Saturday, January 21, 2017

40 with a flourish ~ my belated Birthday Party in NJ ~ and a prayer request

I am so glad that my 40th birthday party in NJ 
actually happened.
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.


Paula said...

I'm so glad you were feeling well enough to have your party. It looks lovely and such gifts! I'm working on ideas for Ella's 11th, which is coming up fast (Feb.1). I'm thinking of having a tea party with lots of little triangle sandwiches, scones, cupcakes (instead of a big cake). I'll have to check with the grandmas to see what they have for serving dishes. I'll serve punch instead of tea. Try not to over-do things now that you are feeling better. Happy birthday again.

ann lynagh said...

I love your heart for hospitality,Spode China-I have the the same pattern and Elizabeth Goudge amongst many other things.
You encourage me greatly!I have bought some Thieves essential oils,just waiting on Amazin UK.i have asthma and the cold weather hits me hard.

God bless,

Ann Marie

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Dear One,

I am so glad your party went ahead and you all had a splendid time.
Your cheeeseboard is absolutely exquisite - I have never seen anything like it before!
Prayers being offered for the dear elderly gentleman you mentioned, and for you and Mr Husband.

elizabeth said...

Paula, thank you! sent you a PM!

Ann Marie - welcome and thank you! How lovely that you have the same Spode pattern! Elizabeth Goudge is so wonderful! I hope the oils help; I am still quite new to them but did see some help from them! Cold weather is quite difficult! God bless you as well!

Elizabeth, thank you so much! Sent you a PM as well.

Nancy McCarroll said...

So very glad the party was a success. It looked fun and festive and the foods served sounded delicious. And the fact you and your husband could both enjoy it with increasing health was another Godsend. Blessings.

elizabeth said...

Thank you so much Nancy!!! Yes, it was a blessing that it went well and the food was very good, thank God! Blessings to you as well! we are praying for you!

Rachel said...

These pictures are so lovely, what a beautiful table. Sending prayers for your dear friend, what an unfortunate situation. Hoping things work out quickly and smoothly for him!

Gloriade said...

Hello Elizabeth, It's good to hear that you are regaining your health. Your party looks like it was a lovely and intimate affair, just what I think the Lord knew you needed. Such lovely and thoughtful gifts tell me that your friends know you well and care about you very much. I pray your sweet elderly friend will be surrounded with friends and family who will be a blessing and support to him as he seeks a new home and that you and your husband will be fully recovered very very soon.

elizabeth said...

Rachel, thank you so much!

Gloriade, Yes, it is slow but I am gaining! And I agree with you, I think the Lord did know exactly what I needed, even if it was hard for me to change gears at times! I know I will treasure this party and these days. Yes, I am blessed to have the friends I have here!!! Thank you for your prayers for our dear Candle Desk Man and for myself and my Husband!

Tracy said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PARTY, Elizabeth! Oh, this was so HAPPY to see! So much good food, and such wonderful gifts--such beautiful, thought-full gifts! Things seems like the beginning of some good healing for you and your husband. I hope and pray this is the beginning of just that--a time of good physical healing and feeling more alive in your bodies. God is sooo Good! :))) Blessings to you both ((HUGS)) P.S. Hoping too, that your elderly friend finds a new home soon!

karen said...

happy birthday sweet Elizabeth!!! Looks like a wonderful celebration :)

GretchenJoanna said...

It was a great birthday gift to have the desire and stamina to accomplish your lovely party :-) God has showered you with blessings of friends and family and strength, and years! Many more God-filled years to you, Dear Elizabeth!

Zena said...

Dearest Elizabeth. Happy birthday! I love how your birthday feast was a collabration of food from friends. I adore the coffee cup and plunger. Yes useful beautiful gifts are the best.

Zena said...

Also I am so sorry to hear your husband is still unwell. The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust him. I remind myself of this often.

Lisa said...

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth. (a little late) :)