Back home, birthdays were small. We celebrated the birthday person, and thanked God for them, of course. But I wasn’t raised by a family that saw a need to go into debt for a birthday party (of which I’m grateful). So, missing a birthday at first didn’t seem like a big deal. However, the closer I got on the calendar to my actual birthday the more I struggled and thought of home and those I love there. And the more I thought about the traditions we did celebrate together on birthdays; like Dad cooking our favorite foods and gathering together for a family meal, or the tradition of receiving birthday cards from people and displaying them in your room or in your office. Or the simple tradition of an afternoon car ride on the weekend of your birthday, usually to a local place of your choosing. And I began to wonder what a birthday overseas would even look like for me. I wondered what new traditions I could create here in South Africa to take the place of those back home. When my birthday finally came, I found myself no longer worried or sad, but excited and encouraged! I was looking forward to seeing what blessings God had in store for me here. And, He didn’t disappoint! For instance, when you celebrate your birthday overseas, you get the joy of having birthday blessings said to you all day long because of the many different time zones where your loved ones live. All day, I received emails, FaceBook messages, WhatsApp messages, personal greetings, and even phone calls wishing me a great birthday and loving on me! It was amazing! I was also blessed to be taken to special dinners and taken for coffee by friends here in South Africa. And for weeks after my birthday I’ve been receiving cards and well-wishes from all over the world! It took a few weeks for the mail service to figure out where to send my cards, but once they started coming I was blown away by the love and kindness. And because of the delay, God could shower me in His love for much longer than I would have experienced back home! And it filled my heart with joy! If you were a part of the love sent my way all through the month, I can’t thank you enough! My cup overflows! Thank you, Lord!
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