About three weeks ago I decided that I wanted to have a small 50th birthday celebration for my husband. I knew it was somewhat last minute and that I would be crunched for time with us being out of town two weekends in a row before the party but went ahead with sending out invitations via email and facebook. I got several responses right away offering help, in which I was very grateful for.
I have never done this sort of thing before; I didn’t even really have very big birthday parties for my children as they grew up. It was always low key- cake, family and maybe a couple friends. I did do one special thing when they were younger, I would always make them a character cake (Barbie/Batman etc).
Birthdays for me came and went as I grew up without bells and whistles, just a cake /ice cream my parents and brothers, so needless to say I am not very familiar with big celebrations. My children over the years were invited to many birthday parties for their cousins and friends and each one making me feel more and more inadequate in this area.
So throwing a surprise 50th birthday party for my husband was really stretching me but I didn’t want my insecurities to rob him of this big mark in his life. 50 is something to celebrate, especially when my husband tells me that he didn’t really think he would live to the age of 40.
I knew it would have been too hard for me to plan something here at the house so I reserved the use of our church for the evening before his actual birthday. I figured that I could get my husband to the church for a “worship team meeting” without a problem. The room reserved was big enough and it had tables, chairs already there, so no worries about renting those things. So far so good I thought.
Four days before party I sent out reminder emails to those that had offered to bring salads, pop, ice, fruit etc…
I was really getting excited that I might just pull this off. That Bob would be truly surprised.
Thursday night came, Bob, my husband, got the call about the “mandatory worship team meeting” at the church Friday night at 6:00 sharp. I really thought that he would be okay with it, because we don’t ever plan anything Friday night, but I was the one that got the surprise.
Bob was upset, maybe even a little angry, because he had planned on helping a fellow co-worker, Greg, put in his water heater.
This can’t be happening I thought to myself. My plans that I have been mentally putting together for the past 3 weeks started to crumble around me. I started thinking of a back up plan; I didn’t know what I was going to do. I ended up asking to use his cell phone – telling him that my battery was dead, and calling one of his other co-workers, Jim. I explained to him that I didn’t have a problem Bob helping Greg, but if he could explain to this guy it is very important that he finishes up early to be at the church at six, that I had planned a surprise 50th birthday party for him. Jim assured me that he would do his best. That was all I could do.
But I had to listen to my husband complain about this mandatory meeting all that Thursday evening. I kept thinking to myself, if he only knew this was for him! He is so defiant about this meeting, it isn’t like he is being asking to do anything, he just needs to show up, it is all for him. We – his friends, family, and I wanted to bless him. But here he is complaining about it. It almost makes a person want to say “Forget it!”
Then that’s when I heard it… In the mist of Bob’s complaining I heard God say…
“Do you know how many times I ask my people to do something, just show up – but all they do is complain of how inconvenient it is for them? All I want to do is bless them. It isn’t for me, it is really for them.”
Wow, God has placed different people on my heart the past few months, and not sure what I am to do with this list of people -I do nothing. Maybe God just wants me to take a moment to spend some time with them. And all I have been doing is complaining of how little of that resource (time) I have. It might just be that God doesn’t want me to do anything but to show up, lend an ear, listen, and maybe even pray with these people. Bottom line; be obedient and not defiant, and doing so God might just bless me in the process. So this week that is going to be on my agenda- to seek out those people and just show up then let God do HIS thing.
Oh by the way I did get Bob to the church Friday evening, after having a nervous break down at work. I called Jim to ask if he got to talk with this Greg guy. Jim had told me that Bob had an idea that something might be planned, that was the last draw, the tears just started. I was so disappointed that he knew, I cried. This was a lot of pressure for me, all self imposed pressure but just the same it was pressure.
Everyone was at their mark and when Bob walked through the doors and even I was taken back with the many voices charming together “SURPRISE!”
God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good!