Yesterday was my birthday.
From my children, I received beautiful hand-drawn cards:
From my five year old.
My three year old wrote that!
From my husband, I received roses, two fair trade chocolate bars, and two books.
I read a chapter of this one that morning:
Wow–she didn’t pull any punches, did she? It wrecked me. I absolutely loved it, though.
After reading a chapter of that one, I turned my attention to other book he got me:
And I read it…um…in its entirety.
All I can say is, Wow. It will completely inspire you to give your life to God–I mean really give your life to Him–right where you are. I’m about to ship this one off to a dear friend.
From my parents, Greg’s parents, and our grandmothers, I received sweet cards (as well as some sweet spending money).
From my friends and family on Facebook, I received an overwhelming outpouring of love that made me praise God for His family.
From Luke’s teacher, I received the opportunity to shower love on twenty kids from all over the world as I traced their feet and helped them make a reindeer out of their foot and handprints. After reading Kisses from Katie, I was dying to go love some children, and this provided the perfect opportunity.
And from God, I received a few things, too:
I received a reprieve from getting a horrible stomach bug. There have been two in my house in the past two weeks (an inevitable side effect of having oodles of people over), and both times, they have miraculously passed over my family and my extremely-virus-prone self. On Sunday, I was sure I had one, even before I knew one had been in my house on Saturday…but it passed. (Maybe that’s also a gift from my immune system, having had 31 years to develop immunities to bugs that mainly affect toddlers. Way to grow up, immune system!) The principal at Luke’s school did tell me that they sent eight kids home yesterday with the bug, so we aren’t out of the woods, yet. But…no birthday bug!
Secondly, from God, I received a rental lease on our house in South Carolina, signed by a family who will move in on December 10! Praise the Lord! That’s a birthday and Christmas gift in one.
Thinking about the lease being signed on my birthday, I realized that the signing was just the bow on a greater gift God has given me. In these past few months, He has given me the certainty that He is in control of my life. He has freed me from so many of the fears that have haunted me for the past eight years…mainly by making them come true…and then showing me that they were nothing He couldn’t handle. I can’t explain what a burden has been lifted through this whole experience. I now know, 100% know, that my life and my family are in God’s hands. I don’t fear so many of the things I used to fear. I just fear God, and commit my life to Him. It is such a simpler, freer, and more beautiful existence. And it’s probably the best gift I could receive on my birthday.
It rained all day yesterday, but the rain just reminded me of the grace that God pours on me everyday. He showers grace on me through my husband and children, through our physical families and our church families, through the beauty of His world, and through His bountiful provision that we know we don’t deserve.
Thank you God–and everyone else–for a wonderful birthday!