Friday, April 18, 2014

31 in China

Monday was my 31st birthday.  I woke up to purple sweet potato pancakes with homemade syrup, "bacon," and scrambled eggs.  Eden made me a cute banner that said Happy 14th Birthday, which she later changed to 31st!  My teammate, Kristalyn, made me a lemon cake with key lime frosting, since I am missing key lime cheesecake.  The best part was the Chinese writing. She got me adorable coffee, tea, and sugar canisters filled with: coffee, tea, and peanut butter m&ms.  Eden and Ephraim took the remains of her wrapping paper and wrapped up things from the kitchen like crackers and a snickers bar, and sang Happy Birthday to me in Chinese. A Chinese friend cooked me a lunch of pork and garlic shoots, pork and green beans, and eggs and tomatoes.  She also bought me bananas and a roasted chicken for my birthday, such a kind and generous soul.  Yesterday, as part of my late birthday since Jacob wasn't feeling well that day and since he was teaching most of the day, we went out for Indian food for the first time, enjoying naan, dal, and chicken tikka masala, such a treat.  While we were in that part of town, we picked up Xavier's first official walking shoes. So, what is different about this birthday?  Well, for starters, I feel like I've aged five years in that last one.  Seriously.  There are often adventures here, but many of them come out of difficulty.  I am closer to Father than I have ever been, depending on Him daily for strength for battles not against flesh and blood.
I hang on to the truth that "all things work together for good for those that love Him."  I've always "known," but now I really know that He knows the deepest parts of my heart, and that I can cast all my cares upon Him.  He REALLY hears me, and He REALLY  answers.  Only He can calm my anxious heart.  He loves me genuinely and specifically.   For my birthday, He blessed me sweetly and specifically.  The candy I have missed most in China has been Reeses and Peanut butter m&ms.  In the last month, Walmart started carrying mini Reeses cups, and my teammate brought me PB m&ms.  I was out of eye liner, and my Aunt sent me some in a package, which also included a letter from my Granny who I have been really missing.  Ephraim needed new shoes, and a friend gave us two pairs for him right before we were going to buy him some.  The canisters my teammate gave me, I had seen in a shop, and thought to myself how cute they were, and how I would like to have them.  I said nothing to no one.  This shop was across town.
In a city of millions, with thousands of tiny shops, what are the odds?  Xavier has been taking his time to walk.  I was sad not to be able to get him "squeaker" shoes like someone had given us for Eden that encouraged her to walk.  We didn't discover the shoes were squeaker shoes till we got home with them.  Jacob saw a round piece of plastic on the side and thought maybe it was the defect that kept them from being exported.  Nope.  They squeak.  All these things are precious little gifts to remind me of His love and how well He knows me.  The evidence is all around us.

Showers of Blessing:
Squeaker shoes
Cake with Chinese writing
Favorite candy
Indian food
Cute cannisters
Adorable mistake my daughter made about age
Shoes for Eph
Gifts from the heart
A Father who loves me sweetly and specifically.  He knows how to give good gifts.


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