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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: birthday (05/23/05)

TITLE: The Birthday Prayer
By Chris Miller


“Blow out the candles, Mama,” Kyle cuddled up against my ample waist as I leaned over my lopsided birthday cake. “Make a wish! Make a wish!” His fingers strayed into the chocolate icing, evidenced by the telltale smudges on his overalls and my pink striped maternity top.

I sighed inwardly and reached for a washcloth. My 34th birthday had sneaked up on me. Seven months pregnant, I’d been spending my days chasing a toddler; who had time to get excited about my own special day?

Dave had set aside his culinary fears and tackled a Betty Crocker German Chocolate. I didn’t blame him for passing on the layers, opting instead for the traditional oblong cake.
Thankfully, he hadn’t set the kitchen ablaze with thirty-four trick candles.

I knew I couldn’t ask for a better husband and son. And yet…. What was my problem?
How ungrateful I could be! Sometimes, I wanted to just plop Kyle in front of the television while I snuggled down with a good book or soaked in a tub of hot suds with cucumber slices on my eyelids.

“I don’t deserve Your blessings,” I acknowledged to the Lord, “But you keep gifting me with Your provisions every step of the way. So, why aren’t I happier?” Unshed tears stung my eyes as I inwardly turned to my Heavenly Father. “Jesus, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I love my family and I don’t want to disappoint them with my lack of enthusiasm. Please, help me count my blessings.”

I thought back over my eight year marriage. God had been so faithful in answering my prayers for a Godly husband. When my girlfriend Bobbie had invited me to the Christian Single’s group at Calvary Bible, I’d been hesitant. Dating had gotten old with one disappointment after the other.

I always chuckled at the expression, “It will happen when you least expect it.” Truly, that was my story… Dave had been my Prince Charming, who’d materialized only after relinquishing any hope of ever finding him. So, why the heavy heart? Where was the excitement of dating and the first years of marriage?

Perhaps, the months of infertility and the letdown of one negative test after another had dampened the romance. Sometimes, it seemed as if all I could focus on was a baby of my own. Walking past the nursery on Sunday mornings had been painful; in fact, I’d finally asked Dave to park near a different entrance, so I could avoid the jealous tuggings at my heart.

God once again showed His faithfulness. In his mercy and love, He allowed me to deliver a healthy, seven pound boy, Kyle Matthew. Grandpa Wells even survived his bout of pneumonia to attend his grandchild’s dedication ceremony. That had been the “above and beyond” that our Heavenly Father lavished on us as we held forth our first born son for the pastor’s prayer and words of blessing. Even now, my earlier ultrasounds had revealed another blessing, Rachael Elizabeth on the way in a couple months. I got to delve into all the frills and eyelet for a girly nursery with pinks and pastels. What more could a mother want?

My mini prayer was interrupted by Kyle’s thumping on my belly. “Hey, Rachael, doya want some cake? It’s mama’s birthday.” He pressed his mouth up against my bulge and buzzed his words.

“Kyle, that tickles Mommy.” I started giggling as I smothered my little imp in one giant bear hug. Daddy wasn’t going to be left out of the merriment and surrounded us both with his bigger embrace.

“Okay, guys, I’ve got to blow out these candles so we can dive into Daddy‘s masterpiece!” I finally smiled at my men as I thought a minute. “You know, I don’t need to make a wish; everything I need’s right here.”

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This article has been read 655 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 05/31/05
Is this true! If so, it is all the more touching and heartwarming. How many things do we take for granted, our families at the top of the list. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful for what I have, or more appropriately, WHO I have. Well done.
Blessings, Lynda
dub W05/31/05
Indeed, we have much to be grateful for, this piece is a wonderful reminder.
Deborah Porter 06/06/05
Chris, the problem with having a lot of winning entries from Level 3 is that some people who don't win a place may not realize just how well they did. Your entry did VERY well - in fact, you were next in line for a place in the Editors' Choice. Congratulations on an excellent entry. You deserve a big pat on the back. Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)