I can sI’ll be celebrating my birthday very soon but to be perfectly honest with you, I’m not so worked up about it. Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m the type of person who deems occasions like these special, but when it’s focused on me, I’m not so particular about being pampered or getting what I want. That’s just me. I’ve been this way for a long time, I think.

Now that I’m a mom of three precious God-given blessings though, I find myself making wishes and sending out prayers in anticipation of my birthday — not for me, but for my children. (But please, don’t be fooled into thinking that I’m so selfless that way, because really, I’m not! *winks*)

So what exactly is my birthday wish for my children?

Nothing fancy really. But I’m sure most, if not all, the moms out there would agree with me on at least one of the “components” of my wish.

On my birthday, I wish…

…that my children will grow up to know, love and serve God.

…that in knowing, loving and serving God, my children will learn to love and serve others.

…that my children will discover what they’re truly meant to do in this world, and that my husband and I will be able to help them discover it.

…that even if my children take a long time to discover what they’re truly meant to do in this world, they will enjoy the journey that will lead to their discovery.

…that my children will know how to survive the trials and face the temptations and brave the tempests that life will bring.

…that my children will also help others survive the trials and face the temptations and brave the tempests that life will bring.

…that my children will know what it means to be truly loved and unconditionally cherished.

…that my children will know how to truly love and unconditionally cherish others.

…that my children will know how to adapt to the ever-changing workings of the world, yet be firm in their faith and convictions.

…that my children will know what true social justice is all about, and that they will be a voice for the voiceless, especially the unborn and the victims of horrible crimes like child sex trafficking.

…that my children will know that money and material riches do not define a person, but character, kindness and compassion do.

…that my children will know that even if money and material riches do not define a person, there’s nothing wrong with aspiring to be rich — as long as your ultimate purpose is to help and bless others.

…that my children will be healthy in all aspects — physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially.

…that my children will not be “burdened” by us — their parents — in our old age, which is why my husband and I believe that we need to be more frugal, save for the future and invest in our retirement.

…that my children, when they are grown, will look back on their childhood — our years of mission in Timor Leste and our life in the Philippines (and maybe elsewhere, too, you never know, right?) — and only have fond memories.

…that our decision to homeschool them will only bring blessings and opportunities, and lead them to the path that is meant for them.

Ultimately, my wish for my children is that despite my faults, imperfections and failures as a mother (and oh, they are so, so, so many!), they will still turn out all right (insert nervous laughter here), and will live blessed lives, focused on being truly rich in all that matters.

How about you? If you could wish for anything on your birthday — anything at all — what would it be? Come share in the comments!

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez (Philippines)

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez is a wife and homeschool mom by vocation, a licensed physical therapist by education and currently the managing editor of Mustard, a Catholic children's magazine published by Shepherd's Voice Publications in the Philippines, by profession. She has been writing passionately since her primary school years in Brunei, and contributes regularly to several Philippine and foreign-based online and print publications. She also does sideline editing and scriptwriting jobs, when she has the time. Find out more about Tina through her personal blogs: Truly Rich Mom and Teacher Mama Tina.

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