Today is my “baby” girl’s fourth birthday and we’re off celebrating as a family. Hurray! I’m sharing with you my post from last year’s celebration, a reminder of how God loves us and gives us good gifts.
Originally posted July 23, 2012
I was sorting cupcake sprinkles . . .by hand.
I removed all of the pinks from the mix and took out some of the oranges and yellows, too. The color combination needed to be mostly blue, white, and green with some hints of yellow and orange.
But you can’t buy a sprinkle mix like that at Wal-Mart, so I bought the colorful star-shaped sprinkles and sorted them by hand.
And I thought, “God loves me enough to do this.”
Let me explain.
My baby girl turned three years old yesterday. For weeks, my older daughters and I had enthusiastically reminded her that her birthday was coming soon.
We pestered her with questions. What do you want for your birthday? How old will you be? What do you want on your birthday cake?
Then she made her declaration. She wanted Octonauts presents and an Octonauts birthday cake.
Now for the uninitiated among you, the people who don’t live and breathe and move children’s television programming: The Octonauts is originally a British children’s show about undersea explorers and the oceanic animals they discover and assist. It’s only recently appeared on American television.
That means that if we lived in the United Kingdom, we’d have no problem popping out to the local party store for supplies. But here in the good old U.S. of A. the store shelves aren’t exactly stocked with Octonauts toys and party favors.
So, I did what any reasonable mom might do. I walked my daughter down the party aisle at Wal-Mart and showed her the many wonderful birthday decorations there were available in America. Mickey Mouse. Princesses. Fairies. Strawberry Shortcake (my favorite).
She settled on Mickey Mouse and we headed home with a relieved Momma in the driver’s seat. Yet, less than a week later, she made another announcement. Mickey Mouse didn’t cut it. She did in fact want Octonauts.
I had tried to convince her to accept less than her heart’s desire.
What’s a mom like me to do: A non-crafty, not particularly creative, cake decorating failure of a mom?
I’ll tell you what.
We had yellow cake mix already at home, but she asked for chocolate. So, we made chocolate cupcakes.
I printed out pictures of the Octonauts and created our own cupcake toppers
I bought the aforementioned color mix of sprinkles and then pulled out the unwanted ones so the color combination could be perfect
I waited in line at Wal-Mart to have a bag of Octonauts colored balloons blown up (three year old birthdays must involve balloons) only to have the lady at the desk tell me, “We no longer do balloons. There’s a national helium shortage.”
Really? A national helium shortage is going to stop me from giving my girl balloons? Not hardly. I bought the helium balloon kit for $20 so we could inflate them ourselves (with helium to spare for family birthdays for a year or two).
Then we put it all together. A family dinner of the birthday girl’s choice. Singing happy birthday, blowing out the candle, balloons, chocolate cupcakes with Octonauts toppers and sprinkles all to celebrate my baby.
(Although, why she needed chocolate cake when all she did was lick off the icing is beyond me.)
So, why? Perhaps she’ll never remember her third birthday and maybe over time her interest in ocean animals will fade.
But she’ll remember being loved. And I do love her. I’m crazy, head-over-heels, over-the-top, absolutely in love with this sweet gift from God.
Matthew 7:11 tells us:
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
This verse never becomes more real to me than when I’m picking out good gifts for my daughters.
God loves you enough to pick through sprinkles for you and to find a way to defeat a national helium shortage. He’s a God of attentive, detailed affection for each of his beloved children.
We may assume that coincidence, chance, luck, good fortune, Mother Nature, friends and family, a congenial boss or even our own effort and ability are responsible for the blessings and benefits we experience. That’s not true.
All the gifts we receive, tied in bows and placed into our hands with joy, come from a God who is crazy, over-the-top, head-over-heels, absolutely in love with us.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).
This week, let’s be aware of the many ways God showers us with good gifts, even the smallest reminders of His providential care, and remember to give thanks.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King