Sunday, March 8, 2009

Happy Birthday!

I had the privilege of celebrating my 26th birthday with Michael and the kids last weekend. I can say without a doubt it was one of the best birthdays I have ever had!

We celebrated with 3 massive cakes decorated with flowers and pigs (I was born in the year of the pig!).  As usual, most of the frosting ended up on my face and not in my mouth! Every time I turned around to respond to the voice of one of the kids, a small finger would slide across my cheek leaving a yellow or blue smudge of frosting. Before long nearly everyone in the room had a frosting battle mark striped across their face. 

I decided to run downstairs and wash my face off before the second round of frosting wars began. On my way back up Jessie, one of our little girls, pulled me aside. As we snuck over to the corner she pulled a small box wrapped in glossy paper with a bow at the top out from behind her back. With a big smile she said, “ This is for you, Happy Birthday,” and handed me the box. As I write this tears begin to form in my eyes just as they did in that moment.

It is hard to put into words the overwhelming feeling I had when Jessie handed me that box. It’s funny how such a small thing can have such a profound impact on a person. All I could think of was Jessie digging through the little she has to find the perfect paper to wrap around the small box full of beautiful little paper stars, and the effort and heart she put into making it.

It is one of the most thoughtful and amazing gifts I have ever received.

Now as I write I wonder if God feels the same way that I did last Saturday every time we offer our day, a prayer, or a simple “I love you” under our breath to him.  It might not seem like much in the scheme of things but God sees what we have and where we are and knows that the seemingly small offerings hold an unimaginable amount of effort and heart. 

Here’s to another year of small things with big heart!


  1. It's so wonderful that you have such a love for these kids. I know it is amazing for them to have you in their lives. Those paper stars are precious. When my team was there we received stars, birds, and all sorts of paper presents that they all had worked so hard on. From Lily I received a paper crown to wear on our last afternoon there. She had paper birds all around it, and in front were two big hearts. She wrote on them "Don't forget me". It is the most touching and treasured gift I have ever received. To have the chance to love on these kids is such a blessing. I hope I make it back someday very soon. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Mikey...keep sharing from the heart because it will strengthen you and the kids connection to Him

  3. Thanking God for the day you were born!!! Happy Birthday Mike!! So glad the kids had you to celebrate with!! Loved the video...loved the song with the video.

    Keep loving the children. Their smiles pretty much say it all :)


  4. Wow, you have a precious birthday there. I miss
    all the friends there! I know WenSi(Jessy) is very polite and love others as well. I miss her and her sister!!!
    Happy Birtherday !!!

  5. Mike
    I just read this beautiful story about your bday with the kids. Thank you for sharing your heart with us all. I pray for all of you continually that God continues to do amazing things in Luoyang...Suzie