It was my birthday last week. I expected to receive some cards and gifts from family and friends and homemade cards, flowers and a gluten free birthday cake from my kids like so many wonderful birthdays before. But, first thing in the morning, I prayed that I would receive something unexpected. As much as I love all that other stuff, I prayed for something more, something really big. I prayed that Mike would show some sign of improvement. He has been so diligent with his new diet and all the homeopathic remedies, I really wanted for my birthday a sign that Mike’s efforts were paying off so he and the rest of us would be encouraged. That to me would be the ultimate birthday present.I watched him closely all day. I waited to see something happen…perhaps a few fingers would unfold, or maybe he would lift an arm or something. I listened closely to observe any improvements in his speech, but there weren’t any. There weren't any changes at all. He seemed the same as he was the day before.
The next day as I pondered my birthday and the gift I wanted, but didn’t get, a light came on in my head as I realised that spending the day with Mike was a gift. Every day I have with him is a splendid gift (every day we spend with the ones we love is a gift). And, what’s more, Mike was the same as the day before…he wasn’t any worse. This, my gift, was a wonderful gift indeed.This is what Oswald Chambers says on my birthday (Aug 5). It may or may not apply, but it’s a very good message and worth sharing: What God calls us to cannot be definitely stated, because His call is simply to be His friend to accomplish His own purposes…If we are in fellowship and oneness with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, then we will no longer strive to find out what His purposes are. As we grow in the Christian life, it becomes simpler to us, because we are less inclined to say, “I wonder why God allowed this or that?” And we begin to see that the compelling purpose of God lies behind everything in life, and that God is divinely shaping us into oneness with that purpose. A Christian is someone who trusts in the knowledge and the wisdom of God, not in his own abilities. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the calm, relaxed pace which should be characteristic of the children of God.
Me, Leah and Mike by the pool (my sister's house). Record breaking heat that day.
Nathan, Mike and me in the pool. Mike's eyes lit up when we suggested he go for a dip. Nathan lifted him in.
Later at Nathan's frisbee game. Leah took this one.
My dad...Leah took this one too.
My mom and Leah.
The grand finale to the day. Mike got the picture he has wanted to get for a long time.