Today I turned 46. It was a great day. It started with sleeping in and then a couple of hours with my spiritual formation group. They blessed me with flowers, balloons, goodies to eat, and candles to enjoy at home, one of which is burning right now, filling the room with the scent of sunflowers (do sunflowers have a scent?). Then I came home and put Charli's room back in order after spending three days painting! Her room is now the color of all things Hannah Montana. If you'd like to replicate--go to Lowe's and buy Wild Wisteria and Crystal Aqua. Yeah. It looks just like you're imagining. She's 8, so it's rad. And BTW, why would you NOT decorate with a giant Scooby Doo stuffed pooch? My plan was to spend two to three hours reflecting, reading, journaling. Uh huh. In another life maybe. I was on the phone straightening out medical insurance stuff for a while, then I moved on to washing dishes, then on to Charli's room. When she came home from a roller skating field trip and had a meltdown because I had rearranged her furniture, I decided it was time to run away and get my birthday manicure/pedicure. And because I like to live large, I got my eyebrows waxed as well.
When I came home, Chip had prepared dinner, and three of my dear friends and neighbors came over for Chip's special Benihana chicken fried rice and mojitos. I know. Mojitos aren't a typical pairing with Asian cuisine. I'm a redneck and Chip is from New Mexico...give us a break. The conversation was wonderful and sprinkled with memories of times we've spent together as well as new stories that helped us know one another a bit more.
At some point during this day, each of my four kids and my husband hugged me and said, "Happy birthday , mom. I love you." OK, Chip didn't say "Mom" cuz that would just be creepy. But you know what I mean. It just doesn't get any better. My sister-in-law called. She's like the coolest perrson alive...flew the U2, was a pilot for United and Emirates Airlines and is now in med school. Join me, if you will, in a prayer that she will do something with her life. Honestly, the coolest thing is that she loves us and our kids even in the middle of her crazy busy life.
I am overwhelmed and so very grateful for all the birthday wishes through Facebook. I didn't even know how to log on to Facebook a little over a year ago. Now I'm thinking what a great resource of encouragement it can be. I am so encouraged to know that I have all these friends who will join me in rejoicing, mourning, laughing...praying.
So what is my prayer today---my 46th birthday, just three minutes from the day after my birthday? I pray that this time next year I will look more like Jesus than I do today---more loving, more gracious, more wise, more giving, more compassionate, more resolute in what is right, more willing to serve. That is my prayer at midnight on my 46th birthday.