Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Birthday Blessings

The day before my birthday last week, I was reading my devotional book, Jesus Calling, and the author was talking about giving thanks.  She said, "See how many times you can thank Me [Jesus] daily; this will awaken your awareness to a multitude of blessings."  This was on my mind and God overwhelmed me with many things to be thankful for over the next few days. 

The story of my birthday cake actually started right when we got back from the states.  Last year I started eating a gluten-free diet, which isn't that different from the normal things our family eats, but it can be difficult sometimes... especially when you can't read any food labels. ;)  So it was nice to be in the states with other gluten-free friends and enjoy some treats I normally wouldn't have.  I remember even lamenting to Brian on the plane ride home that it would be years before I could eat gluten-free bread or cakes again, since we haven't figured out where to get those ingredients in Japan.  When we got home, I was wandering around the house, trying to remember where everything goes, and I opened the pantry and immediately started crying... it was filled with gluten-free baking goods! Our short-term volunteer missionaries who filled in for us while we were gone also eat gluten-free... our church blessed them with pantry items when they arrived, but they received more than they could use while they were here.  So they left the rest for me, and it was such a blessing.  The boys and I made a cake together that the whole family could enjoy! 

We are always blessed by churches in the states that support us with prayers, cards, emails, etc.  This last year a lady from a church in Indiana has made our family smile SO many times... she sends us hand-written cards, puts things like stickers and balloons in cards for the boys (and they go crazy over it!), and her church sends care packages with our most favorite things. :)  Brian got to meet her when he was speaking, and it was such a blessing.  I received a birthday card from her the same day I read this devotion - such a reminder of God's love and presence in our lives!

The actual day was filled with many blessings from Brian and the boys.  They each made lists of "I love you because...' and 'Thank you for...' and gave them to me throughout the day (Brian even had them on cute scrapbook paper - very amazing!). 

Brian took the afternoon off work so we could all spend time together... we went to a coffee shop, took funny pictures in a photo booth at the mall, ate at our favorite restaurant, and enjoyed a walk on the seawall.  I'm SO thankful for my guys and the many little things they do to show their love every day. :)

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  Psalm 100:4

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

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