Category Archives: Birthday

Well, I did it …

I turned 50.

It wasn’t the big deal I had made it out to be in my mind.

My body did not, contrary to my expectations, spontaneously shrivel and die at midnight.

I slept like a 49-year old and woke up feeling a bit smug that I had moved into a new phase in my life.

When I danced around the kitchen singing happy birthday to myself, Murphy the wonder-pup danced around my feet as though he were celebrating with me.  Either that or he was doggy-praying that I would calm down and act my age.

I felt a sense of empowerment as I drove to work knowing that, on this day, I was half a century old.

I nearly depressed myself with the empowering thoughts because 50 sounds so much better than half a century.  Ugly crying wasn’t an option so half a century turned into two fourths of one.

50 was starting to sound exciting,

Half a century sounded like it belonged in the back basement corner of a now-defunct museum.

During my drive to work, my mind, as it usually does, began to wander.  I started down the broken road of things I would change, but decided unless it was my bed linens or the time on my watch, it wasn’t worth wasting my thoughts on.

I doubt there is a person on earth who wouldn’t change things if they could, but since the time machine hasn’t yet been perfected, it would be a mute point.


So I sang happy birthday to myself again as I drove along and gave thanks to God that He let me have another trip around the sun.

I’m 50 and proud of it.

I can’t say I’m all that thrilled about the AARP mail, but I did like the look of that free backpack.



A historic day …

is on the horizon.

For the first time in many years (there have been several numbers floating around, but it is safe to say many, many years since and even many more until it happens again), the first day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving Day fall on the same date.

As it happens, it is also my birthday.

It isn’t often that one has the opportunity to physically coincide with history in the making, but this year, I and all the others who share November 28 as their birthday … well, we get to gloat a bit.

It is our day, after all and the fact that it is a day that will go down in history raises the cool factor quite a few notches.

That’s what birthdays are, is that not accurate?

A celebration of our life?

The remembrance of the day we came into being on this earth?

It is pretty important.

I love birthdays.  I don’t care so much if people share them with me, although it is always a plus to be remembered, it isn’t required for it to be special to me.  It is enough to know that it is my birthday.

And now, this year, an iconic year, I share my birthday with Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

That’s pretty awesome.

So to all the others out there who will turning a year older on a day that will go down in history, Happy Birthday, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Thanksgiving.

I don’t keep up with what’s hot and what’s not, but I’m pretty sure that somebody famous or at least quasi-famous said “Happy! Happy! Happy!”  (I don’t know who, but I see and hear it on a fairly regular basis, so someone must have started it).


Love’s like a hurricane, I am a tree …

bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

Unequivocally, my favorite line of any song I have ever heard.

A bold statement, yes, I know, especially considering that I have heard thousands and thousands of songs in the decades of my life.

It doesn’t change this revelation in the least.  I first heard this song less than 72 hours ago.  It has been around for a while.  As a matter of fact, it was released eight years ago on my birthday.

I had to know more about who wrote words that surpassed any I have ever heard.  Maybe they struck a chord in me because I have a deep love and respect for trees and, on occasion, imagine myself to be one; swaying in the wind, basking in the sun, playing in the moonlight beneath a sky bursting with stars.

Being a seeker of knowledge, I went in search of answers.

The song was written by an independent singer/songwriter named John Mark McMillan.  In an interview, he says that he wrote this the day after his best friend died after sustaining injuries in a terrible car accident.  In the same interview, he tells of his friend, Stephen Coffey, a youth minister for Morning Star Ministries who said aloud the words “I would give my life today if it would shake the youth of the nation” the morning before the accident.

John Mark wrote the song the next day.  He says that the love he is singing about is not a pretty “Hollywood  hot-pink” love, but the kind of love that is willing to love even when things are difficult and messy.  He goes on to say that  “This song isn’t a celebration of weakness and anger.  It’s a celebration of a God who would want to hang with us through those things, who would want to be a part of our lives through those things, and,despite who we are, He would want to be a part of us, our community and our family”.

I have listened to this song at least 200 times since I first heard it.  I am listening to it now.  I cannot pull myself away from what it says to me, how it makes me feel, where it takes me.

I imagine, before the anniversary of the song’s release, (on my birthday), I will listen to it several hundred more times.  I know every note, every sound, every pitch, every word and I hold them deep inside of me.

They make me want to sing; the make me want to cry.  But not tears of sadness, but ones of joy and celebration that even with all my imperfectness, I am loved and cherished by a Savior that I adore.

I have taken the blinders from my eyes, the plastic wrap from my mirrors and have embraced life with a fullness and freedom that I have never quite been able to achieve.

The freedom to love, to be loved, to seek and, in seeking, expect to find.

I will never be the same again and that may be one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever been given.

I’m putting a link to John Mark’s version.  I have heard several artists sing it in the last couple of days, but this version, his version, is by far my favorite.

John Mark McMillan ~ How He Loves ….

John Mark’s song-story …


Those unexpected moments …

always seem to happen at the least convenient time.  I was just about to clock out at work today and meet an old friend for dinner.  We hadn’t seen each other in over a year and were going to celebrate our birthdays; mine near the end of November and hers three weeks later.

Just as I was gathering my things, I got a text from my mom telling me that my sister and cousin had been in a wreck and were at the hospital.  Needless to say, all thoughts of meeting up with old friends flew out the window.  Two distinct images came into my mind: first, her Mercedes, crumpled and broken; second, my nieces in the back seat.  As it turned out, she wasn’t driving the car but the Suburban and thankfully, prayerfully in gratitude, the girls weren’t with her.

After reaching my mom on the phone, I was able to discern that there were scans and xrays being performed and I made haste to get to the hospital.  It never changes.  That feeling of heading toward the hospital uncertain of what you’ll find when you get there.  You have details, but they are sketchy and leave way too much room for fodder.  Then there is the clerk at the desk who has to ask five times for the name of the person you are looking for so he can find them in the computer.  At long last the magic doors to the bowels of the ER are opened and I am allowed entrance.

Why should this time be any different than any other time I had been there?  The moment I walked through the doors, I was lost.  There were so many halls and numbered rooms, glass from floor to ceiling with only a curtain to stretch across to protect the inside from prying eyes.  It always makes me feel odd to walk those halls with, obviously, no clue where I am going and have people who know, obviously, that I have no clue where I’m going and yet just pass me by.

After wandering around for a bit, I found my sister in a room with the date of 1/3/2012 on the dry erase board on the wall.   She was lying flat of her back with a cervical collar snugly in place, the wires going in every direction and quite unhappy with the whole situation.  She wasn’t on a backboard and the way she kept moving about, I figured she was ok, otherwise, she would have been somewhat restrained.

More than an hour passed and she asked to go to the bathroom.  She was told she was not allowed to get up but that she could use the bedpan.  She looked at the nurse as though she had suddenly blurted out a mouthful of profanity.  No thank you was the response to the bedpan.  And time passed.  The Xrays that were supposed to have been back nearly an hour before were not.  My sister’s allowance to get out of bed hinged on the results of those Xrays.  If she could get out of bed, she could get to the bathroom.  And time passed.  Finally, my prissy sister decided that she really had no choice but to ask for a bedpan.  It seemed to be an uneventful and successful undertaking until a few moments later, when she asked me “is this bed wet?”.   I burst out laughing.  I simply could not help myself.  I’m not proud of it, but simply had no control over it.  Later, we all laughed about it because not only does my sister know she’s prissy, she’s proud of it.  I’m just glad everyone is, although sore and creaky, unharmed.  Thank God.


Psalms 103:1 ~ Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Birthdays …

the good, the bad and the indifferent.  Birthdays have always been a very cool thing to me, whether it is mine or someone else’s, I just feel happy.  Most of the time.  This year, my birthday came and went. There was cake and ice-cream, family, friends, co-workers; all the usual birthday suspects.  It was different, though.  This month started out with a fairly serious facial injury and mid-way through, adding insult (and injury) to injury, I fairly seriously injured my shoulder and cracked a couple of ribs.   Now it is no secret to the people who know me well that my mind, in the best of times, is a scary place to be.  During the worst of times, I walk around with a bio-hazard sign flashing above my head.

But, as I so often do, digress.  I can chalk part of it up to the end of October, that which I both long for and dread.  I have a love/hate relationship with that month and it nearly always makes me high.  November, however, is a month of coming to terms with the oncoming winter, saying goodbye to the leaves, hello to the bare sentries of winter and getting ready to be cold more often than not.  And my birthday is this month and that always makes me feel extremely special.  That was not to be this year.  With each new event, there were melancholic thoughts of days past, days that I didn’t care that much for when they were the present.  I thought much of my late husband and felt guilty, at times, that I was ready to let him be at peace and begin the process of getting on with my solitary (as that is how I like it) life.

I don’t discount the many blessings of the last year.  That would be wrong on so many levels.  The blessings have been numerous and I am thankful for each one.  Blessings sometimes get lost in the fray of life, though. I have family suffering from the loss of a loved one, dear friends that I am unable to account for and dealing with turning 45.  Any of these would be like turning a page during normal times, but when they all happen at once, well, it weighs on the mind.

Did it make my birthday less happy?  Yes.  Life has a way of doing what it wants.  That doesn’t mean that I can’t be happy today, or tomorrow or the next day.  It doesn’t mean that I am beyond hope.  Unhappiness is a part of living and if there is anyone who has lived their entire life saying they have never experienced it, then you have seen, up close and personal, a liar.

November is nearly over and the round of Christmas parties, Band concerts, Christmas plays and a thousand other things that I will be trying hard to find a place to fit will present themselves, (at the last minute, always at the last minute), and at the same time, working diligently to keep my sanity (a fine line at best).  While it is true that I’m closer to fifty than I was only a couple of days ago, that is the furthest thing on my mind.  I am happier now than I have ever been.  Free, so to speak, with a daughter in college and myself on my own.  But there are times, as everyone knows, when it would be nice just to have someone put their arms around me, saying nothing as I cry until the tears were gone.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It is not a sign of weakness, but proof of humanness; it is life.  It can be, at times discouraging, but in that moment that we find ourselves, unless we make it our mission, will not last forever.  I am already looking forward to doing it better and with more enthusiasm in the next year; whatever “it” may be.  I am a survivor and no matter what comes at me, I can depend on the Jesus to which I cling to lift me when my wings are too broken to fly on my own.  I am truly, humbly, honorable and indescribably blessed and that, I don’t want to forget.

Looking at the here and now can sometimes be overwhelming … but the here and now will be the there and then tomorrow, so don’t let it break you.  Let it get you down, cry when you need to, throw things if it suits you (my favorite thing to do in a crisis), but at the end of the day, realize that our life, our thoughts, our fears are part of what makes us who we are and without them, we wouldn’t really be anyone in particular, but like everyone else.  I like being different, even when it’s painful.  Though I have many regrets, there isn’t anything I would change because if I were to change them, my ability to relate and empathize would become obsolete.  An easy life is no challenge, but rising above the odds and making the best of the worst situations takes us to a whole new level.  It is my goal to serve my Lord and be the best that I can be for Him.   Be encouraged, my friends, for nothing lasts forever.  Nothing.

Lightning over Big Moccasin

Psalms 28:7 ~ The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart is trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will praise him.

I’m not the envious type …

never have been, thankfully.  I’ve always been the type of person that was so very happy for anyone doing what it was that I wanted to do; experiencing the things that are on the list of things to do before I die … important moments that I can only hope to be a part of. That is no different now.  Although being in New York City and seeing the tree at Rockefeller Center on my birthday is on the top five things to do before I die, I could not be more happy for my sister.  She is there.  She and my brother (my sister’s husband), walking the streets, looking in the windows, stopping to listen to the saxophone player and then putting a bill in his case because he is just damn good.

And though I don’t see her walking into the seedier part of town just to get to a little hole-in-the-wall Italian joint, (I do, however, remember this place in China Town with a secret door and weaponized thugs where she tried to have me killed over a purse), a place that treats a tourist like a tourist and a local like a local; a place that I would do my very best to make friendly so that, even though I was a tourist, they would treat me like a local.  I’d have my camera out, hoping they, whoever they at that particular moment would be, would grace me with a few moments of their life in my lens.  I have so many lives in my lens.  I look back at the photographs sometimes and simply sob with gratitude that I was allowed to be a part of a life moment, at some time, in some place.

Yes, I hope she is having the time of her life, she and her husband, as they enjoy the beauty of New York with the drab streets and bare trees.  I hope she takes a photograph of the “virtual billboard” in Times’ Square, not really because she wants to but because she knows I would.  I hope she enjoys the subway and takes in the sounds and sights as she flies through the tunnels.  I hope the late Autumn, Christmas ready New York is everything she hoped it would be.  I hope, beyond all rational thought, that she has the best time of her life.  We may not always see eye to eye, but when it comes to the sticking point, I know who to call.

another of my many mottoes ~ Wherever you are, whatever you do, do it for yourself; otherwise your life will always be lived vicariously and the real experience will never be your own.  Dreaming is dreaming, irregardless of the dream.

His grace in my moment of weakness (a poem)

At times like these, I truly know

That there are ones, whe’er friend or foe

who’ll say a prayer that I’ll be whole

In my time of weakness.

Without my saying a single word

The warriors of Prayer were instantaneously spurred

And their heartfelt prayers, my Father heard

In my time of weakness.

His encouragement began in my mother’s home

Where by grace she knew what was already known

And her love covered me like a blanket of blooms

In my time of weakness.

It then continued at my sister’s pool

Where love for my precious family did fuel

Dulling the  confusion of my inward duel

In my time of weakness.

Then there is a moment,  as every now and then

A priceless bit of time with my dearest friend

The one I know, for certain, will be there ’til the end

In my time of weakness.

The reminiscing of days gone by

Some with laughter, some with sigh

Some with tears brimming in our eyes

In my time of weakness.

Knowing that what was once can be

No longer a part of real life for me

Knowing I see what i want to see

In my time of weakness.

In my heart, I realize the pain they’d feel

If but a glimpse of my sadness was revealed

Knowing inside I had lost the zeal

In my time of weakness.

Getting down on bended knee

I pray that from these chains I’m freed

That no more would life be consumed by grief

In my time of weakness.

Driving home with my thoughts I felt so close to despair

Then creation rumbled as it cried out its prayer

That your gentle loving spirit would sooth my every care

In my time of weakness.

© gina minton kearns

Daisies in June

Jim is gone.  He is with Jesus. Even if it were in my power to do so, I would not bring him back to this  life with it’s twists, turns, trials and sorrows.  So this day, this night, this moment, I set him free.  Happy Birthday my precious one … I loved him in life and will love him, even if by God’s will, there is another, until my last breath, for he was a gift of my Father and he helped me see what I needed to see to fulfill the destiny God has for me.  I had words to say, but was unable to  find the way to say them  … and then they were given to me by the Sweet Holy Spirit … It always seems that, at my weakest moment, He gives to me what I need to hear … this time, He gave it to me in words … My God.  My Savior.  My Jesus.

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