last night was one of my favorite nights of my life. and so of coarse I came home, and stayed up way too late writing about it.
tonight after my birthday date night dinner downtown with my hubby, I walked into what I thought was our last week of the Freeway study we’ve been doing all semester, but to my surprise I was ushered outside and SURPRISED by my closest friends! Y’all, I haven’t had a surprise birthday party since I was 21, and for some reason I had some sort of inkling this was going to happen, but I had speculated over and over with no party, so I had sorta lost hope.
but tonight, oh tonight. it restored my spirit. it brought joy to my heart to see so many of my friends that I have missed so so dearly as I’ve been traveling. it was home. One thing that I told them tonight, is when I was out of town, I often felt bored. My friend Brynn said to me one day when I told her this, “well, what do you do in MIdland?” To which I replied, “I have friends!” and friends make all the difference.
the past few months have been pretty dreamy for me. adoptive mom’s conference, leading my first blogger trip to Uganda, speaking at a conference, being a part of American Blogger documentary… and tonight reminded me, that those things + the way that I try to make those things make ME matter, or make ME significant, they don’t. these people…they don’t care about all of that stuff. they care about ME. they love ME. not the blogging, or the exciting opportunities for blogging trips or Noonday…they care about ME. and it reminded me so much of what Shauna Niequist said at Hope Spoken – when she challenged us to make sure we have friends in our life who TELL US THE TRUTH about who we are.
my friends tonight told me who I was.
Jenna and her group of friends have this tradition on birthdays, that whosever birthday it is, all the friends at the party will take turns going around and telling that person how much they mean to them, what they love about them, and it’s just an all around love fest. I’ve been to Jenna’s birthday when we did this for her, and she totally caught me off guard tonight and started this “birthday love fest” for me.
and y’all, it was my most favorite part of the night. my love language [at least with friends] is words of affirmation. I would much rather get a sweet card for my birthday than a gift, and so this little love fest excersise was right up my alley.
I have stored up the sweet words in my heart, and will hold them close. during some of them I nodded my head when they spoke, most I cried, but some surprised me. sometimes we just don’t even know what we mean to someone, or that one thing we said to them that meant a whole lot. and tonight it was all out in the open. as ackward and uncomfortable it was for some to share in front of 20+ people, so many did. and it touched my heart more than they could ever know.
I wish I had a recording of them, so I could listen to them over and over again. but i’m trusting that the Spirit will reveal them to me at the right time.
I’m thankful for friends. for love. for being celebrated. for being real. for being known.
a BIG thank you to my friends who planned, hosted, cooked, baked, brought wine, coffee, and gifts to this shindig. y’all are amazing. and mucho gracias to my girl Alison Holcomb for being my personal paparazzi!