Today is Monday, September 3rd, 2018; Karen's Korner #3866

Back to my computer after a couple of weeks away.

The last two weeks or so of August, our daughter Jamie, her family, and I were 'road runners'. Her older son Luke and his dad enjoyed a Boy Scout trip to the Caribbean for a week. While they were gone, Jamie and their other two children, Molly and Noah, flew to Washington state to visit my sister Jill; daughter and family.

As the threesome were coming home, I enjoyed a two-week trip with our local bank to Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales.

Just before I left and as Jamie and kids were in Washington, we texted. My great niece was going to be having her first birthday on September 1st. "Why don't you find a nice birthday gift for Raegan before you leave? And I will pay for it!" I wrote.

A day or so later, I got a text with a photo:  it was a crystal Mickey Mouse with these words, "We found this nice gift for her on sale. Regular price $399. But it was on sale for only $185.65. Hope you like it!"

Wow! I thought. I guess I should have stipulated either what or dollar limits. Oh, well!

A day or so later, Jill called to see what I thought of the gift for her granddaughter. Hard to tip my hand. That is when she started to laugh. "We went shopping for part of a day at an outlet mall. And the hunt was on to find the most expensive present we could find to tell you that we had purchased it!"

The joke was on me. Later came the photo of the 'real' first birthday gift:  a one-piece two-colored outfit - just under $28!

Not only did Raegan have a birthday on Saturday, September 1, so did a 'new friend' on our trip. JoAnne wasn't one, but the celebration was a good one, as we returned to the U.S.

She had gotten a Dr. Seuss pop-up kids' book from our tour guide titled, "Happy Birthday to You".

Here is the last couple of sentences:

"Shout Loud,

'I am lucky to be what I am!'

Thank goodness

I'm not a clam or a ham!

I am what I am!

That's a great thing to be!

If I say so myself,

'Happy birthday to Me!'"

The message is the same to each of us as we celebrate our birthdays. Or our every day. God has a plan for each one of us, and every day. We are lucky to be us because God loves us and wants us to enjoy every day of our lives.

So on this Labor Day, "Thank You, God, that we 'are who we are'! And we are 'happy to be us!"