Yesterday was my birthday.
If you have known me for a while, especially over the last half decade or so, you will know that I don't particularly like my birthday. I think that this is mostly due to the fact that I always build up in my mind what I think it will be, and then, inevitably, am disappointed.
If you have known me at all, ever, you will know that I don't handle change well. I enjoy my comfort zone, and although my comfort zone is much broader than most, I don't particularly like to leave it. I think this is because I'm human, and we tend to like what we know.
Cue, missionary life!
My job, what I get to do each day, requires me to constantly be in situations which make me uncomfortable. It is quite a blessing, in fact. Detachment asks that we are always growing and changing and being refined.
This year, as my birthday approached, I literally had no expectations. I turned 22, which is not a particularly exciting age, and I didn't want to set myself up for disappointment. Fortunately for me, I have incredible friends, roommates, teammates, etc. who were so generous as to give their time and effort so that I could have a good birthday.
Celebrations began at our Upper Room on Sunday. (Upper Rooms are events we have each month hosted by the missionaries for our student leaders to build them up and encourage them as they grow in their understanding of evangelization and holiness.) In the middle, my teammates brought out an ice cream cake and sang to me. It was great!
Then, we had team dinner (which we have every Sunday night, like a little family!) at my favorite restaurant, where they brought me out a chocolate cake and sang to me again!
Then, after our Student Mass at 8pm, we went over to the Katies' house for drinks and dessert. (This has become a typical after Sunday Mass activity, so therefore I thought nothing of it.) When I got there, everyone was hiding, and jumped out to surprise me. We had cookie cake and they sang to me, again. (Poor teammates!)
I woke up the next morning (my official birthday) to a decorated living room, full of streamers, balloons, and signs! I went to our weekly team meeting and when I got there, my teammates and Michael LaPointe (FOCUS Missionary serving at Georgia Southern University, Auburn Graduate, friend, etc., who was visiting us) had made breakfast!
When I got home from Mass, there were flowers and jewelry waiting for me (thanks, Mom!), and a few cards too!
Later, my roommates (minus Katie who had to work) took me out to dinner where we had a relaxing evening of good food and even better company, along with a thought provoking conversation about education which even got our waiter involved!
Then we went to pray Holy Hour at Spirit & Truth. More on that later in the next blog post. After S&T, everyone there sang to me and ate spice cake cupcakes which my roommates had made.
I am SO BLESSED. Thank you so much to all who participated in the cake making, the cake eating, the singing, and everything else that made my birthday so great!
Mary Most Holy, pray for us!