Well - it's official. As of last Sunday, I am 30. The best part of it all - I survived! I'm not bothered by my age, I'm not in crisis, I'm not even a little grumpy about it all. What do I have to show for my age? Wisdom. God's blessed me with far more wisdom in the last few years, than ever before. I don't feel older, I just feel smarter.
I had an amazing birthday and was pampered by my husband and daughter the entire day. It was like being a princess. I got a HUGE breakfast complete with cinnamon rolls, eggs, sausage, bacon, orange juice, coffee, and flowers. I seriously think that my birthday flowers were the most beautiful, dense, colorful, big roses I've ever had. They looked like a sunset in every blossom. My little girl made an awesome card for me. It had ribbon and markers and LOTS of love in it. Neither of them let me lift a finger, even if I wanted to. It was so relaxing.
My best gift came through a realization rather than an object or service. God opened my eyes to the amazing support I have of my family. I've known that my parents, brother, and all the rest realize that I'm really embracing writing whole-heartedly. They know I always talk about writing and spend lots of time on the computer, but it's always seemed like maybe they just didn't get it. Maybe they didn't understand that I really feel God's guidance and encouragement toward writing, and that I'm sure this is exactly what He wants for me right now. Until last Saturday and Sunday.
My parents recently moved out of state, back to our hometown in California. That didn't stop or slow down my parents' excellent timing of birthday surprises. Saturday, I received a package and inside was - well - I won't spoil the "suspense" for you yet. Let's just say - they nearly brought me to tears, because their gift meant that they "got it." I know now just how much they believe in me an my abilities and my path - well God's path.
The small box carried so much more than an Olympus Digital Voice Recorder, it was my parents' belief that came out of that box and into my hands. I mentioned how hard it was to be driving, or out and about, and then struck by an awesome story idea. A pen and paper are pretty inconvenient when driving (which for some reason seems to be when inspiration strikes), not to mention that the other drivers get a little nervous when they see both hands off the steering wheel in the car next to them. All the ideas I try to repeat to myself twenty times until I get home tend to slip away by the time I get to my computer or paper and pen. There's nothing quite as frustrating as know you DID have a great idea until a few seconds ago, but not having a clue what it could be. After talking to my mom and dad about these little things that have to do with writing I knew they supported me in that parental way - but on my birthday I really know.
It's not just that they knew I wanted something, so they got it. My mom said, "I keep checking the shelves of the bookstore for your first book."
Cue - big smile!
Then Sunday afternoon, I got yet another dose of family belief: my brother's gift. He knows I've been on the hunt for some good books about the craft of writing and that I've found quite a few that I'd like to get. He gave me a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble.
This is coming from a little brother who liked nothing more than to find the weakest point in my armor and do everything his intelligent brain could possibly think of to irritate me and get a really good reaction. He wasn't satisfied if I became a little annoyed, OH NO! I had to be REALLY mad before he'd relent. So at the age of 25, he's come a LONG way! Now he's the sweet, loving, supportive brother who loves me with God's love and supports and believes in me.
Cue - close to tears...
In the end, it wasn't the gifts themselves, it was the thought that those gifts wouldn't be wasted on me - that they really knew what was in my heart, and they were lifting me up with all their support and love. God's gift was given to me loud and clear, through the people in my life and in my heart.