... my Tuesday night volunteer at the front desk, Stuart, asked me what I'd be doing for my birthday. "We're going over to my friend Sarah's house," I responded enthusiastically. "We're going to play Scrabble and have rice krispie treats." Stuart was not impressed. In reality, I spent the weekend before my birthday in Angola, IN at Justin's family's place on Crooked Lake with the other young adults. We canoed and kayaked and jet skied and looked up at the stars from a boat in the middle of the lake and sang a lot of songs together and it was altogether lovely. And when we did go to Sarah's house Monday night for my birthday-eve party we ended up spending half the night swing dancing which is pretty much my favorite thing to do right now. But even if all I had done for my birthday was play Scrabble and have rice krispie treats ... it's just all about the people. I love to spend time with Laura and Sarah and Beka and Justin and Peter and Jon and Kyle. We could pick up trash along the roadside together and I'd have fun.
... Birthday Question #1: the highlight of your year or the best thing that happened to you. I said running (and I really meant running and soccer). I'm still amazed to see how much I've changed over the past year. Change is exciting. Everyone laughed at me when I said running, because, well, look at my last blog post, and Laura asked me last night why I want to do something that I find so miserable ... well, it's not THAT miserable, or at least I forget the misery quickly enough after I finish, but I'm just thrilled by the fact that it's possible.
... Birthday Question #2: the biggest challenge of the last year. I said working Tuesday nights at the Front Desk. Every Tuesday I am blessed with an excellent opportunity to see how much patience I really have and whether I can maintain a compassionate and loving manner for five hours amidst chaos. Many Tuesdays I go home very discouraged because of my short temper and something less-than-loving that I said or did to a client. The front desk is really the front lines and you have to be armed with quite a bit of patience, humor, and objectivity to make it through. It's hard work and it's constant work - you're called on to serve and be loving every moment, no matter if you have five people wanting your attention or you just had to deal with someone obnoxious. Some of my friends were surprised to hear that I was short-tempered with a client last week, but I can guarantee you none of the clients were so surprised. On the bright side, though, it truly is a great opportunity to increase in love and especially in humility!
Thank you, Lord, for twenty-six great years, and for friendship, and new experiences, and challenges to make me a better person!