Monday, December 18, 2006


I turned 27 last Friday. This birthday has been one of the best ones I've had in recent memory. I know that I have great friends and family, but this birthday made me realize how insanely blessed I am. The value of this birthday didn't come from any presents, but only came from the generous hearts of the people that were a part of it.

Friday afternoon started with lunch at Smokey Bones, courtesy of Diana. After that I got to go to a student/teacher basketball game at Avalon Middle School and saw some students I'd not seen in a while. My phone rang throughout the day with friends and family wishing me a happy birthday, and right around 4:30 I received my biggest surprise of the day. I was supposed to be on my way to meeting up with a group of middle school girls from church, but instead I was treated to 20 middle and high school students tackling me at the park for a surprise party complete with cake and presents.

Later that night I was able to hang out with friends at home and ended the night by catching up with one of my favorite cousins on the phone. On Saturday night I met my dad halfway between Tampa and Orlando and had a great dinner with him.

Tonight I showed up at the Martin household to hang out and watch some Heroes. Although I assumed all of my birthday surprises had come to an end, they had one more in store for me. There on the table sat another cake and more presents.

As I sit in my apartment at the desk I've had since at least 6th grade, I am reminded of something that was preached on at church yesterday. We heard about the seven marks of a church where Christ has come. One of those signs is that we experience awe at the things God does. I have been so humbled and awed by the things that His church has done for me in the past days. At both of the surprises I was speechless. I don't know how to express my gratitude for what was done. I felt so loved.

Thanks to all of my amazing friends and family. I couldn't be more grateful for you. Because of you, it looks like year 27 is off to a great start.