Aaron and I share a birthday in October, and Michael’s follows just 5 days later. I think we all had great birthdays, but they were…shall we say “real”?! Aaron called me on his way to work, and we sang “Happy Birthday” to each other while waiting for his train to pull into the station. I asked if he had any plans for the day, and he said, “I don’t think so.” Here’s what his precious wife had to say about Aaron’s celebration late that night when he finally got back from NYC:“So much fun to celebrate this guy this week and see his new, deep gratitude for whatever totally human, little party touches we pulled together for him. Real life together is so beautiful.” My birthday was super hectic because I was packing and doing all the last minute prep for my trip to South Korea the next morning. Alan left for work before I even woke up, due to his own need to prep for a big meeting at work, and I didn’t even see him until suppertime. But, Dan and Brianna made the day very special by having Stephen, Alan, and me over for dinner and a party. Brianna is 5 months pregnant and still has no appetite, but she made an amazing ham dinner with home made rolls and all the trimmings, plus a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. I felt very blessed! After bedtime, I got an automated call saying my flight to South Korea had been canceled, and it was almost midnight before I was able to reschedule a flight for 2 days later. A hard day but also a very good day! I’m reading a book about life in North Korea, and it makes me acutely aware that any day I’m not starving, persecuted, or in pain is a GREAT day! Life isn’t perfect, but “as good as it gets” is—relatively speaking— awesome. Michael turned 37 yesterday. The kids made home made cards for him… even Judah and 9-day-old Paladin (with help from Grace). Although Mike spent a grueling day at his clinic, working on his 125-page application for security re-certification, and trying to pull apart balls of red tape, we got to meet him for lunch, and he just happened to be at the right place at the right time to be invited to participate in a television production for Christmas. (Michael loves making videos!) 🙂 While Mike was slugging it out at work all day, his three girls scurried about
shopping, buying and wrapping presents. We also had to go to “just the right” Korean market to buy “just the right” apples and made two big apple pies (Mike’s favorite birthday treat). We took Mike out to a really fun Korean restaurant where the food was great, and then we returned home for the birthday party. The kids had so much fun picking out presents for their daddy, including new legos, a matchbox car, and all sorts of fun stuff you just know a dad is going to love! Of course, Mike had to break up a few squabbles. I think it takes the patience of Job to be a parent… especially if you Wanna Hang Out? with a little monkey like Judah. (Thank heaven for little boys!) Still, the kids are wonderful kids. Definitely “as good as they get!” Perfect? No. So adorable you wouldn’t trade them for a barrel of monkeys? For sure! So, we had really happy birthdays…full of the real stuff of dealing with lots of challenging work and frustrations as well as the deep joy of sharing love. Is life hard? You bet. Is life worth it? For sure, and it’s worth celebrating every day!
1 Thessalonians 5:18