A few years ago, a friend of mine made an unexpected announcement on social media. “Today is my pretend birthday.”

“What fun!” I thought, but wondered privately if “pretend birthdays” made any sense at all. The longer I pondered, the more interesting the concept became, especially since gluten-free cupcakes with buttercream icing and sugar pearls waited in my freezer for the proper occasion.

I wanted to eat a cupcake, but a party and presents didn’t seem quite right, especially on a pretend birthday. Eventually, though, I decided to proclaim my own pretend day to celebrate. I didn’t throw a party or ask for gifts, nor did I buy gifts for myself, although I did eat a cupcake. Instead, I rejoiced and praised God for the gifts He’s already given.

We celebrate birthdays because we celebrate life.

Birthday festivities are a celebration focused on the birthday person, but they are also a celebration of their life. On my birthday, I usually look back over my joys and sorrows, the good, bad, ugly, and beautiful experiences I’ve had.

Not all of the thousands of days since my birth a few decades ago were pleasant, but they were necessary to make me into the almost-grown-up Leanna I have become. I choose to give thanks for every one of those days, the good and bad alike. They’re worth celebrating.

Life is precious and every day has purpose.

According to David, the psalmist, God knows our inmost being. He designed every part of us, and He knows the very number of days we will live. Not one day escapes His notice. (Psalm 139) He knows our “baby” days as well as our elderly days, and each one matters to Him.

Every day is an opportunity to serve our Maker, to praise His goodness, to give thanks for His redemption. As long as we live, we are to praise God and sing to Him. (Psalm 63:4) Even with our last breath, we are to offer praise to God. (Psalm 146:2 NLT)

The value in a pretend birthday

A “pretend birthday” may be unusual, but, as an opportunity to celebrate the preciousness of life, it’s a beautiful idea. Let’s take a few moments to revel in the life God has given us, in the beautiful days, as well as the hard.

Look at the tapestry of our years and the lovely weave formed by all our experiences. Where is God’s hand evident? How has He used both good and bad to make us into the people we’ve become? How do we use our lives to honor Him?

A pretend birthday, designed to focus on the One who controls our days, is always in order. No presents or parties required. Why not celebrate today?

Happy Pretend Birthday to one and all!

“…In Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Psalm 139:16 nasb

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