27 May Loving my neighbors and my sisters.
The Saturday before my birthday, I invited my dearest friends to a surprise party…for them! Turning 30 really got me thinking: how do I want to celebrate? To celebrate what the Lord has done–grown my love for His people and those not yet His people. Celebrate things I love such as planning and surprises and photography and music. James had been feeling a little anxious about planning a big surprise party for me (intimidating to plan for a planner, eh?), but the more I thought about it, the more I felt like planning my own party was the best way to celebrate. AND the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do something more than serve myself through this party. I mean, I had the power to gather a dozen godly women together and make them do anything, anything, in the name of my birthday. *rubs hands together*
So. I embraced my inner Leslie Knope and planned a party.
Loving those I get to influence
The Lord has given me a great mixture of believers and unbelievers on our block, so I wanted to celebrate that ministry by giving them cookies. Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies and Scotchies. A dozen cookies to all 18 houses (you better believe I included our house). But since baking them all would’ve taken a year, I decided to freeze them. Who doesn’t love to be able to pull out cookie dough and have fresh, homemade cookies on a whim?! I was #blessed by our conversation and particularly enamored with the beautiful hands of my beautiful friends. They helped me love my neighbors in a way I simply could not have on my own.
We left the dough to freeze and continued on to
(which was perfectly timed, BY THE WAY)
Loving those who have influenced me
I took the girls to Light Rail next and celebrated by getting their coffees. (Hey, I got two free drinks out of the deal with the frequent customer cards!) But the real celebration was (once again) inspired by (my tv hero) Leslie. Once we all were delightfully sipping our drinks, I pulled out a stack of papers from my purse. Certificates of Recognition aka Friendship Awards. I was giddy with excitement! There was one condition, however. That they not compare their award to anyone else’s. Trust me, I know girls, and I know someone would think, “Well, I’m a good listener too; why did she get that award???” How do I know this? ‘Cuz it’s exactly what I’d do, whoops! Well, each girl got a funny award (like being most likely to invite me to dinner at 5pm or most likely to sit with our shirts up together<–hey, we’re nursing moms!) and a serious one (like having the most steadfast faith or being the first neighbor promoted to sister). It was such a special moment for me. To honor each of these dear friends in front of my other dear friends–friends they’ve heard about, prayed for, or maybe even just met. For them to hear how the Lord has used them in my life–to sharpen me, love me, grow me, encourage me. My heart was bursting with happiness.
Of course, I wanted a group shot (so sad for you missing two!), but while I was getting the camera ready, I took a couple practice pics. They totally turned out like a band CD cover or something equally RAD. Don’t you agree?
Hehe. Then for the real one. Thank you, Lord, for your kindness to me in these girls. I have sought deep friendships my whole life, but it is in these dog tired days of babies and husbands and keeping house that I’ve really found those who speak straight to my soul. I am so thankful.
BRING ON THE 30s!