This year, my birthday fell on a Sunday (March 25). Because of that, my husband wanted to celebrate it on the Saturday before. He hired a babysitter and took me out to Olive Garden for lunch! We both enjoyed salad, a bowl of potato soup, and we got those miniature versions of their desserts! And I didn’t eat a single bread stick! 🙂 After we ate, we visited Books-a-Million, Best Buy, Bath and Body Works and a few other stores in the mall. God gave me 70 degree temps and sunny, clear blue skies to enjoy! Terry took the kids shopping for gifts for me, but they wanted to wait until my real birthday to give them to me.
The next day, the Lord gave me another beautiful day! I awoke and went through my morning routine as usual, but not feeling quite right. I thought it was just stress and blew it off. Terry told the kids we’d all go out for a meal at the Chinese buffet for lunch and they would give me their gifts after that. Well, by the time we all got to church, I was feeling worse. I went to the nursery for Sunday School with Matthew like I always do. We sing some Bible songs and then he just plays. If he’s quiet, I can listen to my husband’s lesson over the speaker. I sat in the recliner, still not feeling the best. Suddenly, a situation erupted in Sunday school that was very stressful. I could hear it all over the speaker! I felt ill, but then, I was feeling ill before, so…was it emotional or physical? I started praying, and I prayed and prayed and prayed. I was so achy after Sunday school that it was all I could do to put Matthew in my lap for the morning service (we didn’t have a worker for that service in the nursery, so I had him stay with me). As soon as church started, I started shivering and feeling achier. A kind lady in our church offered to stay with Matthew in the nursery. She saw he was getting fidgety and, in a small congregation, that’s a big distraction! I was so thankful that she did this, because I was going to have to go home, I was too weak to handle him. I had my five year old snuggle up to me for warmth, but that didn’t help much. I have no idea what was preached that morning – my heart was broken as well as my body. I managed to carry our Bibles and my purse home, which isn’t far, but it felt far that day! Usually, my husband and I walk home together, but I was so sick, I just left alone. I changed my clothes and lay down. I think the kids were home by this time, I’m not sure. Lauren took Matthew for me, which was so helpful. When Terry came in, I had a high fever and was covered with several blankets.
The kids were disappointed to have to have sandwiches instead of Chinese, but they were also worried about me. They came in and checked on me often. They really wanted to give me their gifts, so I propped up on pillows and they quietly brought them in to me. They gave me my own pair of purple ear buds, a purple magnetic pencil can (to put on the fridge) and a box of my favorite candy! I had several sweet cards from loved ones and friends to open, and those words were just what I needed! The children sang “Happy Birthday” to me – it was prettier than a symphony to me! I had the best birthday party ever – right from my bedside.
I couldn’t make the Sunday evening service, so Lauren stayed home to watch Matthew and help me if I needed it. Again, what a blessing my twelve year old is! Thank you, Lauren, for loving your mother and showing it.
That night, around 2 AM, the stomach flu hit me! I spent the next day in bed, and two days after that fighting it, even though I was up and around by that time. Finally, on Thursday of that week, I felt better. My appetite was off for a while longer, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing! I’ve still not eaten a single piece of the candy the kids gave me – it doesn’t sound good anymore! 😦
When it was all over, I realized how happy I was, and that surprised me! I had the worst birthday ever, and the best! I had my heart broken, my body broken, but I felt happy! The Lord was using this to show me that I’m growing, I’m learning, and that’s just what He wants me to do. In years’ past, I would have inwardly grumbled, and maybe outwardly complained, about these problems. While I was sad about the events, I was also joyful. I know, that doesn’t make sense, unless you’re a child of God, and then you understand. Not too long before this, I’d asked the Lord to help me be sweet, not cynical from our trials. I believe He is helping me with that. I do feel joyful! I am doing what God says to do in 2 Tim. 2:3, I’m enduring hardness. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do that. Actually, a few months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do that! I can see some growth! My hearts’ desire is to keep growing, but I know Satan (and others) would love it if I digress. With God’s help, I will continue to move forward in my Christian life.
I am now a year older, and feeling better than I did a year ago! This year, God gave me a very special gift from Heaven. He showed me that life doesn’t have to be perfect for it to be wonderful. ♥