My Spanish BIRTHDAY Card!

Well, here we are, friends. The eve of my birthday.

And I got a Spanish love letter from God.

Haha, no but really. Allow me to tell you the story —

So over the weekend, I needed to go to a different Mass than usual, because of some plans I had on Sunday. So I searched Google to find a church near me that offered a time I could swing, and low and behold, when I got there…the Mass was in Spanish.

Which, was fine. I’ve taken seven years of the language, so I was able to understand some of it.

But it actually gave me a beautiful opportunity to spend the Mass listening. The meditative lull of the romantic language, with its rolled R’s and cavernous vowels, put me in a peaceful state where I was really listening for God.

My heart was in a bit of a weird place, coming into Mass. My birthday is never something I look forward to, if I’m honest. Each year is just another reminder how different my life is, compared to where I thought I would be at this stage of life. And particularly, how the chyron on my dating app profile is one year older, and one year less desirable to men.

Anywho — that was the headspace I was in, and I was really asking God to just calm my anxieties about this next trip around the sun, and reveal to me some birthday wisdom.

And well — He showed up.

I was following along with the readings at Mass — the only English thing I could find in my Spanish missalette — and…

First – from the first reading: Ecc 2 — “For what profit comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart?

And secondly — from the second reading, Col 3 – “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth…You have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed.

Well, if that couldn’t be more plain as day, I don’t know what is?

These last few weeks, my heart has just been in knots, thinking about getting older. I’ve been focusing so much on trying to control my future, and my love life, and job opportunities, and finances — those earthly things that I have been letting define who I am, and what I am worth. And in a way, that tight grip of control is actually a lack of trust in God. I’m forgetting what has been the cornerstone of my recovery: that my worth is as a child of God. Not from any of those other “definers” in life, like marital status, income bracket, LinkedIn profile, etc. His truth sets me free.

God wanted to remind me, yesterday in that Spanish Mass, that, I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

I spent the rest of the Mass, thinking about that word: renewed. Because the fact is, with God’s immeasurable grace and mercy, I have taken off that old self — I am now 12 years strong in recovery from an eating disorder that nearly took my life. I was dead in mind, spirit, and nearly body, and He broke through the wall around my heart, saved me from that darkness, and has been renewing me every single day since.

Renewal is not a one time thing. Just ask my skin care regimen. It is an every day, consistent process of turnover and growth. And I am right where I’m supposed to be in that journey.

And that, friends, is something to celebrate.

Today, I am celebrating life. Celebrating the fact that I was blessed with another year to live. Blessed that I’m here, and didn’t succumb to anorexia, and blessed with health of mind, body and soul. I’ve been blessed with an incredible family, and wonderful friends that I love and cherish with my whole heart. And blessed with a job that I love, and people I have met along the way who truly enrich my life. And blessed that I have a God who loves me enough to die for.

That is my birthday reflection this year.

Turns out, I was supposed to stumble into that Spanish Mass afterall. 🙂

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5


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BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

252 thoughts on “My Spanish BIRTHDAY Card!

    1. Aw, thank you so much Johannes!! you’re so right – don’t get anxious! i need to remember that! big hugs xox

  1. Beautiful 💖💖💖

    I’m so glad you’re here too. Have a lovely birthday, dear. You have so much to celebrate!

    Peace and love 🌺🌸🦋

    1. Thank you so much Paula!!! so much to celebrate and be grateful for! big hugs xox

  2. Happiest birthday my sweet friend. Your renewal brings so much light and life to so many. My life is better because of your encouraging blogs. Love you sister. One day we’ll catch up over coffee. It’s gonna happen. Hugs. May God bless you with the best year yet.

    1. awww, thank you so much Melissa!!! what a kind thing to say 🙂 And one day that would be so fun! God bless you too, my friend! big big hugs xo

  3. I’m very glad you found the answers you needed in a venue you never expected! I run into similar perspective problems: bemoaning what I don’t have instead of what I do have. It can be very difficult to let go of what we want(ed).

    I’m suddenly reminded of a story how islanders somewhere trap monkeys for food. They make a box with food in it with a hole just big enough to get its hand through to reach some food items but not big enough to get their hands out while still holding the food. Even when they see a man approaching, they simply will not free themselves by letting go! Their greed turns them into dinner for one.

    Not that I’m comparing you to a monkey. Not nearly that hairy. Your arms aren’t unusually long. I’ve never seen a tail in any of your pictures. Just, well,…making the point. Should I stop digging now?

    So, my friend, I’m glad you let go of what was in the box and freed yourself from what you had wanted or maybe still want. This year. Maybe we’ll have to revisit monkey island till next year, but until then…may we all learn when to let go!

    1. Thank you so much Jeff! That is so interesting! and hahah you made me laugh about the monkeys! but in all seriousness – that’s really great advice — when to let go! I think that is such a necessary — and oftentimes difficult lesson — to learn! big hugs to you xo

    1. Thank you so much Ed!!! I appreciate that. Blessings to you as well! big hugs xox

  4. Happy Birthday to you. I really enjoyed your post especially where you got the message from Him. It reminded me that that He has an answer to all life’s questions and I’m happy He answered yours. I too share your birth month, I’m the 7th and not too excited about the age jump either. But I will encourage myself with the message you shared from Ecclesiates an Colossians and use Ezekiel 37:5 as my mantra. More Blessings to you.

    1. Thank you so much my friend! Yes!! He really does have all the answers — and how blessed are we to have a book of His Word?!! I do love Ez 37:5 so incredibly much 🙂 Big hugs xox

    1. Thank you so much Rosanna!! 🙂 So glad it resonated with you!! big hugs to you xox

  5. Hey Caralyn, if you are going to stumble in this life, the best way is to stumble into the arms of Jesus Christ. Then He can hold you and share things with you personally, without the world crowding Him out.

    I am aware that you will know these verses, but I believe we all need reminders and encouragement at times, as brothers and sisters in Christ. He was always encouraging, so we have a Perfect Example.

    “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:33-34‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Earlier, Christ was teaching about not worrying about food, drink, clothing, and don’t be hoarding or storing things for the future, worrying about what “may”
    happen.

    Jesus then says seek the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness, and all that will be taken care of. He closes by saying, don’t worry about tomorrow, get through today first, but do it God’s way.

    Caralyn, you are a bundle of Godliness and Beauty, with Gentleness and Compassion, following and sharing Christ in ways everyone can understand, because you share with a human element also.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dearest Friend Caralyn,
    God’s Blessings,
    Luv, 😀🌹❤️😘🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

    1. Stumble into the arms of Jesus – AMEN TO THAT, my dear friend!! Thank you so much for the kind birthday words! And I love those verses — thank you for sharing them with me! Gosh, I am so touched by your generous words — thank you for being such a great friend! big big hugs! xoxo

  6. Isn’t it awesome to know that God is faithful and good and trustworthy. Your future is planned and destined for good and not evil; for prosperity; and is taylor-made just for you…keep following his path.
    Oh and happy birthday.

    1. Thank you so much Annette!! It really is SO awesome how amazing His love is!! Thank you for the kindness. big hugs xox

  7. If we cling to belief in God, we cannot likewise have faith, since faith is not clinging but letting go”—Alan Watts

    1. Oh wow I love that so SO much, Jim. Amen. Thanks for sharing it with me! big hugs xox

      1. I thinks she likes some Alan Watts! Hehe “When we form images of god they are all really exhibitions of our lack of faith—something to hold on to, something to grasp.
        When we don’t grasp we have the attitude of faith. If you let go of all the idols of faith you will of course discover that what this unknown is precisely, the foundation of the universe, which is precisely yourself.
        This is the central mystery. It’s you

  8. Great post! Happy Birthday!! May God continue to bless you exceedingly, abundantly and above!! 🙂

  9. P. S. You’re right on with God’s message to you at that Spanish mass! May he continue to reveal to you your awesomeness and your worth, things a great man is looking for. You’re not called to a mediocre man but to a wise, highly spiritual one. You’ll have him soon as you rest in God’s care, while enjoying your authentic self…hobbies, spiritual growth, talents, and just plain having fun. ❤️

    1. Thank you so much for saying that! You’re right – God is preparing my future husband’s heart, as He’s preparing my 🙂 That’s great advice! Thanks again xox

  10. There are two things we can do on Earth that we cannot do in heaven – sin and share the love of Jesus with someone that does not yet know him. Every morning that you wake up, God is giving you another opportunity to do something you cannot do in heaven! Which do you think He would like you to do?

    Love seeing Jesus shining through you more and more.

    Paul

    1. Thank you so much for the encouraging words! You’re so right! Share His love! hugs xo

    1. Thank you so much!!! Aww, what a kind thing to say! I agree – He is the way! big hugs xox

    1. haha oh my gosh I WISH I could, Shani! How fun would that be! I hope you have an absolutely amazing time!! hugs xo

      1. I think it’s so cool to experience Mass in another language. Because even though you don’t understand what is exactly being said, you know what exactly is being said, if that makes sense! hugs xox

  11. May your upcoming year be filled with blessings, may your year just ended be a strong pillar on which the rest of your life may be built. Thank you for all the wisdom you have shared with us, and may God grant you the grace to share for another year.

    God bless you!
    AMDG
    -Scoot

    1. Thank you so much Scoot! I really appreciate that 🙂 Hope you’re having a great night! big hugs xo

  12. Have a wonderful birthday and may you have a blessed year ahead. May you feel HIS presence in a mighty way and may you feel even closer to the Lord and may HE continue to use you to be an inspiration and blessing to others and may you be blessed in return in the coming year
    Sending you some love and hugs 🤗 ❤️🌺

    1. Thank you so much my friend! what a beautiful note — I appreciate it. love and hugs back atcha! xox

  13. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to YOU
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to YOU
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a very gorgeous and amazing lady named Caralynn who is beyond amazing
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to YOU!!!

    And may YOU have far too many more so that YOU can be a light to many people.

    As for that getting older and still single thing, I have been there. I remember my twenties when it did not happen. That was a while ago, and it still has not happened yet. The main thing is to live your life. Maybe one day a good man will be awestruck by you, and he will be a very blessed man.

    1. Thank you so much JB!! Oh my gosh you’re too kind!! And thanks for the great advice. Big hugs xo

  14. Happy Birthday, Caralyn!!!! I pray this next walk around the sun will be the best one yet, with an understanding of renewal and what it means when someone is truly born again in Christ, through mindset and life. You’re an inspiration and I appreciate your taking time to share your journey!

    1. Thank you so much Shell!! I really appreciate this beautiful prayer! Yes!! Thank you for being a wonderful friend! hugs xox

    1. THanks Ryan! Yeah, it was really a neat experience! Despite not understanding the homily!! ((it’s okay thought – i listened to a podcast homily later that day!! )) heheh hope you’re having a great night! big hugs xo

  15. Oh what a celebration–HAPPY BIRTHDAY (I can’t remember the Spanish for it…something cumpleanos, maybe?)!!! Your post is spilling over with richness, JOY, Blessings! I love the verses you shared from the Spanish Mass, and that it was right where HE wanted you to be!! I never liked b’days either, but my attitude is better now–I’ll be 67 next month, and daily I am more aware of God’s gifts to me. I, too, have survived issues (depression) because of HIS grace and mercies. I love that you reminded us “renewal” is not a one-time thing–I’ve just spent a couple tough years, due to the Lie that what God did for me in 2011 was IT, I’d arrived–no more issues or worries. I believed and shouted to the world that God had healed and delivered me from lifelong depression…only to have it return. In despair I searched my heart for wrong-doing, but God kept telling me, “that’s not it–I still have more to teach you, and there will be times of testing; don’t be afraid or despair, I AM WITH YOU.” I’m blessed that more and more pastors are teaching that God works through “process”, a constant renewing–HE did it in the lives of Bible folk, and often HE still works that way today. HE has not changed HIS mind, HIS promises are all still legit–so when we’re feeling low, all we need to do is Lean Into HIM, be quiet and listen for HIS voice. Thank you for this wonderful post…hope I haven’t jabbered too much! May God bless your b’day HUGELY! Much love, Fleur <3

    1. Thank you so much Fleur!! What a beautiful note, I really appreciate that. And thank you for sharing your story — how incredibly powerful — I am with you — wow. What a powerful truth. I’m sorry it’s been such a trying journey, but I’m so glad you’ve had that renewal! big hugs to you xox

  16. Happy Birthday Sis! Thanks for sharing, because the messages you received served as reminders, nudges, and confirmations to me from the Lord! Abba is good like that!!

  17. Happy, happy Birthday, Dear Caralyn! You have many gifts, including a strength of spirit. You embrace life and walk on your journey with Jesus. No need to worry about not meeting your goals. You are valuable and give much! Fine wine ages well and have people lining up to buy what is so precious. Caralyn, you are valuable. Enjoy you birthday and take time enjoy the fragrant flowers and smell them. You are precious and so is each day! Love and hugs! XOXO

    1. awww thank you so much for this beautiful note!!!!! gosh, i am seriuosly so touched. Fine wine — I love that 🙂 cheers, my dear friend! big hugs xo

  18. Happy blessed birthday! Your ability to witness the ‘present’ as your true present is beautiful. I wish you have a great year of celebrating life!

  19. Happy birthday to you!! 🥳🎂🍰🎈 Our birthdays are really close together (my birthday was yesterday) and it’s awesome that you’re an August baby too. Did you know that the August flower is the sunflower? 🌻🌻🌻

    1. Thank you so much Hilary! And oh my gosh happy belated!! Hope you had an awesome day! I didn’t know that!! Love that fact!! Hugs and love xox

  20. Happy birthday Caralyn! Much love to you. I just turned 30 a few days ago and can relate to the whole “older” thing. But a friend told me that it’s going to be an awesome decade. She’s so right! Bring it on. 🙂 God has amazing, beautiful plans for you. I’m so thankful for you and this blog!

    1. Thank you so much Hannah! And oh my gosh happy belated!! So exciting!! Totally – awesome decade for sure!! Hugs and love xox

  21. I should have guessed you are a leo…. it all makes sense now lol…. oddly, yesterday I found my solace, or a reminder of the miracle of life, in an unremarkable sky, because every sunset and sunrise is a truly amazing thing as long as we have the eyes and life to see it… the signs of life are always there, we just have to stop the world spinning (in our minds) and pay attention, however we get there is fine, as long as we get there, and share… that is truly the best we can do, and we mostly fail, but that only makes the moments of clarion beauty that much more warming…

    1. Thank you so much David! Haha I don’t know what that means but I’ll take it! I appreciate the kindness! Hugs and love xox

      1. leos find leos, mostly, at least from my experience, as much as I love to ground myself in logic and science I wind up finding myself in a pride of lions, at work, online… so coincidence? there are either no coincidences or there are tons… just funny to me how the universe (or god if you will) works. anyway for whatever reason at this exact point in history I met your blog, and I am glad, it adds fuel to my personal fire, good bad or indifferent, it is a voice to which I can listen.

  22. A year has passed,
    Time to renew.
    This is your day,
    To redefine you.

    Looking back,
    At the good, the bad.
    You’ll find much treasure;
    Worthy to be had.

    With every laugh, a memory;
    Every tear, a lesson
    Growth comes to us all;
    Every age and season.

    I wish you a blessed birthday.
    May joys eternally follow.
    I wish you the best day ever;
    And a better one tomorrow.

    Happy Birthday Caralyn. God Bless You.

  23. A year has passed,
    Time to renew.
    This is your day,
    To redefine you.

    Looking back,
    At the good, the bad.
    You’ll find much treasure;
    Worthy to be had.

    With every laugh, a memory;
    Every tear, a lesson
    Growth comes to us all;
    Every age and season.

    I wish you a blessed birthday.
    May joys eternally follow.
    I wish you the best day ever;
    And a better one tomorrow.

    Happy Birthday Caralyn. God Bless You.

  24. A few Sundays ago, I tried a new church because it started at 2:30, which is more reasonable than 8 a.m., lol. It was Burmese. 😶 The pastor and his wife (plus baby) saw me walk in, came back to me, and asked me not to leave. Then, midway through service, which lasted until 5 (!), a woman sent a microphone my way and asked me to introduce myself.
    Every day is a new adventure.
    Happy birthday!

  25. What a beautiful gift for your birthday. God loves you and so do so many of us. Many happy returns of the day and lots of love 💕 🤗🍷💃🏻🌹

  26. That’s really good. The Holy Spirit definitely isn’t confined to a language barrier. I actually get my dad a Spanish birthday card every year. He doesn’t know what it says. I don’t even know what it says. But He feels that love that exudes off of it. Plus he likes looking up the meaning later when I’m not around;) Happy Birthday today:)

  27. Happy Birthday 🎁🎊🎂🎈🎉 lovely girl with a lovely spirit and lovely soul!! You are blessed in every day you move forward from the harsh experience you went through. Hugs and love from me on each of those days!! Xoxoxoxo Was this church in NYC? Was it kind of near

    1. Sorry!! Was it kind of near SoHo or Chelsea? I MAY have gone to it on one of my NYC day trips! I had time before my bus so I looked up Spanish masses, and most of what I found was on Sunday, or too late on Saturday EXCEPT this one and it was beautiful! Maybe it was the same one???? More love and hugs xoxoxoxoxo♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

      1. Wow how amazing is that!! Then again, you’re amazing so anything you do is full of beautiful possibility and inspiration!! 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

  28. You reflected beautifully the feelings those of us who are alone feel every year when our birthday comes, especially if we’ve had dreams, desires or goals that haven’t come true yet. I often reflect upon my life and ask God where is my partner, even if there will ever be one, but then I look at what I have–more than most–and I get back to work at the present task: rebuilding this church. Maybe I’ll meet someone maybe I won’t. Then, I think, “If not, perhaps my blog, my work with the church or a bequest changes the direction of more than a few lives, that was God’s plan.
    You will always be desirable to men, except the foolish ones. No worries there. It’s in your DNA. It’s the way you carry yourself. You have a radiant personality. God bless always.

  29. What a beautiful, uplifting and God-inspiring post! I felt His peace while reading it. The second to last quote truly blessed my heart! Happy birthday Carelyn! May God bless you to see many more in Jesus name! May you continue to “bloom” 😉 in all His ways and let His will be done in your life <3 blessings! I want CAKE! thank you. 😛

    1. Thank you so much Tammy!!! aw this is so beautiful, thank you for such knd and generous words! hugs xox

  30. Wishing you a truly happy birthday! all the more since it’s not something you enjoy 😉

    And, I needed to hear this too. My birthday is also approaching all too close and I’m not really looking forward to the one-more-year-older thing. But remembering that I am where the Lord wants me, and that anxiety won’t do me any good – Yeah. That’s something I need to hear!

  31. Happy Birthday to an inspiration in practical Christian living. Yes we do add another year, then another and sometimes feel like shouting STOP! But each day is a gift we can accept from God or decline to be grateful for. It’s our choice, but we are energized when we are grateful and blessed too. May God richly bless you as you enter another year. 🙂

  32. Happy birthday girl! Wishing you love, happiness and peace always. 💛 remember God has a plan. One of the hardest things for me has been accepting where I am today compared to where I thought I’d be. I’m happy though that my life looks different than others- so should you be. Our lives are unique to our journey.

  33. Have a wonderful birthday, Caralyn! Each day and each new year are such precious gifts from God. I love how He orders our steps to speak the specific words that we need to hear – when we truly need them. Renewed is such a beautiful word – at any age. ❤

  34. Happy Birthday! Today is my birthday (August 7th). I’m tickled to know so many people who celebrate their birthdays in August. With your post, I’m reminded of a wonderful song called “Evidence.” The 8:30 worship team sings it every few months, and it’s one of my favorites. In part, the verses read, “Love is the evidence.” You are a shining example of love!!

    1. Thank you so much Laura Beth!! Oh my gosh happy birthday my dear friend! I hope you have an amazing day! and gosh, what kind words. SO very touched! big hugs xox

  35. What a gift from God for your birthday. I wanted to tell you, as a mom I often think I love my children’s birthdays more than they do. It is an incredible gift to have children and watch them grow and (hopefully) walk with the Lord. I am blessed that all four of my children do. I know how you love your family, so maybe it will help you to think of your birthday from your mom’s perspective. You were and are a gift to her. Also, as an encouragement, my first three kids all were married before they were 22. My last at 28. God has this under control. Happy birthday!

    1. Thank you so much Bonnie! Aww, this is such a beautiful reflection. You have such a beautiful heart! big hugs xox

  36. Happy belated birthday!! I love reading your posts 💓 They’re so encouraging and inspiring. And it’s wonderful to hear from a recovered sister in Christ!! Feel free to check out my blog if you get the chance.

  37. Happy Birthday kid! I loved your message today. I’ve been away for a while trying to find something; someone who was never lost. May God bless you and all that you do for his kingdom. Have an awesome day!

  38. Happy belated Birthday Caralyn, and thanks for the reminder of God’s grace and mercy. I’ve been up against, “The Man” this week. Not getting what I expected, not getting what I need, bummer. But ya know what, if not for the touch of God’s healing hand, I would not have had my last 20 years of this life. Muchas gracias for resetting my perspective. You’re the best.
    ;-D an

    1. Thank you so much Dan! I really appreciate your kind words. God will always be there for us 🙂 sorry it’s been a tough week. hang in there. hugs xox

  39. A beautiful birthday post for a beautiful girl with a gorgeous heart for the Lord. Hugs to you for this next year – May it be filled with many blessed SURPRISES!!😘

    1. Hi Dawn Marie! Thank you so much!!!! gosh you’re kind to say that. Yes!! 🙂 big hugs xo

    1. Thank you so much Lorie!!! you’re kind to say that, so glad it resonated with you! big hugs xo

    1. aw, thank you so much Amanda!!! you’re so kind to say that 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  40. Hope you had a good birthday and belated good wishes for it.

    I know exactly what you mean about hearing God. A couple of times I have been to a Polish mass with a friend and my Polish is limited to Yes / No and a couple of other words on a good day. Despite that during the service there was something about the music, the words and the flow that was so familiar in relation to the feel of God. I don’t believe it was chance and it let me focus on God in a way that doesn’t normally happen as the words weren’t getting in the way.

    1. THank you so much!!! Oh my gosh it was the absolute best birthday! 🙂 oh how awesome – a Polish mass! I would absolutely love to experience that! I agree — and you know what they say — the Holy Spirit doesn’t need words to speak to us — He speaks in groanings of the heart!! big big hugs to you xox

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