So I had a birthday yesterday. It's funny how much more low-key my birthdays have become, and yet it was pretty perfect just the way it was. In the past week, our washing machine and coffee pot both bit the dust... so for my birthday I got a brand-new washing machine and coffee pot! ;)
On Saturday, my parents watched all three of the boys so my husband and I could go to a play. It was written by our friend Dan and several of his theater students, and it was incredible. I really enjoyed getting a chance to see it, and it made me miss acting so much. The previous weekend, I went to see another friend's dance performance about creation and redemption, which was also beautiful. I've spent a lot of time reflecting on how significant art is to the human experience. We feel and think so many things, and theater, dance, music, and other creative arts express those things so poignantly and beautifully. I have often wished to be an artist, and my husband reminds me that the written word is a powerful form of art as well. Over the past year or two, I have let myself become so busy that I've neglected my writing. For the most part, I really do enjoy being busy, but I need to make an effort to carve out time for writing. It's something I've always enjoyed and I don't want to overlook it.
Anyway. My birthday weekend was pretty awesome. Of course there were the new appliances and the play, but there were also other special little things. I got a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my boys, and my eldest brought me coffee in bed on the morning of my birthday. After a delicious breakfast made by my husband (he's an awesome cook!), we went to church, where they sang an impromptu Happy Birthday (and my face turned about a million shades of red), and a few people said some really kind and special things to me. If you're familiar with the love languages concept, words of affirmation is definitely mine... and it seriously brightened my day to hear their kind words. So often I move on from one day to the next, knowing deep down that I am loved and appreciated, but feeling a bit starved for the words of affirmation my soul so desperately needs. (I don't fault anyone; I think many people-- myself included, actually-- struggle to communicate words of affirmation because it feels kind of awkward and vulnerable. I get that. But when the words are spoken, they are so deeply appreciated.)
I went out to a local frozen yogurt place with my family after church, and I had a blast watching my boys fill their little bowls with as much yogurt and toppings as they could stand. Joshua, my one year old, didn't get his own bowl-- I just let him eat from mine. He was hilarious, yelling, "More! More!" after every bite. The truth is, although I do enjoy frozen yogurt, I chose to go there mostly for the kids. I know they love it, and we don't go there often, and nothing brings me as much joy as doing things that make other people happy. It was great.
My husband and our three sons, my other family members and friends, giving to others, spending time with the people I love, writing... these are all the things that make my days special, whether it's my birthday or a "normal" day. I feel so loved and blessed. It was a happy birthday indeed.