Some birthdays are easier than others. The very first one…stressful. 16…quite easy. 21…easy. 40…less easy than some of those others. This one I’ve been dreading, partly because it’s 40, and partly because we’re away from our family and friends. Our culture makes a big deal out of ’40’ and I bought into it, feeling a bit sorry for myself along the way. Going into a ‘big birthday’ and feeling lonely is quite a bummer. However, I got some perspective a few days ago. I remembered my birthday 5 years ago. I was in the beautiful land of Kenya, but I was by myself. And I was sick. Not a fabulous birthday. I had met some wonderful people who tried to make the day special for me. They were SO kind! But it was still rough, not feeling well and being on a different continent from Matt and S. This year is much better. I’m with Matt and our children. And other than a minor cold, I’m pretty healthy.

Even though we haven’t been able to develop community here yet, many of you helped me feel so loved from afar. It was a pretty great day, as far as Monday birthdays go. J took excellent naps. K helped me make a birthday cake. S gave me chocolate. Matt took us all out for dinner and made me feel very loved today. I had the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had. I got tons of well wishes on Facebook, as well as emails, phone calls, and cards. I got a beautiful bouquet of flowers from friends and another one from my kids. The sun was out and the temp got up to at least 57 Fahrenheit. That’s a good day!

We went out to dinner and S had prime rib for the first time. He was too cute. He was quite concerned at first, seeing all the fat on his meat. But then he took his first bite. He fell back in his seat and said “ah…heaven!” I’d say he is hooked! He definitely enjoyed his meal. We all did, in fact. Then we came home for some yummy cake. The best part of making your own birthday cake is you get exactly the kind you’re in the mood for. Delightful.

I’d like to think in this next decade I’ll be less whiny and more focused on others and the blessings I already have. In fact, I think that’s a good goal for every decade! Be a little less self-centered and a little more grateful every day, every year, every decade.

Thanks for making my day special. It meant a lot to me. I hope you are celebrated well this year too.

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