March 24, 1982, 11:10 am – that’s the moment God ordained for me to come out of the womb and into the world. 30 years ago! May I just say, unlike what I thought when I was 10, 30 is not old, and also, my life looks nothing like I ever imagined it would! Thank goodness the Lord’s ways are not our ways, because I would not want to be in the life I had wished for myself right now! Yes, there are hopes and dreams yet to be fulfilled, but I trust the Lord will bring those to pass in His own good time. In the meantime, there is nothing like the adventure of seeking His will for each day and walking it out through the power of His Spirit. Life can’t help but be beautiful! A recent conversation centered around the fact that, when you look back over your life, you can clearly see the hand of God throughout – in good & bad situations – always using every moment to draw you to Himself. As I look back on 30 years, I am most thankful for that – a God that has never left me alone, but has continued to persist & pursue more & more of me. In the words of a song that has been running through my head all day – “Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.” So thankful for His unmatched love!
As for the actual birthday celebration, my family made sure it was unforgettable. By far, the best birthday yet! We have a World Race team of 10 here right now, and knowing they would be here for my birthday, I automatically assumed that meant we would have to celebrate before their arrival. Mom & Bria suggested it might be fun to have a big group of new friends (here’s hoping they’re friendly!) to celebrate with. How right they were! Not only are they friendly :), but in the one day we all spent together before the arrival of my birthday, I felt like I’d known them for years! They are amazing, loving, fun people and it was such a blessing to have them here for my birthday. My family gave me some amazing gifts that remind me of how blessed my life is and will help me remember the future blessings each day will hold.
We all spent the afternoon at one of my favorite places in L’viv – an outdoor folk architecture museum. The weather was gorgeous (which is quite unusual for my birthday – thank You, Abba!) and we took a picnic lunch with us.
Leaving the park, I was quite satisfied with a wonderful birthday spent with my family (minus Krista, of course, who was sorely missed!) and a great group of new friends. My heart was already overflowing with thanksgiving when we stopped at our church office to drop a key off for someone…or so I thought. I walked in to find balloons on the walls, food & drink on the table, and a room full of old friends! SURPRISE! (This is the 3rd time they’ve done this to me in my life; I REALLY need to become more attentive to what’s going on around me!)
It was a wonderful time to enjoy the company of so many people who mean so much to me!
With such a full day, we had to carry over the celebration into the next day, when Mom made her amazing lasagna and my favorite strawberry pie!
I am beyond blessed by my amazing God, my family, my friends (old & new!), and this season in life, serving in Ukraine. I am so thankful for my family, who made sure my 30th birthday was so special.
Stay tuned to the blog for soon-coming updates on ministry with the World Race team, the visa/registration process, and needs for a human trafficking awareness campaign. Thank you so much for your continued love, thoughts, prayers, and support.