I have two things to say that are way over due! And only because of my sister’s prodding am I actually sitting down right now to write this. Otherwise you might have waited for another month. Don’t worry, she doesn’t have THAT much control over me.
… just a little.
#1. On September 4th I rounded the corner and prepared myself to enter a fourth decade, or end a third one, whichever it technically is. Surprisingly, it was not alarming. I’ve been saying for awhile now that I feel every bit of thirty. It just feels right.
Let me clarify the ‘not alarming’ phrase. The actual process of changing my age digits from 29 to 30 was not alarming, but the surprises that surrounded that change were anything but boring. My conniving man set about to make this a very memorable birthday.
Well, technically he’s a liar, but we won’t go into that.
About a week before the day, he let me know I couldn’t plan anything for the evening of my birthday (Thursday) or for the weekend following, for that matter.
AND, he kept telling me, “Don’t expect too much, Jean.” Hmmm….what was I supposed to do with that? Sure, go ahead and surprise me and then tell me it’s not worth anticipating?? Whatever. I’m a woman. I have great expectations. Regardless, I tried to obey and not become too excited.
Don’t tell him, but I kinda liked the idea of being surprised.
Well Thursday evening ‘dawned bright and early’. I was to be ready a little after 6 pm. I was instructed to wear casual. I had assumed we would be going out for dinner until he loaded up our corn hole game. Then I knew it wasn’t just us. And when he turned south out of our lane, I had it figured out in two guesses. Turns out my dear, dear friend, Delilah, had been up to some conniving herself. She had a regular birthday feast all ready and waiting for us and a few other dear friends. Now let me say, she has four wee little boys (only one in school) AND she had met me at a park that day to celebrate. Hah! So, do the math….not much time left to prepare, but it was a fantastic evening. I think my favorite part was her outdoor dessert table. Tastefully decorated with candles, lights and flowers, it was quite the sight. And mind you, not just one dessert, but THREE! Creme brulee, peaches and cream cheesecake, and cream puffs. We ate our dessert in style, and yes, I tried all three! And yes, they were all three absolutely marvelous. Thank-you again Delilah!
Then…… I was told that I’d need to pack for the weekend, so I knew it involved going away. Friday afternoon, I was out gathering my laundry in from off the line. I heard a voice behind me say, “Do you need help with that?” I whipped around to find my own dear mother standing a few yards behind me. I don’t usually do this with surprises, but I screamed! Like bloody murder! I think probably every neighbor thought that’s what was happening. As I was hugging her, my sister came sprinting around the house, and I screamed again. Unfortunately, it was directly in my mother’s ear. As I was recovering from that, or rather as my mother’s ears were recovering, my four year old niece came sprinting around the corner and yes, you guessed it….I screamed again. Then I sat down in the grass all giggles and smiles, and I let the wonder of it all sink in. You see, a couple weeks prior I had asked for them to come, but alas, their schedules were too busy. Yeah right! I didn’t know until later, but at the time that I asked, the weekend was already planned. Well…… I’m not going to go into all the details of the marvelous weekend. You can read about it on my sister’s blog: shari.zooks.us/gifts
Talk about a serendipitous birthday! My husband is my new hero!
And in the glow of all this, I ask, “God, what right do I have to be restored to fullness and life?” The fact is, I have no right. It is a gift! One of the best parts of the weekend was revisiting the stem cell transplant unit at UVA. As we entered the room where I spent three weeks of my life, it felt more like a bad dream from long ago, than a reality. I stood there and looked around and remembered how I met my Maker and Healer in a new way! AND, I got to share what Jesus had done with one of my least favorite nurses. Why she of all people was the only one there that day, I don’t know, but I have this feeling that it was kinda planned that way. I would not have chosen to talk with her, but as I shared with her my experiences and how Jesus has healed me and thanked her for her part in it all, she broke down. Redemption…. Yes!
#2. Yes, I’m finally getting to number two. Did you forget we are in a sequence here? :) But this post hath made itself long enough, so you will have to wait for number two for another time.