Extended Birthday Weekend & MLK Jr Day Reflections

(Apologies in advance that this has been in my Draft folder for three days… Oops…)

What a three day weekend! When I was very very young, I always anticipated Martin Luther King Jr day not because I understood it’s deep meaning or the history behind it, but because it fell so close to my birthday, meaning I’d have an extra day off from school. Thankfully, I understand with so much more depth the meaning of the holiday and this weekend I was able to celebrate it along with my birthday.

Saturday I turned 24 and celebrated with shopping, a little thrifting (I love browsing old stuff), a home improvement, and a delicious German dinner. I also realized how old I’m getting, when I bought new shelves and picture frames and was thrilled that Nick hung them up for me. Home Improvements are apparently an exciting part of growing up?

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Sunday morning was spent listening to an awesome sermon at church where our pastor “scienced” and my nerd side came out. He expanded on the age of the universe and a God who created a universe as big as ours, 13.8 billion years old, large, vast, enormous, yet loving enough to be with us and to come to us intimately still. Definitely a new perspective reflecting on Psalm 8:4 “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”… Afterward, we visited with friends and had a delicious dinner.

Monday we celebrated MLK Jr Day partnered in a Day of Service with our church. The morning began with a “Car Blessing” for a local organization that provides used and donated cars to those in need. The recipient was a man who had struggled in homelessness, found his way, learned new job skills, and worked as an electrician. He commuted six hours each day by bus, three hours each way. It was moving to even get a short glimpse of God’s redeeming power as he thanked God for each new blessing, and I contemplated those gathered around me who are surely giving their all being God’s “hands and feet”, the body of Christ. Then, I thought about the griping I do each morning on my interstate commute and resolved to shut up about it. . . We went on to volunteer with a local charity, The Green Chair Project, that helps families in need furnish their homes. I was delegated to vacuuming part of the 33,000 square feet warehouse, which, an hour and a half later, I’m hoping I did a better job than I generally do at my own house :) Afterward, I had lunch with a sweet friend who drove in to see me from halfway across the state and celebrate an extended birthday at PF Changs. And finally, Tuesday night was completed with a dinner at Cheesecake Factory with another friend from college who I haven’t seen in over a year.

It was a blessing of an extended weekend and I’m beyond grateful for another year. This week, I’ll share a recipe for mashed potatoes that I’m just about as grateful for :)

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