My birthday was Tuesday of Holy Week but I postponed the celebration until last week. I knew the sisters would plan something great and I wanted to wait until after Easter so I would feel at complete liberty to party like its 1999, (Prince reference - had to slip that one in there).
I honestly was not sure how I would feel about turning 30. I have had friends who cried at their 30th birthday parties so I was not sure what to expect. Everyone kept telling me that thirty is a special age because it was when Jesus began his ministry but honestly that didn't make me feel that great - comparing your life to Jesus' never does make one feel like a spectacular success.
But, I was happy to spend my actual birthday in a low-key way. Thankfully, I remained dry eyed; maybe it will be my 40th birthday that will cause the crisis. I happily spent a quiet day opening a box from my family, cards from friends and little presents from the other postulants left in front of my door.
But this Monday, we actually celebrated. And man, these sisters know how to celebrate!
I was so touched by all that they did. The decorations by Cheryl and Erin were so classy in blue and brown, my favorite color combination. My birthday sign was the picture from my blog. Every plate had a prayer by Padre Pio on it, (my favorite saint, don't tell St. Therese).
The meal was Mediterranean style; it was some of the best tasting food that I ever tasted. Erin printed out recipes and assigned a dish to each person. Jackie made a chicken dish with apricots; I know, sounds a little weird but it was great! Erin made tabouli. Sr. Rebecca made spicy lentils - extra spicy just for me. And Cheryl made the best hummus ever, on her first try! Laura made my absolute favorite dessert - strawberry, rhubarb pie. Needless to say, just this meal and I was in heaven.
But then, I also got great presents: a Whole Foods gift card, 2 books by Jacques Phillipe - one of my favorite authors, a little notebook, and a set to make wax seals on letters. I have been showing off every letter I send with a seal on it to anyone who will listen to me.
The thing that made me the most happy though was not the beautiful decorations or the delicious food that I wanted to eat all night or the wonderful presents. It was all the love and thought that went into everything. I was so amazed by how well these women know me after just eight months of being here, (that may be in part because I can be a loud mouth).
I truly felt so loved and understood and that is really the best feeling in the world. No comparison.
So thanks dear sisters in Christ for all that you did on my birthday, and all that you do for me every day. And may God bless all of our readers. May God fill your life with people who truly appreciate and love you for who you are.