Happy Birthday Auntie!

Today is my favorite Auntie's birthday. (Don't tell my other Aunties I said that!) She's 81. Having that remarkable woman in my life has been like having my own personal cheering section. She never criticizes or draws her mouth into that grim, disapproving line the women in my family are so good at (me too). Well, she probably does, but not to me.

Auntie has what I think is the ideal Christian attitude. For her, it isn't about telling others where they fall short. She does the best she knows how with what she has. She works hard at helping other people, sometimes at the expense of her self. She stays cheerful, even under terrible adversity and is never bitter. At least, not out loud. She never uses her faith as a stick to beat someone else with. I love that about her.

In a lot of ways, I want to be just like her. I want to be cheerful and giving. I want to be consistently nice. I want to be strong like she is. The irony is, I don't want a life like hers at all. Growing up during the war years, coming to America and starting all over. Losing her husband too soon, and grinding health problems.

I realize that the adversity in her life is part of what made her the beloved inspiration she is. So how do I get to be that good, without having to suffer that much for it?