The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old. Proverbs 20:29.
We went to a birthday party last night for two of my dearest friends, Jen and Michelle.I met them a couple of years ago when I was invited to study the Bible with them. Here’s what happened. My friend Ebbe mentioned that she was studying the Bible with some ladies she had met. She was going to church and spending lots of time with these ladies. I have to admit, I was a little worried that she was possibly getting involved with cult because it seemed like she got so deeply involved so quickly. But she seemed so happy and wasn’t changing in odd ways, so I kind of pushed my worries aside.
Then one day Ebbe told me that they were all going on a retreat somewhere, but there were several of the women who didn’t have enough money to go. They were going to have a bake sale after church that coming Sunday to raise funds. I knew Ebbe really wanted to go, and I really love Ebbe, so I sprang into action and starting planning the bake sale. I felt like I had to take this into my own hands because everybody knows that you have to plan these things and make fancy labels and make sure no is bringing the same thing someone else is bringing and you have to advertise and you have to charge enough for the products and they have to be packaged perfectly and …whew, lot of work. And, you certainly can’t just decide to have a bake sale and then have it like 5 days later!!
Ebbe was very calm and she explained to me that she would be ecstatic if I would come to church with her that next Sunday and bring some baked goods, packaged any old way, and that I shouldn’t worry about pricing them, because people would pay whatever they wanted to pay. Ha! She said God will take care of what we need (now, it isn’t that I didn’t believe God would take care of us, it was more that I believed that I am in control of what happens). So, I made some cookies and other goodies, and with some trepidation accompanied Miss Ebbe to church.
It’s a small church relative to the churches I’m used to going to (don’t quote me, but I think we have about 300 members at our location). So here’s what happened. They needed to raise about $850 in order to fund the the trip for the girls who couldn’t afford it. We put all the baked goods out with a big money jar. People came by, took what they wanted, and put some money in the jar. After about an hour or so, we had a few things left and a big jar of money, which when counted, came out to be about $851. Seriously, I nearly fell off my chair. What a lesson.
After that, Ebbe asked me if I would like to study the Bible with her and some of the girls. And since that had been on my list of things I wanted to do, and I had really liked her friends, I naturally said yes. I figured I would become more familiar with the Bible and it would probably be good for me and all that jazz. Again, Ha! Those Bible sessions were the best thing that ever happened to me. I met a group of lovely woman who are funny and dear and loving and who help me to be a better person in every respect. After the first couple of study sessions I started to look so foward to spending time with everyone that I just couldn’t wait to go. God filled a need in my life that I didn’t even know was there. This is astounding to me.
Fast foward about a year and a half. I got baptized and became a member of a large fun loving goofy fabulous family. Michelle and Jun turned and are turning 40 between June and August this year, and their husbands decided to throw them a party. And what a party it was! They asked a couple of us to help out by making centerpieces and doing some games for the kids. These two guys planned and executed a wonderful event and we had so much fun. They hired a DJ and we rocked out to some great music from the 70s and 80s, ate great food, and just had fun laughing and talking together. Mike even baked the cakes for the girls, and he did a fabulous job.
So here are the centerpieces – picture them with black balloons as a backdrop.
For some reason, probably because my Mama did such a spectacular job for my birthdays, I always want kid’s stuff at parties. I love those swirl suckers.
I got the white boxes at Michael’s, the empty quart sized paint cans at Home Depot (they also have gallon sized if you really want to go nuts), and the bread pans at the Dollar store. I used a Xyron with permanent adhesive to stick the dots on (this was after trying to glue them by one which would have put me in the loony bin). They are filled with floral foam covered with tissue paper and then topped off with (respectively) Skittles, Hershey’s Kisses, and jawbreakers (although all the rest of the cans were filled with gumballs instead).
So kudos to Mike and Todd for making our Friday night such a pleasure!