Today, Vav Shevat is my hebrew birthday. There is so much to think about on my birthday and so much to be thankful for. I look back at how much has happened this past year and I'm amazed and in awe at how much can change in a person's life.
I was blessed with another daughter who is so precious. I can look at her for hours and see the Hashem through her - how such a tiny human being has a perfectly working body, a heart pumping blood through her veins, a digestive system that works just right, eyes that blink every few seconds. It is so incredible how something so little has a body that works the same way as an adult!
A birthday is a time for me to notice how much I have and thank Hashem for it. It is also a time to try to commit myself to become better, to change in one area so that next year I can look back and be happy with what I see.
When I was in seminary in Eretz Yisroel, my birthday came out on shabbos. I made sure to stay somewhere within walking distance to the Kosel and was able to say the whole tehillim. Now I'm not able to even think about such a huge feat because baruch Hashem I am busy with my children. But I know that this is my job right now - this is my tehillim and thanks to Hashem! Taking care of them and watching over my children, Hashem's children - that's my priority. My job is not to lock myself in a room and daven for an hour. Hashem gives each person a role and right now I am meant to be taking care of my children. Iy"h when I become a grandmother and have free time during the day, I will once again be able to daven and say tehillim on my birthday.
The role of a mother is so important - she will raise her children to be the next generation of people to follow the torah and do the mitzvos. What can be more crucial than that?! She has to fill her childrens' hearts with love for Hashem and love for Judaism. Davening then becomes a conversation with Hashem throughout the day, instead of taking out a siddur at a specific time each day.
I know that many people give brachos on their birthday. I don't know if I can say it better than I did last year - the bracha was so overflowing that when I reread it just a few minutes ago I thought I cannot redo it because there's so much in there. So here's a link to last year's bracha and may it come true for all of you!