrate Punkin and my birthdays as well. Since moving across the country two years ago she has only ever missed one birthday and it didn’t feel like a big deal at the time (probably because John had her FaceTime me during breakfast). Yet this year feels like the first time she has missed. Not sure why.

You see my mom is a huge part of my birthday celebration starting from when I was very young. I’ve written about her breakfast in bed tradition on the Right Start when I was pregnant with Punkin. Little did I know that would be the last one we celebrated with her living in the same state.

We now have four birthdays to celebrate in the span of 4 weeks at our house. John’s kicks it off on Jan 21st followed by Munchkin on the 31st. Punkin and I are almost on top of each other with Feb. 12th and 14th birthdays respectively. Therefore you can imagine the amount of celebrating that is required at our home (and why I NEVER start a diet before March 1st. ;). As the mom I take this on full force. I decorate the house, make them a special breakfast and/or dinner, plan a fun activity with them during the day, and even coordinate a birthday party should we decide to do one that year. I want them to feel as special as my mom had made me feel for so many years.

So here’s the issue. I work so hard to make everyone else feel special and sometimes that is not reciprocated. As the mom we do everything. We put everyone else’s needs above our own. We rarely get time to feed our own souls. Normally this isn’t that big a deal. I am happy to do it and am grateful for the amazing family the Lord has given me to pour into. But when it comes to my birthday my expectations are high. I feel pretty selfish even writing this but bear with me.

Let me be clear this is NOT a post to point a finger at anyone or place blame on someone for not meeting my expectations.

I am coming from a place where my birthday was ALWAYS a big deal and someone (my mom) did the work that I am now doing. With her gone I am realizing how much she gave even when she didn’t receive back. How much I now give…much of it being unseen, therefore not acknowledged. The Lord is showing me areas where I need to stop looking for affirmation on Earth and start looking to Him for my worth. I need to feel special and only knew one way to get that feeling, from other people. He is asking me to trust Him with this area that until now I didn’t realize I had been holding back.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”‭‭ 1 John‬ ‭2:15-17‬

Is wanting to feel special wrong? Absolutely not! God gave me that desire and I know He would never give me something He could not fulfill. My mistake was looking to others to fulfill something only God can. My mom did a wonderful job of being God with skin on to me for many years. It is now my turn to do the same for my kids. And I need to start looking to God to fill me up to overflowing in a way my mom never could.

I don’t write this as an end to this journey. I have a feeling this is only a beginning to this journey the Lord is guiding me through. Another area he wants to refine in me to make me more equipped to bring glory to His name.

“But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:20-24‬

So I release all those unmet expectations. I have been praying all week that the Lord would give me gratitude instead of my pity party. That He would show me the bigger picture and He has. It’s time to look for the ways God is making me feel special this year. And I am already seeing His beautiful hand in this. How He has used unexpected people and verses to pour into my heart.

Thank you Jesus for your revelation and growth, even when it hurts.

And to all of you a very Happy Valentine’s Day.


  1. Bethya Becker says:

    Wow! What a beautiful way to speak a powerful truth Kate. Is it strange that I’ve been learning something very similar to this lately? It is a very important lesson and therefore is seen and experienced by many…the thig that makes this blog entry so exceptional to me is that it was my step mother (your Mom) , or a conversation we had, that led me to the passage in John 2 that you quoted.
    She is truly an amazing woman.
    So I am sure you are an amazing woman as well.
    God is SO good. And He works in amazingly wonderful ways.
    Keep writing.
    Your sister in Christ… And other ways…;)

  2. Hi Kate, my name is Valentine and I am a friend of the beautiful Claire O’Sullivan. She forwarded your blog to me because as my name suggests, I too am a Valentine’s girl. Literally. Lol reading this today, on my 34th birthday, (our birthday) I just have to say is such a blessing. I too am the bday lover who makes bdays special yet always felt a bit short changed for my day. The Lord dealt with my heart in this respect by showing me that I was loving with conditions instead of trusting Him and loving without conditions. Praise Him that He is the one who loves with unfailing love! And praise Him that He loves us so much, He heals and repairs us with gentleness and grace!!!! For me this day has held its own struggles with singleness and purpose and the like, yet I too find great joy that He is my Valentine and my Hope!!! And nothing can ever change that! Thank you for sharing ur life and testimony! It was a blessing! And happy birthday! 🙂

    • Oh sweet friend. Thank you so much for sharing! I love that this blog can break though borders and speak to people even in different countries! What a blessing your message was to me. I am re reading it again today as the Lord knew I needed to hear that. : )

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