Here's a picture of me from my most recent birthday.
They say that women get better with age, but some women just don't.
I kid! I kid!
I had a lovely birthday, as a matter of fact, with celebrations that lasted all weekend.
Friday in the mail I received a lovely bunch of roses from my brother and his family - a fine way to start the celebrations!
We had dinner with friends Friday night (not technically a birthday dinner, more of a rehearsal dinner for Ben and Naomi, but still it was a fun dinner with friends and felt very celebratory!)
Saturday morning, John made pancakes for everyone and Saturday night we got Chinese take-out and watched The Importance of Being Earnest, an all-time fave of mine.
Sunday, we had Sunday School, church, fellowship lunch and afternoon service, and just when my mind was turning fondly to thoughts of napping, Johanna found me in the sanctuary and said, "Mom, Dad needs you in the fellowship hall."
"Oh, dear," I thought as I descended the stairs. "Which kid is injured now?"
I walked into the fellowship hall and found an unusual number of people hanging around (everyone generally disburses quickly after an afternoon service).
I began to suspect a surprise when they all burst out into a somewhat tuneful rendition of "Happy Birthday."
I'm quick that way.
John and the kids had gotten a cake (chocolate cake with chocolate frosting) for me and secretly arranged for everyone to stay after the service to enjoy it and wish me a happy birthday.
I was most amazed at Sam: he kept the secret from Tuesday to Sunday and I had no idea!
It was a wonderful weekend.
Forty is traumatic, in some ways. I have to start thinking of 40 as the age of my friends and myself, rather than the age of "old people." I have to start thinking of 40 as hip and vital because we are. Well, some of us are. I'm not sure I qualify for that. But, I know for sure that, "I'm not dead yet!"
Otherwise, 40 really isn't that bad. If I had ever imagined my life after the age of about 24, it would have looked something like my life now, full of husband and kids and everything those entail.
I am sure I would have imagined myself as a better housekeeper and as quite a bit thinner, but we can't have it all.
And, really, those have little to do with my overall happiness.
The Lord has been and continues to be good to me, from the family I was born into, to the family I married into, to the family I am helping to form, to the church family I was adopted into as an heir with Christ.
I really can't be upset that God has brought me to 40. I can only be thankful.