A week before my birthday
this great big envelope and a few other things came in the mail for me.
I was so excited!
My mom told me I could not open any more mail until my birthday
("Oh, mom, why did you have to say that?" Mom knows I love surprises).
It was so hard because I walked past them all the time.
The night before my birthday, I hung the bithday banner
(that is a tradition my mom started when I was growing up).
I was so tempted to open just one card the night before,
but then I remembered what I promised my mom.
Okay, I am going to be honest with you. the week before my birthday, I kind of had one of my meltdowns about turning 34. Maybe it was a little bit more like a pity party than a melt down.
"melt down" - involves anxiety, bouts of crying, pitifulness, helplessness,
the feeling of being over whelmed, ....
"pity party" - booo hoo, I am still single, poor me, what is wrong with
me; may involve the overwhelming longing for a husband
and children and/or the overwhelming need for snacking
(always seems to help :)).
(I'm sure you've never felt that way.)
As I wrestled with myself about turning another year older and being without those things I desired, I thought of this verse -
" For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
When I was a teenager, I thought that when I was in my 30's I would be married to a godly man and be raising a brood of children. After all, when my mother was my age she had a 10 year old and an 8 year old.
Do you ever sometimes wonder, why the Lord has not given you the desires of your heart? Sometimes I ask Him just that. I even quote that verse back to Him. I may say something like this - "Lord, in Psalm 37:4 You say, 'Delight thyself also in the Lord: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.' Lord, I do my best to walk in Your power and to delight in You. This is Your promise, Lord. I know You keep your promises, so I will keep trusting, but Lord, I want You to know it is hard for me to trust You to keep this specific promise, because I have waited so long."
Now you know I am human and struggle with many of the things that you also struggle with. Usually after I have a talk with the Lord and He encourages me with His Word, I am ready to move on.
Now, about my birthday - - -
So many of you have asked me "What did you do on your birthday?"
I decided that I would not just tell you, but also show you.
Very early, on my birthday morning, I went out to my favorite place to spend some time with my favorite person- the Lord!
After my quiet time and a cup of coffee, I opened the long-awaited package.
As you can see, the envelope was full of birthday greetings from home.
WHAT A BLESSING!
It was like receiving my very own party!
Each card and letter was so very special.
They contained birthday greetings, but each was personalized with kind and encouraging words, Bible verses, poems, hand drawn pictures from some praying children, pictures & a card with foot prints from my cat (Buddy) that I left behind, letters with news from home, devotional papers, short stories, picture of friends and family,.....
I think it took about 2 hours to open all of those cards. What a tremendous blessing! It felt like each person was here with me to talk for a while on my birthday - THANK YOU!
As most of you ladies know, housework and daily routine does not stop for your birthday.
There was laundry to hang...
...dishes to do...
... and school to get ready for.
Do I look another year older??? How about now????
Then I drove down to the city of Durban to go to my Zulu class.
This is the university I attend - Howard College, a division of UKZN
(University of Kwa-Zulu Natal).
On the way home I picked up some groceries...
... then, had a special birthday dinner with my fellow missionaries - the Kilmers.
They took me to a delicious seafood restaurant - YUM!
After our dinner together, I went home to finish making my birthday cake.
I made my favorite - chocolate with peanut butter icing.
As I iced each layer and put the cake together,
I thought about the 34 years of my life that the Lord had given me.
My life was like these layers.
Since salvation I had built my life on God's Word.
Yes, there have been hard times (and there will continue to be).
Times when I felt like my life was falling apart
or like I cannot be delicious to God,
but yet He continued to love me
and make me that "delicious" person He wanted me to be.
Psalm 34:8 "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."
I thank the Lord for all He has done in my life.
It was a blessing to reflect on all He has shown me
and ways He has been with me during the trials of life.
Thank you also to all the family friends,
and supporters -----
--- for making this birthday---
---a very memorable one!
You have truly ministered to me in WORD & DEED!!!