Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Carpe Diem

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,
The soul that rises with us,
Our life’s star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.
~ William Wordsworth

Years ago a little girl came into the world, the first-born among many.  In the beginning she created the world as she imagined it.  Her birthday signified new beginnings for all.
 Everyone celebrated her arrival on planet earth – as they’d done two millennia before when Christ was born in Bethlehem.   
And, like He, she was the recipient of valuable gifts, having won the statewide baby derby.  Merchants traveled from afar to deliver carriage, cradle, crib, and highchair. 
And a wardrobe fit for a tiny princess, a sterling silver cup and spoon, a gold bracelet and ring, a year’s supply of Gerber’s baby food.
Her birthday was a threshold the world crossed to embark on the voyage of transformation.    A window of time through which sunlight poured in to photosynthesize incomplete lives. 
This was the day where the hope of metamorphosis was fully acknowledged, or at least the desire for improvement realized.  Old habits could be shed like snake skins, new wonders born with the sunrise.  
 As the New Year’s Day parade marched and glided across the television screen she sat in pre-school wonder, mesmerized by it all.  Just to think that the whole nation could be so euphoric over her birthday!  
As the years passed she outgrew the illusion that she was the object of mass celebration.  All those resolutions made by everyone had nothing to do with her.  She was just like the others: in need of redemption and wholeness.  
Then one day, as she roamed through the Mount Olive College library, she stumbled upon some old newspapers on display from the archives.    
There they were in black and white: her mom in bed holding her; her proud father beaming and leaning over them like a guardian angel; and the doctor, also looking down upon them and smiling as though he’d just won the lottery.  
Sometimes I return to the past just to see what I’ve learned from it.  And from this childhood memory I relearned what I’d forgotten.  That I was no accident.  That I was here by design, “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
But like most people I became encultured and lost a sense of identity somewhere along the way.  I went to school and learned to conform to the world’s standards and values.   I learned to follow the herd instead of the Shepherd.  And I no longer remembered who I was.
The world was too much with me.  I was like Simba here in this scene from The Lion King. 
            John Sanford writes in his work The Kingdom Within, “By instinct, man is a group animal.  For hundreds of thousands of years he has existed through the group, and the individual has found his identity and meaning by virtue of his inclusion in the tribe, clan, or nation. 
 “But the Kingdom of God calls us to go beyond this ancient herd instinct and to establish an individual consciousness of oneself and of God.  Being a disciple means following the call in the individual way, and inevitably this will mean the separating out of oneself from the collective psychology of the group.”

One more thing I learned.  To enter this kingdom, I must become like that child I once was.   
 Children don’t worry about tomorrow, nor do they dwell in the past.  They pluck everything they can grab now.  
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
They seize the day.  Every moment holds new promise, new hope.  They intuit this.    
So do I now.  No longer do I make New Year’s resolutions.  
His grace is sufficient each new day.
His mercies are new every morning.     
But I still celebrate my birthday on the first day of the New Year.      
Happy New Year!


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am your 200th follower!
    Candice Stashmama

  2. What a calm blog design. Thanks for the following I"m following back.

  3. Following you back from Blog Hop! Emmy's World!

  4. Happy birthday!I always enjoy your posts!Happy birthday,and many more!Jane

  5. Following you back!

  6. Thank you for the follow. Now a new follower of yours.

  7. following back!

  8. Following you back. I love your writing! My husband was the first in his town to be born on his year and he says he remembers thinking everyone celebrated his birthday. Thanks for the follow and the great read :)

  9. Wow. Happy Birthday. I laughed when i thought of the little girl believing the new years celebration was in awe of her birth. Cute. I was born on Valentines Day. I'm following. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  10. Thank you very much for sharing this. I really enjoyed it.

    All the best,


    twitter: @claylauren2001

  11. Hi there, new follower here.

    Your blog looks great.

    I hope you'll follow mine back when you get a chance.


  12. Thanks for the inspiring words and the follow. I'm doing the same in return. See you in the New Year. BJ

  13. Thanks for your thoughts and for following me! I am now following back! Happy New Year! :)

  14. Hi! Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting. You are SO right... we are taught to follow the herd rather than the shepherd... public education at it's most influential, with kids. Happy birthday this week!!

  15. Debi, Happy birthday! I love your writing. It's light and flowing like a's beautiful!

  16. Oh Deb,

    Hope to celebrate your birthday when we all get together! What a wonderful story. I had forgotten that you held that title! You are here definitely by design.....and so is our friendship! Thanks for reminding me of a few important lessons! :)

  17. Following you back! I hope that you have a wonderful birthday! I also seek to "seize the day", although some days I am more successful than others!

  18. Happy Birthday to my newest blog follower! I am doing a happy dance to have you join in at my little place. You, a published author, reading my blog...oh it would be my dream come true to write something someone would want to read! And then to see you quote John Sanford when I clicked over here, well I just think we are going to have fun getting to know one another!

  19. Hi Debra! Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog today!! I really appreciate it. I love what you have to say. Particularly resonate with the quote on your profile. Love it. Also, after reading this, I had to tell you that my birthday is only 4 days after yours! :) Happy early birthday to you!

  20. Hello Debra, Thank you for your kind comment today. I am very glad to meet you :-)
    I pray your new year is overflowing with God's blessings for you and your loved ones..Trish
    ps Happy belated birthday!

  21. Thanks for your comment on my blog! Your blog is beautiful! Happy New Year and many blessings to you in the coming year!

  22. Happy Birthday Debra! Thank you for visiting my blog. What a wonderful surprise to learn today is your birthday. What a great memory to hold on to, and yes you were planned from the very beginning. You are wonderfully made and He knows the numbers of your days. How blessed you are. Have a great day and I look forward to following you.

  23. Happy Birthday and I am a new follower :)

  24. Love you blog! Happy new year.

  25. To begin with - this is a stunning phrase “sunlight photosynthesizing incomplete lives.” I could spend days on that analogy and not do it justice. Wheels are turning. I might steal that, but I promise I’ll ask first :)

    And a story with a surprise twist and stunning spiritual lesson – gets me EVERY time. It was perfectly written.

    And happy birthday to you.

    Oh, and I heart the Cross on the Rosary with the Chi Rho. I love the ancient symbols of Our Lord.

    I was blessed by this, Really. Thank you.

  26. Carpe Diem! I love all your allusions to literature. Have a wonderful birthday!

  27. Happy Birthday. I love the story of your birth and how the world celebrated it for several years. :-) Carpe Diem!

  28. Hi, I just stopped by to say I am giving you one of the "Stylish Bloggers Award". Here is an explanation of what to do if you wish to accept.
    Thanks so much for the networking opportunity. Hope 2011 is great!

  29. Happy birthday and Happy New Year!!

  30. Happy Birthday!! What a way to start the year!! Fun. A good read.

  31. Thanks for stopping by again, happy birthday. We all like to think from time to time that we are the center of someone's attention. I pray you know that Lord holds you dear. Have a blessed day.

  32. Happy Birthday! What a great post and great reminder of our true identity. I don't make new year's resolutions anymore either, for I just resolve each day. His mercies are new every morning, not every year, and that's what I truly need!

  33. Happy Birthday! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I can't wait to dig into yours more!!!

  34. I love the way you told this story! And a happy belated birthday, too.

  35. Great story. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am now following you. Happy belated birthday. We didn't do resoltuions this year. Our family has done prayers. And we are learning to pray big because God can do anything, why ask for the small things.

  36. Hey, Debra. I just followed your blog, too. What a beautiful blog with the classic art and the poetry, and your writing.

    I was wondering if I could ask how you put the networked blogs on your site. I'm on Networked Blogs, but it only shows up on my FB. Thanks!


  37. Yeah, really inspiring.Love it.

  38. What can I say? Your blog certainly hit home! I suppose we all lose our identity along the way and what a difficult task to find it again..some people never do!

  39. How can any child born on January 1st help but feel a little extra special? And if I didn't know you when you first posted this in 2010, I get to be the first to comment in 2013. How's that for keeping the wheels of time revolving? I do love that Wordsworth poem.

    1. I may post this every year, you never know ;-)

  40. A new year, a rebirth, a new promise, and many new blessings. Happy {Belated} Birthday, Debra!


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