I am so glad that my 40th birthday party in NJ
It was a hard week in terms of many people having to cancel,
I think the final count was 11 this week could not come,
I found this disappointing of course,
but God helped me and I can say that
the party was a real blessing to both
Mr Husband and myself.
We have not been out of the house really much since
January 2 for me and January 3 for Mr Husband.
So seeing people again, and having them come to our house,
was a deep blessing.
I really feel that in the end the party
was exactly as God meant it to be,
and I had a lot of peace in that.
One of the ones who could not come was
because our beloved local Candle Desk Man, Warden emeritus,
suddenly had to move out of his apartment because his
apartment building had a fire this morning.
Thank God that his apartment was untouched by
the fire, smoke and water (from the fire fighters).
He credits it to the fact that he has always had his
apartment blessed every year.
But the building is no longer fit to be lived in
and he will have to find a new place to live.
He is elderly, a true pensioner, and
I ask your sincere and loving prayers for him.
He is a dear man and we had him over
for dinner two summers ago,
I wrote about it here.
It was such a wonderful time.
Please pray for him.
While I was getting news about our dear elderly friend,
my quilting friend came over, with mashed potatoes in a crock-pot.
She helped me in many ways, including polishing my beautiful small
silver candlestick holders and helping get the table ready.
Another dear friend came early as well and prepared the lemon water
and helped out in the kitchen.
Another friend came bearing green beans and cooked mushrooms
that were very delicious.
Our caterer came with 2 baked chickens and 2 pork roasts, plus
roasted vegetables. Remember that we had 11 cancel this week,
so the meat was for a party of 19.
Anyway, my friend N. came soon after this and she helped me
out greatly by showing me how to prepare the already baked 2nd
roast chicken to freeze; she wrapped it first in plastic wrap,
then in tin-foil and then in a freezer bag...because it was
tightly wrapped in the saran wrap, it was easy to put in the freezer bag.
My friends helped me with keeping the food warm and we had
an appetizer, camembert cheese with cranberry, a frozen
hors d'oeuvre from Trader Joes that was delicious!
The meal itself was lovely, my friend Z came soon and then
a dear couple, E and A, who helped us greatly by taking
gifts (you know I do baked goods for Christmas for my church...) to
everyone who could not come, etc.
The cake was wonderful too,
and they sang both Happy Birthday and Many Years to me.
I was given such surprising and lovely gifts;
I had done my best to try to not think about that part of the
party; I really wanted my focus to be on my guests and serving them.
Anyway, I was given beautiful things from candles, tea and chocolate,
a beautiful french press + 4 beautiful tea/coffee cups, an exquisite
cheese board and knife, a gift card to a fabric store (! I am going to have
to think carefully about what to get!), and other treasured things.
I did not open the gifts until most people were gone,
which was how I liked it, as I get really self-conscious about opening things
in front of a lot of people.
The most exciting thing about gifts like the ones I was given was
that I can use them for hospitality.
It's something I want to continue growing in...
and I love that many of my gifts can be used in this way.
We got a ride later on to vespers at our local church,
our first time out!!!
It was wonderful to be there!
We hope to go to liturgy tomorrow morning,
though we will not stay for the meal,
as Mr Husband is still recovering and more susceptible to
illness right now.
When we came back home,
I heated up some chicken soup for my beloved Husband
and we also feasted on left overs.
I cleaned up the tea pots after dinner and put the dishes away.
I am so very happy for this day
and hope to continue gaining strength and hopefully in a week or two
be able to be back at both our local and far-away churches.
Please continue to pray for us;
my Husband still has a ways to go in recovering his strength.
I thank God for His mercy and love
and that while we may not understand why
everything happens in life,
that we can still look to God for help
in times of trouble and in times of joy.