Last week was an amazing week for me, and perhaps one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. On Friday evening (May 9th) several of our friends from around Greensboro dropped in to celebrate with me over some grilled BBQ chicken-tenders and some delicious side-dishes.
Now, everyone was specifically asked not to bring gifts (a few folks decided to break the rules, but how could I be angry about that?), so I really wasn’t expecting to receive anything; only to enjoy the company of the folks who have poured life into me in so many ways and who have allowed me the privilege of their friendships and the opportunity to journey with them in life. (By the way, thanks to all of you who came and even to those of you who just couldn’t make it…I love you all).
Near the end of our evening together, after getting to cut into one of the most beautiful cakes I’ve ever laid eyes on (a UNC cake that was pretty darn delicious, too!), Molly handed me a bag that contained a gift that was being given on behalf of everyone there and people who couldn’t be there. I reached in and pulled out a black leather journal, my initials engraved on the front, containing page after page of words of encouragement from friends all around. I was totally surprised and overwhelmed at the same time! I couldn’t help but to browse through the pages, where Molly pasted sentence after sentence of words written by people who have meant so much to me over the years. That evening after everyone left, Molly and I sat around the fire-pit while I read every single entry, my eyes flooded with tears, my heart filled with laughter and my mind replaying memory after memory. It made me want to call every single person that night just to say thank you.
I can’t begin to put into words you how much a gift like this means to me…what an amazing wife I have and for how awesome she is for pulling this together and how much I appreciate her hard work and her creativity just to remind me of my value to her, to Christ and to others…how much my relationships mean to me…how rich and life-giving each word on the pages of this journal truly are…
…how much I wish each person I know could have a gift like this.