The much-anticipated birthday for many, has come and gone. I don’t feel any different. In fact I feel much the same.
I informed my husband weeks before my birthday, that I really did not need or want any fanfare. I was happy to be here in Hawai’i, with our family. Knowing that my Mom and step-dad would be here for my birthday was exciting to me. I looked forward to them coming for so long, I just wanted to spend every moment possible with them. I love seeing the kids with my Mom. They adore her, follow her around and hang on her every word. Watching their love for her in this way causes me to feel sad that there is such distance between us all. I wish they could live here near us. Maybe someday.
On January 31st, I took my family up to the Volcanoes National Park. My parents had never seen an active volcano, and this was a huge point of interest for my step-dad. Throughout the day, I had no sense of time. I had nothing to hurry back for…and I wanted to hike and walk, talk and drive, seek out information in museums and share knowledge of the area with my family. Around 5 pm, my husband called to inquire of our whereabouts. I informed him we were just getting ready to enter Thurston Lava Tube. He sounded a little concerned and said he thought we would be home already to shower and get ready. He encouraged us to hurry and expressed that he had made arrangements with my Mom to care for our children so he could take me out for my birthday.
I went back to the car and as soon as my family was done, we made our way out to the highway and back to Hilo. My Teva clad feet were covered with dust from the trail, my sweatshirt had nose smears from my three-year-old, and my shorts had the remnants of something I sat in. As we neared our home I called my husband and informed him I would be stopping at the store, and then I would be home for a quick shower before our date. He seemed to have a calm about him.
When we entered the house he met me at the top of our stairs as I was shouting out orders to the kids about bringing things in from the car, and attempting to talk above them as they were already arguing about who got to watch a movie and who did not…. I was asking for quiet so I could hear their Dad who was trying to coax me into the kitchen. Stunned I saw silhouettes in my dark living-room and really it took me a few minutes to realize what was happening. My husband had pulled together a surprise party for me! As people leapt out and shouted, I was shocked.
Here I was dirty, and disheveled – no make-up or flair, and I was the guest of honor! I was thrilled to see the friendly faces and smiles of people I love. New friends made in the past ten months, chronicling more of God’s faithfulness to us. I gave hugs and quickly disappeared to change out of my dirty clothes as we gathered together for my husband to pray over the food at this most surprising pot-blessing. As I made my way around the room I felt so loved. My husband pulled me aside and said when he first started to make the list of people to join us, he had nearly 100 people. Hard to believe. Then he scaled down the numbers with the help of a friend so we could fit everyone into our living room and enjoy being able to talk and visit. I could sense from him that he felt bad that he could not invite every person that he thought of, and especially every person from our fellowship. I squeezed him and thanked him for such thoughtfulness.
I am not easy to surprise, so this was quite a feat! And, I can honestly say that I had absolutely no clue. I believed him that we were going to go out on a date. Seemed feasible. My parents were here to care for the kids, and after all we were desperate for some time alone. Although the date did not happen, I felt so loved and blessed, and completely cared for – it was a wonderful evening.
Thank you Lord, for my amazing husband. He loves You so, and that love pours out into my life on a daily basis. Thank You God that you saw fit for us to enter this covenant together. Continue to strengthen us, our marriage and our family – and deepen the love and honor we have for one another. Amen.