22...That just seems like a really big number to me!
This afternoon I was thinking back over the past year. So much has changed in just a short twelve months! Last year on my birthday I was sitting across the breakfast table from my Dad talking about my life and what I was going to do with it. I'm pretty sure if Dad had leaned over and told me that I would be celebrating my 22nd birthday on a tiny island in the Philippines, I wouldn't have believed him.
I certainly never thought this is what my life would look like right now...but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I know God has me right where He wants me to be, and I can rest in the assurance that God's plan for me is far greater than the ideas I have in my head of what I think my life should be.
I was slightly sad when I woke up this morning...There were no delicious smells wafting up from the kitchen as I opened my eyes, no presents on the table, no family..."Ug" I thought to myself "This is such a bummer!" I wandered out of my bedroom and scrambled some eggs ...I sat and and looked out the window, mindlessly watching the neighbor chickens scratch away in our front yard.
I trudged out the door to school ten minutes late. I just was not in a good mood. I thought about flagging down a bike and getting a ride, but I didn't have small change with me. I power walked all the way there and entered my classroom with three minutes to spare, covered in a thick layer of sweat.
At exactly eight o'clock the children began to file into my room. Seventeen beautiful boys and girls, each of them with a special smile and a sweet "Happy Birthday Miss Bauman."
Then before I knew what was happening one of the teachers burst into the room holding a muffin with a candle in it and loudly singing the most intense version of Happy Birthday...The children joined in. Of course the only way to sing Happy Birthday is at the top of your lungs...All seventeen of them did..It was so loud and I loved every minute of it.
Some of the children had made me birthday cards and others had small presents for me. It was so special! And suddenly I realized my day was not so bad after all. No, it didn't feel like home, but there was something so special and unique about experiencing my birthday here. I smiled. God always shows me the ways I can be happy and thankful in the midst of feeling lonely or sad.
I left the classroom and came back to find a poster that the children from 1st grade had made for me, taped on my classroom door. I felt overwhelmed with happiness....Everywhere I turned there was something/someone reminding me it was my birthday and making me feel so special and loved.
At five o clock I got a text from Candy (a Filipino Missionary who I have been doing feeding sites with). She told me to come to the barn because they had something special for me. I walked in and saw Eileen, Isidro, their children and several neighbor children. Candy handed me a beautiful pink carnation and a chocolate birthday cake with my name on it. I felt tears starting to well up in my eyes. They had spent money and time making sure that I would feel at home, loved and special on my birthday! And I certainly did! We cut the cake and that was followed by another round of Happy Birthday..This time I sang along :) I was so incredibly blessed by everyone.
For dinner Haley, Elizabeth, Carla and Ryan took me to an Indian restaurant. I LOVE Indian food and this place did not disappoint! It was so delicious! The atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable, and again, the food was fantastic. I smiled and thought to myself it truly was a perfect day :)
I can't even imagine what God has in store for me in this next year. I'm ok with that..If it's anything like this past year has been, I know for sure my imagination can't come up with it :)
I'm looking forward to it! Here's to another incredible year!!!!!