Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Birthday?

My daughter celebrated her birthday recently, and I’ll admit that for awhile I dreaded it wasn’t going to be a happy one.  Holidays have become so stressful for me.  It must be that my expectations are set way too high, because I feel defeated even before the day arrives.  Obviously we can’t celebrate special days like we would in our home country.  It just isn’t possible.

For example:  We had hoped that the personal belongings we sent from the US via sea freight would be here by now.  We had packed special surprises and birthday presents for our children.  Unfortunately, the birthday came and went without the arrival of our crate, so Claire didn’t get her birthday presents.

And couldn’t we just skip the birthday cake?  A box of cocoa costs about $10 at our store, and they’re completely out of vanilla right now.  But my daughter has visions of elaborate doll-shaped cakes with flowers and pink frosting.  I, on the other hand, have to tell her she can choose between a rectangular cake or cupcakes.  Anything more will propel me into a nervous breakdown.

032Since we just arrived back in Ukarumpa, there was no time to plan a party.  There’s no place to go for a special outing, and I was afraid the day would be an utter disappointment for my daughter.

Fortunately, God reminded me (via my husband), that a special day doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive.  I did splurge on the $10 cocoa, but God arranged for strawberries to show up at our front door unexpectedly.  Daddy was able to continue his tradition of decorating the breakfast table with flowers (right from our own garden), and a picnic lunch gave us all something to look forward to.

Looking back, I realize that a lot of my stress stems from the delusion that even though I may readily accept the “sacrifices” that come with our life choices, my children shouldn’t be forced to bear the consequences.  Thus it’s so easy for me to feel guilty that my children might “miss out” somehow because of our calling to PNG.  It’s a bunch of nonsense, of course.  We are blessed beyond belief!  Our children have experienced more in their few years than many do in their entire lifetime.

So forgive me, Lord, for thinking (even momentarily) that you have anything less than your best in mind for all of us.  Amen!


Jamie Jo said...

Great post. You are indeed blessed, and so are your children. I have four grown children who do not feel they were deprived in the least having grown up in Mexico. God is writing your children's stories, too. It will be good!

It's nice to "meet" you via the WOTH writer's blog roll. I'm sure we have many mutual friends with WBT.

By the way, our ministry blog is called Until All Have Heard. :)

Lisa said...

Your cupcakes look wonderful. :-)

cjb said...

We hope you had a wonderful 8th birthday, Claire! Your cupcakes look yummy.....and you look great too! We love you, Grammy and Papa

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