Before I leave for work each day, I try to remember to read a daily devotion from this book I picked up just over a year ago. It’s a daily habit I’ve tried to maintain and the messages usually provide me a sense of perspective, peace and balance to carry with me into my day.
Today’s message was much less ambiguous than most tend to be. It said:
This is a time of abundance in your life. Your cup runneth over with blessings. After plodding uphill for many weeks, you are now traipsing through lush meadows drenched in warm sunshine. I want you to enjoy to the full this time of ease and refreshment. I delight in providing it for you.
Today is my birthday. And the past many weeks have been like a roller coaster. Every day, I awaken and begin to worry about my parents, their health, well-being, and ability to manage while they’re still living independently. Since my dad’s accident, it’s become abundantly clear they should not be all alone. We’re making great strides to get them moved into an assisted living facility, and if all goes well, it will happen before Christmas. But my dad has been extremely unhappy about it, and he’s let every one of us know it, over and over. Sometimes it feels like every time we clear a hurdle, something else happens to drag us back down again. Just last night, I was feeling seriously defeated, and at a loss as to how I was supposed to help my parents. My dad has yelled at me several times recently when I’ve only been trying to help him, and I’m not proud to say that I’ve done my share of yelling back.
The dark skies, rain and wind this morning seemed to align with the mood I’ve been carrying around. Then I read this passage in my devotional. And this being my birthday, I actually managed a little smile, looked upwards and silently said, “Okay, God. I’ll take it.”
Upon arriving at the office, I was not surprised to find my cubicle decked out in birthday decor. This is what we do for each other at work. In honor of my day, my coworkers had brought bagels and cream cheese, a birthday cake, cupcakes, bars, and chips and dips. I invited everyone to come by and enjoy some birthday treats. Everyone loves goodies, so a lot of people stopped by.
I got almost no work done, but I had an amazing day. I had forgotten how good it feels to have people genuinely wish you a happy day. My closest friends brought cards with heartfelt messages and there was much hugging.
My coworker Tom, who is quite the jokester, told me, “I got you a birthday present. I’m hoping it arrives after lunch.”
“You’re funny!” I said. “What’d ya get me? A stapler?”
He just laughed and returned to his computer. We don’t buy each other presents at work. We just like to celebrate with food.
After lunch, when I returned to my cubicle, I didn’t immediately notice what was different. And then it hit me. There was an ergonomic chair sitting there in place of the old one I’d been complaining about. No, Tom hadn’t bought it. It was a company-provided chair. But he had taken the time to put in the request and go through all the formal channels to get me a new chair. (I was going to simply wheel my old one down to the area where there are unmanned cubicles and trade it for a nice, new version. I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet.)
I was genuinely floored by Tom’s thoughtfulness and I told him so. I could tell he was pretty proud of himself, as he should be!
I knew I’d be coming home to an empty house tonight. I’ll get to celebrate with my family this weekend when (almost) everyone is home. But Mark had left me a card and gift. I tore into the gift bag like a little kid. There was a medium-sized box inside with some weight to it. I pulled it out and saw … a blue tooth speaker so I can listen to my music again!
He knows exactly what I like! Well, this one might have been a no-brainer, since my old speaker has been failing me for the better part of the past year and I’ve been pretty vocal about it. Still, excellent move on my hubby’s part!
To top it off, I talked with my mom and besides wishing me a happy birthday, she informed me that Dad was mellowing out and finally getting on board with accepting their move to a safer place. Miracle!
This day was phenomenal. I am grateful, and I am happy!