“Surprise! Surprise! Happy Birthday!”
Everyone should have at least one surprise birthday party. I’m talking about a total “Is this for real?” knockout, bolt from the blue. One such birthday is special, but I have been blessed with two. The first came on my sixth birthday and I can remember the most minute details these sixty-three years later.
The day was hot and sticky, as most July days are in Indiana, and momma had sent me with my older sister to Grandma Forgey’s to pick up my birthday cake.
I was excited because I loved those visits to grandma’s and I especially loved the wonderful goodies she made in her kitchen. I can still smell the sugary sweetness of the angel food cakes she made for our birthdays.
That day, I remember, we couldn’t get to grandma’s fast enough. Of course, we couldn’t just waltz in, get the cake, say “thank you” and leave. A visit to grandma’s was always a visit. We had to “sit a spell”, which on this particular day held an importance that would later be revealed on my return home.
So, we sat a spell. We chatted about the county fair, how high the corn was growing and how many egg whites she had put in the cake. Finally, grandma declared the visit over and carefully packed the cake for our trip home. I couldn’t wait to get home and have a slice – it looked so delicious.
When we pulled into our driveway, mother was standing at the door.
“How does the cake look?” she asked.
“It’s beautiful,” I said, “with green icing, too, my favorite!”
We took the cake into the kitchen and found our neighbor, Millie, sitting at the kitchen table drinking some lemonade.
“Millie brought something for you that she wants you to see – it’s in the
The playhouse was a small building my father had made, scaled to size for small children. It was a miniature version of a regular house with red siding. It had a small window on the side and was decorated with petite furniture. It appeared so real that salesmen would sometimes be found knocking on the door expecting someone other than dolls to be living there.
I opened the playhouse door and stepped backwards, startled by the small faces popping up everywhere shouting, “Surprise! Surprise! Happy Birthday!”
I couldn’t believe it! My best friends - Alma, Sue, Carolyn and Mary Edna – were jumping up and down, squealing with delight that they had surprised me.
After catching our breaths, we played “pin the tail on the donkey”and other party games. Then came wonderful presents – paper dolls, coloring books and crayons, barrettes for my hair. And finally, after I blew out six candles, we ate the delicious green-frosted cake and drank cherry Kool-Aid.
How special I felt, knowing I was loved and appreciated. How precious now to recall how all of those who were involved showed such caring in their planning and forethought for my good pleasure.
While the recollection of that wonderful day is etched in my memory, I have been blessed by another “surprise” birthday that far surpasses the first – the day I accepted the gift of New Life in Christ through His marvelous grace. The “surprise” of that birthday was the total shock of truly realizing how much Christ loved me by going to the cross, and that His resurrection assured me of eternal life! It was truly a knockout, a bolt from the blue – straight from heaven, and the celebration was a rousing one – all of God’s holy angels shouting in joy that I had become a part of His forever family.
The details of this birthday are still unfolding as I daily marvel at God’s amazing love for me. Moment by moment He is giving me the gift of His presence and the daily bread of His Word provides nourishment for my spirit as I long to grow in Him.
I need not ask “Is this for real?” because God has assured me through His Word that I was on His mind in eternity past and that all He planned for my good pleasure will in turn glorify Him, making each day a continual birthday celebration of delight and joy.
“Surprise! Surprise! Happy Birthday!”
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