Birthday Blessings

Post by Melissa

Today is my 30th birthday, and a great blessing in life.

A few days ago, I posted on twitter about my upcoming birthday, and a dear friend replied with “celebrate turning 30! So many are not so lucky <3” – and she is right. Every year, my favorite birthday email is the one I get from Gift of Life reminding me to update my contact information so that they can find me should I ever be a match to give someone else a chance at having another birthday.

This year, I want to dedicate my birthday to all those who have not been blessed with thirty years of life. I have had friends and family who did not reach this milestone, and others who are battling daily to ensure they will. This year, I want to be sure to stop and be grateful for the blessing of my life.

They say its not the years in your life but the life in your years that really matters, and I’m not so sure thats true.

I have been blessed with thirty years of life. That is a mere 25% of the goal of 120 put forth to us by Moshe’s longevity. Rationally, I realize that I will probably not live to 120, but I’d be pretty darn happy with 90 and I’m only a third of the way there! I feel like it is “old” but in reality, I have so much more living to do. I have so many blog posts to write, so many things to learn and teach, and so many friends to still meet! I want to have both years in my life and life in my years, because really, what is one without the other?

There is a prayer which we say every morning when we awake thanking Hashem for returning our soul to us. We recognize the beauty and the blessing in every day of life.  But how many of us really think about the words we sleepily say? Every day, every month, every year of life is such a blessing and we have to take time to appreciate all the blessings, small and large, that make it a full cycle.

I am blessed to be married to my best friend (who proposed four years ago today), to have an amazing family, to have phenomenal friends all over the world, and to be healthy. My birthday wish is I can have these blessings for many years to come, and that I can take more time to recognize the blessing that is inherent in every day of life.

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Thanks and Gratitude

According to the illustrious Miriam Webster, thanks and gratitude are very similar. However, I would have to disagree.

Post by Melissa

I feel that “thanks” is thrown about so casually and its so simple to say “thanks for your help/support/friendship/etc” – but how often do we truly express gratitude to those around us and to Hashem. To stop and really reflect on all the blessings in our life?

Personally, I don’t do it enough.  So while I can wax prophetic about all the reasons I dislike Thanksgiving, this one I can celebrate.

I can take a moment to express my gratitude to my beyond amazing friends and family, to having a fulfilling (even at its most stressful) job, for my (generally good) health, and for each and every one of you.  This blog started on such a whim (seriously, we should tell you all about how it really happened one day), and it has grown to be such an integral part of my life.

So this Thanksgiving, I hope we are all able to really look at the word, and seize the opportunities to give thanks – for all that we have.