Anyway, I had a great birthday on Monday and felt very spoiled and loved. Sarah's teacher asked me to start volunteering on Mondays, so I did. I went in with the kids and was put to work stapling papers, making copies, and eventually she even asked me to walk around during math and help the kids who were having trouble. Bless their hearts. I specifically put on my volunteer application that reading and writing are my strengths and DID NOT even mention math. Y'all pray for those kids I help, 'k? Anyway, I stayed until it was time to get Kate and when I arrived at the Jeep I found this.
It brought back memories of high school when my sweetheart would do stuff like this almost everyday. I'm not kidding. I felt 17 again! And that card said everything I wanted it to, just like the poem Josh wrote for me the day I decided I was in love with him and we would get married. I was 17 then. Anyway, that card and balloon would have been enough to make me happy for the day!
Josh took Kate and I out to lunch and the weather was so nice we sat outside to eat. I love eating outside. I got two cards in the mail, one from my sister and one from my bestie. They both had gift cards in them, and gift cards are my new love language. We were planning to do my birthday dinner the next night because Sarah has 3 dance classes on Monday night (she's hardcore, y'all), but while I was on the phone with Karen, Josh got a call that some of our friends who he was supposed to pick up at the airport on Saturday were actually coming back the next night. SO.....he called my Mom and brother and asked if they could go ahead and come and then threw my birthday dinner together in a manner of hours. I asked for meatloaf, hashbrown casserole and German sweet chocolate cake. I decided that you know you're old when you've been told you can have anything for your birthday dinner and you pick meatloaf. :) Josh had never actually made a meatloaf, but wouldn't you know it, his turned out way better than mine do!! It was all super yummy and to top off my night of feeling old Josh didn't just use the number candles, he put all of them on there.
At this point I was trying to figure out where I put the fire extinguisher. (Yes, we actually have one. It was in the house when we moved in and I just figured the church got word of my cooking abilities ahead of time....)
My Mom captured this shot as smoke filled the room. At least I can say I blew them all out by myself. :) I may or may not have eaten every last bite of what was left of the cake the next day.
After supper I FINALLY opened presents. It was killing Kate. She had been trying to give me presents to open all day. I knew Josh had ordered my present from him weeks ago and had been really excited about it. I was excited about it too!
Okay, for some reason this pic will not upload the right way. Please pretend she is not sideways. Anyway, this is a figurine that I was given my senior year of high school at my dance studio. I loved her dearly, but made the critical mistake of displaying her in my home whilst it was filled with 3 children under the age of 5. She got broken. Beyond repair. I'm not really a "stuff" kind of person and I am definitely a minimalist when it comes to having stuff out around the house, mostly because I'm too lazy to dust it, but this ballerina was very special to me. Josh has been trying to find an affordable one to replace her for years now, and I was so thrilled he finally found one!
To end my day perfectly, after I opened presents everybody was going outside. I was staying in to play with my toys :) and Eli said, "I'm going to stay with Mama. It's her birthday. We can't leave her by herself.." Oh. my.word. Please know that when a girl comes into his life for real and replaces me as his favorite girl, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Just sayin'.
All in all it was a fabulous day. I will say that in my old age I have really begun to think about life so differently. This year I felt like God just really impressed on my heart the gifts I've been given in my life. Not birthday gifts. Gifts like, parents who loved me and worked hard to make sure I stayed healthy and happy. Gifts like, friends who have laughed with me, cried with me, been honest with me, shared life with me. Gifts like, a husband who goes out of his way to make me feel loved everyday. Gifts like amazing teachers at school, dance, and church who invested their time and knowledge in me. Gifts like living in a time where I have opportunities and resources that women even 20 years ago didn't have. Gifts like being trusted by God to serve Him in ministry. I can even see now how so many of the tough things I've experienced in life came with the gifts of compassion, mercy, understanding, and yes, even patience!
I have often struggled with why I have been blessed in life the way that I have. It doesn't seem fair that I've had so many good things when others suffer so much. It's something I've wrestled with for as long as I can remember and I feel like for my 31st birthday present God spoke to me about it. I felt like He told me if I've been given these gifts, it's so I can share them. The love I've known should lead me to love others, especially those who may not get if from anyone else in their life. I've been blessed with friends to teach me how to be a friend to others. I've had amazing teachers that have equipped me to teach others, and if I have opportunities I need to use them to bless someone else. Thank you, Father, for the gifts you've given me!
"how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"
What gifts have you been given that you can share?