January 21

Did you like how I oh-so-subtly reminded everyone in my last post that my birthday was coming up? I assure you that was not my intention, but I did have to laugh at myself for doing it, even though it was subconsciously.

Last night as I lay in bed, praying with Brian, I could not stop the tears from spilling over onto my cheeks. But for a nice change, the tears were not tears of sadness, not tears that accompanied desperate begging. They were just plain old tears of overwhelming joy and thankfulness.

Allow me to explain:

Now, before I go further, let me tell you that I am not so conceited that I think anyone really cares to hear about every detail of my day. However, yesterday was my birthday. You see, as is the case with so many things in this life, I have a whole new perspective on birthdays. Having a birthday is AWESOME! As adults, I don’t think most of us celebrate it enough! It sure beats the alternative, right?? Last January 4th, immediately after getting home from the ER, I was convinced I would not live to see my 33rd birthday, much less my 34th!


I began my day with an early breakfast at The Puffy Muffin with my dad. For those who don’t know, my Dad is working out of Brentwood during the week now. We’ve never done a lot of just father-daughter stuff before, so it has been a real treat to enjoy time together. I savored biscuits and gravy that tasted SO GOOD. My dad savored seeing his daughter eating a normal amount of food…

Later in the morning, I took Scott to preschool and then went to a day spa for my next birthday treat. Thanks to sweet Christine, I was able to get a relaxing facial. The facial included some gentle massage to my face, shoulders and arms. SAVORED that! Words escape me as to how wonderful it was to be lying down being pampered instead of lying down trying desperately not to vomit…

After that treat, I went to lunch with a relatively new but dear friend. To me anyway, she and I have just “clicked.” I savored a delicious sandwich and a generous amount of Dr. Pepper! Oh what a joy it is to be enjoying food again! Foods and drinks taste right again, and my full appetite is back. In fact, I have decided it is probably time to start watching my portions again, and limiting how many sweets and snacks I allow myself to have, etc. (Because if I always ate like I wanted to, my diet would consist of 40% pizza, 10% cola drinks, 25% salty snacks, and 25% desserts.) Hallelujah!!!! I savor every delicious bite/sip these days. I also enjoyed some stimulating conversation with my friend. I’m pretty sure we solved every theological debate existing in the churches today! 🙂

After lunch I went to Camden’s elementary school to help in his classroom, as has been my habit on Friday afternoons that I feel good. To my surprise, when I entered Camden’s class, I was immediately instructed to stand in the birthday chair so the class could sing “Happy Birthday.” Talk about a tear jerker to a cancer patient! I could have melted into a puddle of tears right there on that chair. What a treat to have 21 precious kindergarteners singing to you with big smiles on their faces. And to top it off, they also handed me a jumbo-sized birthday card consisting of their artwork and carefully signed names which they had made earlier in the week. Amanda Davis (Camden’s teacher who I am proud to call my friend and sister in Christ), YOU are THE BEST! The class then proceeded to chant in one voice, “Birthday spankings! Birthday spankings!” I quickly let them know that I would only allow Camden’s daddy to take care of that. Wink, wink 😉

I left the elementary school and went to pick up Scott. Thanks to Facebook, I was greeted with happy birthday wishes from several other moms. Who wouldn’t enjoy that? I knew there were no plans for a birthday cake, because I hadn’t made said plans, so I decided Scott and I should go get ice cream (frozen yogurt really, but don’t tell Scott). We went to Sweet Cece’s and I discovered that thanks to their punch card system, I was due for a free cup of yogurt. Thankfully, I discovered this at the register, or else I would have gotten myself WAY TOO MUCH! Happy birthday to me! (Oh, Camden had gone home with a friend to play after school, which was why it was just me and Scott.)

Scott and I curled up on the couch with our “ice cream”, the iPad, and cartoons on the TV. While we watched, I read my hundreds (LITERALLY!) of messages on Facebook. Say what you will about the evils of Facebook, it sure does boost one’s day on your birthday! You all spoiled me! I also listened to my phone messages and read my text messages. I am so blessed!

After a dinner I did not cook (though I haven’t cooked in over a year because of the extreme generosity of the family of God!), we lit a candle over the delicious Godiva chocolate bar Brian surprised me with (which was perfect because I’d rather have that than cake any day) and my three favorite fellas sang me “Happy Birthday.”

My day came to a great end with me and Brian watching a movie together and sharing a bowl of popcorn. Just an FYI, we watched “True Grit,” recommended by Karen R.- thanks! – and I highly recommend it myself.

This morning I was able to get up and make a simple french toast breakfast for my family. As I cleaned up the kitchen afterward, I was fighting back tears yet again. Such simple joys, but such great blessings that I’d always overlooked before…health to prepare food, ability to enjoy the taste, time and health to sit down all together as a family and eat, the anticipation of a relaxed Saturday enjoying each other’s company…

Our God is SO GOOD!

Thank you all for your part in making my birthday a true day of celebration and joy!

My Father –
I am overcome with thankfulness for these great days you are giving to me. I rejoice, my soul rejoices in this peace you have poured with reckless abandon into my heart. Thank you for opening my eyes to the tremendous blessings that saturate my life. Help me to remember that I have reason to be bursting with joy every day – no matter the circumstances or challenges that ensue – simply because the great God of the universe is in love with me, makes His home with me, and will be with me forever. Because You go before me, and because you know me more perfectly than all and yet still delight in me. God, today I don’t ask for anything else. I just thank you.
In the name of Jesus,

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