Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Last Year of My Twenties

Today was one of the best birthdays I've had in a long time. I've been thinking about why that is and my conclusion is that it was so wonderful because I wasn't expecting anything big to happen. There wasn't a party, there wasn't a big to-do, but it was all the small things that made today so great. Here's a recap.

This morning, I was awakened with a Happy Birthday wish from my sweet hubby and as usual, I rushed off to school in a tizzy. When I got there, I was greeted at my classroom door with what I can only call the craziest birthday decorations you've ever seen. Streamers abounded, metallic confetti covered tables, desks, and the floor, streamers criss-crossed the room so that I had to tear some of them apart to get through and to my desk. There was even confetti in my desk drawer! Even though the mess was great, the love I felt when I opened the door, red streamers hanging in my face, was beautiful! I will try to get a picture on here soon. I also found a gorgeous hanging plant on my desk with a sweet card. Thank you Donna and Jody! You are the best friends a girl could ask for! BFFs RULE!!!

During my conference, 1st period, I was called to the office. There I found two homemade pound cakes with from-scratch cream cheese icing and pecans decorating them. This was in addition to a wrapped gift box containing the cutest skirt and shirt outfit. These were from my mother-in-law (and F-I-L, but let's be real about who did the actual work here). I was completely shocked and humbled and grateful. I'll try to post these pictures soon, too.

I had happy birthday sung to me at least 7 times today...students, coaches, teachers with their classes, my brother and S-I-L, my 3 year-old nephew, my parents from the airport in Oakland, CA, my dear friends Aaron and Jill, my hubby, and so on. I am so blessed!!

I received numerous emails, cards, text messages, phone calls and chats wishing me a happy day! Thank you Tania, Sami, Corrie, Sally, Will and Amy, Sharon, Dawn, Nanny, Paul, BJ, Sarah, Kristi, and any others I may have left out.

Richard picked me up for El Sombrero for a Mexican buffet lunch. The girls from school took me out yesterday because they would be gone today.

During 6th period I got a message from the office saying they had something for me. When I get there, I find a gift from a SWEET, SWEET friend, Paige. She sent me a Wickwood candle! That was so thoughtful.

even shouted out to me on her blog!

I tried to get a pedicure, but the nail place was too busy. So, I took a long nap instead which, I must say, might have been a better deal anyway.

Richard got home with flowers and a card that made me tear up...all the good ones do, right?

And now, I'm lying on the couch with my pups at my feet, feeling happier than I have in a very long time.

I've noticed the last couple of weeks I've started to feel better. I didn't realize just how out of it I've been for the last year since the miscarriage. The human body and spirit are amazing things, aren't they? God wired us to deal with stress and trauma and be able to go on with our lives, not even truly recognizing how stressed or depressed we might be. I didn't realize. Not until the cloud started to lift in the last couple of weeks, did I even know I was living in a bubble, under this dark cloud that wouldn't leave. Of course there's been laughter, and moments of happiness, but not that all-consuming JOY I've had for most of my life...I've yearned to have it back.

It's hard to be grateful when you can't get out from under something like that. It is hard to count your blessings. I have tried my best to keep perspective, but now that my eyes are clearer and I have days like this to just reiterate how BLESSED my life is, I feel like a new person. I have prayed for a new perspective and my Lord has put stories in my life like this one, and this one to remind me of what life is and what my purpose is and what we are ALL here to do...give glory to the One who suffered the most, and paid the ultimate price to me, one who is so undeserving. There are no words; I just know I can't wrap my brain, my thoughts, my heart around it. Something I read on the above-mentioned blog has been on my heart and in my head the last few days. When this family was told at 20 weeks this daughter they were pregnant with would not live outside the womb, this mother said to the doctor, "I don't know what is going on, but I do know that Jesus is the same in this moment, as He was before I walked in this door." I'm choking up just writing that. But what a passion...

My twenty-eighth year wasn't the happiest of my life. It was a time of growth, of spiritual immaturity and maturing, a time of change, a time of many valleys and few mountains. It sounds so simple...just BE happy. But it doesn't always work that way...happiness and contentment are sometimes the hardest emotions to hold on to. But just in time for the start of my twenty-ninth year, I have discovered JOY again. That is the only way I can describe it. And I'm happy again. That is an answered prayer. And it gives me HOPE. My twenty-ninth year will be full of JOY and HOPE and ASSURANCE. God promised me that in His word...and guess what?

I believe Him.


  1. Absolutely beautiful post!! Thank you so much and just know that have encouraged me!! I love you girl! See ya soon!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I am such a loser friend!!

  2. I am glad you had a happy birthday! Your 29th is going to be a great one! Hope it is off to a great start!

  3. Charla....
    I can not tell you how much your presence means in my life...I can ALWAYS count on you...I am so thankful that God has blessed me with such a wonderful friendship as yours...I know this past year has been hard for you, but you have faced it with such strength and faith...I admire that in you...

    I am so thankful that the Jenkins moved to C-town..

    You deserved this birthday with all the happiness it provided for refilling your cup!

    We are blessed to know you and to call your friend...You are such an awesome friend...I love ya girl!!!!

  4. Loved the post...I am so glad you are having a great start to your new year. I have confidence this year is going to be full of TONS of exciting things for both our families. We love ya!!!

  5. I am so excited that you had a great day....birthdays are supposed to be all about you...and it sounds like it was about you....have a great weekend and try to keep that JOY...goin' and goin'....steph

  6. i'm so happy that you have JOY in your life again....

    happy belated birthday from your
    2nd loser friend :)

  7. I believe Him too, Charla, that this coming year will bring joy and assurance for both of us. I needed that reminder! So glad you felt special on your b-day, you deserve it!

  8. First, very nice look on the blog! Way to figure it out. I actually had Curtis on the phone at one point, but was very happy when I didn't actually end up needing him. :-)

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope and pray that the joy you feel now will stay with you through the rest of the year. What an amazing woman you are to trust in Him, even during tough times, times of sadness and frustration. Praying for you!

  9. Happy belated birthday, Charla! And thanks for stopping by the hospital. Too bad Hannah was a little stubborn. =)


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