I just wanted to write down some reflections after a fun and wonderful party held by dear friends for my 30th birthday party. But for those readers who would need the back story...keep reading...
Julie G. offered to plan a party to celebrate my 30th birthday on May 16th. I would not know any details of the party, but I ended up knowing some details accidentally but there were a few surprises waiting for me. On May 16th, I was told I would be picked up at 5 pm by a friend but I wouldn't know who or what was going to happen. So, 5 pm came and it turned out Lisa was my date for dinner before the party. Surprise #1. I did not know where she was taking me and after going around the block between Marietta Pike and Columbia Ave via President Ave and Good Drive, she hurried up and drove into the exit drive of El Serrano's!!! Surprise #2. After a wonderful meal and wonderful time with my dear Lisa, our valet got the car and we were on our way to the party, fashionably late of course. I knew where the party would be after an accidental slip of someone (no names) spilling the beans. (I swear I did not bribe or break anything to get any information) So we pulled up to the Haugherys - one of my favorite places on Earth. Period. And I was welcomed to my party and exchanged greetings and hugs with dear friends. I was then ushered into another part of the house where I was told there were more guests and to my great surprise (Surprise #3) my WV friends had made the 5 hour trip to my party! I was SO SURPRISED by that. Then after some more mingling and eating, everyone gathered in the living room and Keith B. led us in a time of worship. Julie had emailed me before and asked me to pick 5 or 6 of my favorite worship songs. But before we spent time in worship, I was feted with a birthday poem by Richard S (Surprise #4). After worship, there was a time of encouragement and some people prayed. Then there was the cards and the gifts. Jill W. gave a sweet gift of kitchen wash cloths and towels with my name and initials on them. There were lots of cards and lots of sweet cards from some kids. Then there was a group card and gift. The group gift turned out to be a cash gift for replacing my furnace. (Surprise #5). I was shocked and speechless. All I remember was someone asking, "What is it?" and I blurted out "Cash?!" I was shocked and overwhelmed by the gift. I had mentioned to my caregroup that I would have to replace my furnace and the quote for it was pretty high. This gift is a huge blessing and is a great reminder to me that God provides. So there's my party. Such a great party.
So, my reflections.
All I can say was I was hugely encouraged by everyone being there and days after, more people came up to me and wished they could have made the party. I was encouraged because the people there are people I love and people who have cared for me, served me, sacrificed for me and spoken into my life. These people have affected my life.
I was also encouraged by the time of encouragement and the words spoken. (Julie-do you have that list ready?) I was encouraged by the evidences of God's grace that people pointed out in my life. I felt and do still feel my heart was strenghtened by the words spoken. Thank you everyone who shared.
There are specific reflections of the party that sharing here would take more time and space to write.
Before I close, I do want to thank everyone who made my 30th birthday special. Thank you Lisa for your friendship and for being my cheerleader during specific times of my life and for being my dinner date. Thank you Garners, specifically Julie for using your skills to make this party possible. Thanks Dan for leading the night and for directing people to "drop-in and drop-out" (had to be there). Thanks to the Haugherys for opening up their home. Thank you Bill and Cynthia for welcoming me into your lives and your home. And lastly, as fitting, thank you Jesus for rescuing me from my sin, from this world, from an eternity separated from God. Thank you God for these 30 years. You have been faithful and true. You always cared for me even when I was your enemy. Now that I am your child, I know that you have very great and very precious promises for me. Thank you Lord. My words are few and feeble, but my heart desires to know you more.