Birthday Happiness

After celebrating another 365 days journeying around the sun last week, I discovered what an added joy it is to share birthdays, and any other day, with one you love. I took the day off work and my sweet optometrist treated me to a special day in the city! First stop: lunch. I dined on a most tasty blackened tilapia sandwich at a little cafe, which happens to adjoin my favorite used book store. You can guess what came after lunch. I was so pleased to buy:
In This Mountain by Jan Karon, the only Mitford book I somehow didn’t possess in my collection.
The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn, my favorite food memoir I devoured (all puns intended) while in grad school. It will make a lovely addition to my bookcase.
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes, a sweet children’s story I loved as a little girl, with my original copy lent to a trio of sisters who never returned it. I am victorious in reclaiming it!
Shakespeare’s Landlord by Charlaine Harris, the wild card in the bunch. I read the first of the True Blood series years ago, which I found rather gratuitous on many fronts, so I hope this series will prove differently.

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Next came a visit to a local art museum, where neither of us had visited before. No photos were allowed on the inside, so we snapped this photo at the entrance. While Native American and Western/cowboy art aren’t my favorite genre, we were both terribly impressed with the scope and diligence employed in displaying, maintaining, and connecting this collection to the public.

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We ended our day with dinner at the cutest little Italian restaurant downtown. Their homemade salad dressing, hand crafted pasta, inviting ambience (aprons strung as curtains, family artifacts mounted on the walls) and scrumptious tiramisu were the perfect end to my birthday-day.
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On my birthday I also decided to begin reading through the Bible again. This was a goal I achieved throughout 2011 and have felt spiritually aimless these past few months, so I found my 365 daily devotional NIV Bible and set to work! How much more balanced I am as I begin my morning in the Word, journeying yet again through the Creation and early stories of God’s relationship with men and women on earth.

Yesterday, this passage stood out to me:
[After Lot was told by two angels that Sodom was going to be destroyed and he needed to leave] When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. ~ Genesis 19:16. How many times has the Lord prompted me to go and flee, and like Lot, I falter or second guess what needs to be done? Probably too often, truth be told. This awareness prompts me to be thankful for His grace that takes me by the hand and leads me out of one bad situation into the safe place where I need to be to avoid destruction and ruin. Yes and amen.

Thus begins another day of life, work, love, music, and prayer.

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