Happy Birthday Nick….(and Henry)

Today is my big brother’s 46th birthday.

We have this competition in our family to see which sibling can call first to say happy birthday. Let me share with you a bit of Nick’s humor…

Arlene Ann Borgdorff DeKamHappy birthday, Nick! I win

Nicholas Borgdorff Congratulations. You have won the 47th annual “Who can say Happy Birthday First Award, Facebook Division”. Prizes may include a trip to Hawaii, a Caribbean Island, or a hat made of plain white paper (some assembly required). It will probably be the hat.

Ryan Borgdorff but we said it yesterday…

Nicholas Borgdorff Yes. You win the 47th annual “Who can say Happy Birthday First Award, Home Division”. You also win a hat.

Now, maybe you need to know Nick, but I am laughing again as I type this. Nick has always maintained a great sense of humor, even when life hasn’t always been easy. I remember when I was really struggling and trying to sort out a real messy time of my life. I was talking about getting counseling and digging into my stuff and Nick said, “maybe you should take a photography class. ” That has really stuck with me. Nick has taught me to have balance in my life and to not always carry the shovel that keeps digging and searching. He has taught me to laugh and enjoy the moment. To savor what is good….

Happy Happy Birthday Nick. I love watching you interact with your growing boys and how you teach them in so many ways about life and living!

And when I realized it was the 23rd of August already I was hit with the realization that I missed Henry’s birthday blog on the 18th. Henry John, I love that you are already 17. In the last year I have seen you go from a timid driver to a safe and confident driver, a kind and sensitive boy to a fun loving boyfriend (lucky Courtne), and an even more admired favorite cousin. I watched you struggle through the decision of whether to play High School baseball because you were feeling  busy after a successful high school basketball season. I was proud that you chose to take a season of down time as opposed to choosing to please other people.

It has been fun to have you drive to Grand Rapids this summer. You made great memories at cousin camp, you have enjoyed some golfing with Papa and you are a great hired hand at my house. You’re not even scared when you have to dispose of a dead mouse! And so Henry John….I love you and love watching you grow up. You are growing up good! I hope this 17th year of your life will hold many delightful moments with family and friends and an abundance of recognizing God’s presence, goodness and grace! I am so glad God chose me to be your Aunt…..

Losing our filters…

I started my day on the elevator at Holland Home. It made me smile big and got me thinking…

You see, I was on the elevator for a very short time with three older ladies. I wasn’t even fully off the elevator and I hear one say….”WHO IS THAT?”

To which another replies she see’s me there every day. (not accurate, but she was sure of it!)

And another who thinks my voice was to loud, but she really liked my pink shirt.

I don’t believe it occurred to any of them that I was able to hear their immediate reflections. I was grateful that was all they had to say!

I often share with family members, that as we age, we seem to lose our filters. Thoughts are spoken more boldly with less awareness of the impact. 

I often smile at comments made when filters are lost.

They often it seems as if  the statements shared are quite truthful.

They often offer a bit of refreshing humor.

They often stop us mid sentence and draw us into conversation.

I wonder where we have filters inserted that limit us from being who we really are?

I wonder what it would be like for us to remove a filter or two and speak more boldly and honestly (with compassion and curiosity.)

I can think of some places I am filtering…

Maybe I will try to live more like the three woman on the elevator…willing to speak up and share what is really on my mind!