I’m probably going to sound realllllly mature from now on. It’s totally because I turned 30.
Birthday Week commenced with that rainbow swirl cake that gave me a perspective and a taste of abundant life far grander than the Texas two-step dreams I had conjured up for myself. (And I really, really love two-stepping.) But that was only the beginning. From that moment on, it was a birthday BAMBOOZLING!
(Rhetorical question: Does my giddiness about rainbow swirl cake and/or use of the word “bamboozling” invalidate my testimony as to how mature and grown up I’ve become?)
It was a week of overflow. I was covered in celebration, singing, sugar, encouragement, gifts, spa treatment, and even dirty mop water. My friend Amanda was here, and she was a greater gift than I could have ever asked for.
|This lady continuously teaches me about authentic love.|
I was maxed out by all the love. Almost embarrassed because it just wouldn’t stop.
I agreed to go out to a low key, no pressure dinner to celebrate again with Amanda and some of my TTH family. The week had been so full, I didn’t want to put anyone out or wear them out any more than they already were. As Amanda and I got ready for dinner and chatted, just like our grad school days together, we were interrupted by a surprise announcement that came from both my family at TTH and a video from my sister.
There would be no going out for dinner.
There would be nothing low key about this evening.
And there were maracas!
They told me they were bringing Texas to me, and I needed to sit down and watch this video… It is deep, hilarious, ridiculous, overwhelming, I-can’t-handle-it birthday love from so many people in so many places.
(This is the point Amanda started regretting allowing me to put on eye makeup for the night.)
It was enough to do me in, but the night was just beginning.
I walked my happy, puffy eyes outside to the song “God Bless Texas” blaring, a fiesta-flavored mob of celebration, and so many smiling people shouting “SURPRISE!” A full-fledged, pulled-out-all-the-stops, totally got me party, y’all.
|This is what a Texas-Fiesta-South African-Samoan fusion surprise looks like.|
Now you know.
They decorated, prepared and cooked extravagantly. (REAL. GOOD. FAJITAS.)
There was a photo booth and chocolate fondue.
There was a lip sync concert and an art project.
They moved sand and beach chairs into the bottom of our empty pool to bring Galveston beach to me, where they sat me down and showered me with love and the thankful game.
THEY LEARNED HOW TO TWO-STEP.
|Look at my ridiculously happy face. Meanwhile, Jared was|
shouting, "SHE'S NOT DOING IT LIKE THEY TAUGHT ME!"
So then I tried to let him lead again.
|If this doesn't look like heaven in an empty pool, I don't know what does.|
|Don't judge me... He started it.|
Even after everything that happened that week, they celebrated and loved extravagantly.
Deep got different that night.
And deep got deeper the next morning when I woke up to find out that my little sister had been working for months to rally the amazing people in my life to pitch in for A NEW LAPTOP.
It just kept coming. Deeper and deeper.
More than a week later, I am still speechless behind this brand new computer screen. Seriously, I’ve been trying to write this blog for four hours.
In the aftermath of that deep end dream come true that I had never ever dreamt of, I got to be a part of an even bigger party yesterday. We bussed more than 400 children and local volunteers onto the Ten Thousand Homes base, and treated them to a Day of Royalty.
Three bouncing busloads put on their Sunday best and gathered HOURS before it was time to go for the big event. Upon arrival, they were transformed into princes and princesses, bestowed with gifts, invited into a smorgasbord of activities, and were taught that they are princes and princesses worthy of celebrating because they are children of the King.
That same deep end where we danced in 30 was transformed into a prince and princess worship concert. (ahem… slightly different musical stylings)
That same deep love we experienced when family came together and gave all they had in the name of extravagant love multiplied.
I think I’m starting to get it…
Deep end love is exponential.
When we learn how to two-step and when we spend sweaty Saturdays wiping princess snot…
When we splurge our resources, ourselves, and our creative whimsies on someone else…
When we jump in without holding back, even when it’s way over our heads…
When we’re willing to dance in the deep end of someone’s life…
That’s when things change.
That’s abundant life. It’s in the deep end.
We find life and breath when we lay down our own capacities and go further than where we can breathe on our own.
The deep has always existed. That’s where The Creator began the beginning.
(I checked... it's in Genesis 1:2)
His bottomless, eternity-sized canvas and capacity is where He hovered, dreaming and delighting over each breath of beauty His week would behold... and then He jumped in. His hands, His heart, and even His Son.
He jumped into our deep ends and became them.
And then He invited us into a new kind of deep. The kind where deep dances with deep – and keeps going deeper. The place where we are bestowed with a crown of beauty, oil of gladness and a garment of praise.
I’ll never forget how deeply your love affected me. That kind of love, that started in the deep end of an empty swimming pool, awoke deeper places in me than I knew existed. The first 30 years was just the shallow end compared to what's ahead… Because now I know there’s deeper.
I want to love someone everyday the way I’ve been loved. To continuously roll out the red carpet, bestowing embarrassing honor and extravagance on every little (and big) prince and princess I meet.
Deep end love is multiplying exponentially in me. So I’m asking for a deeper place to dance in.
Thank you for the deep, deep ways you have loved me.