A Birthday Surprise, ABCs of the Word, and Self-Portrait

The light came early this morning, on this first day of spring.

As I drive down our little valley road, I feel the new life. I am these pear trees unfolding; I feel the flowering—petals open like hands.

I am opening mine to receive.

Somehow this flu that has made my head heavy these past two weeks is lifting.

And just in time, Dear Ones, for I was surprised by this early this morning:

Typewritten instructions from my husband for a surprise pilgrimage in celebration of my fourth decade.

He won’t tell me where we will spend the coming week, and this unknowing both delights and tortures.

But he knows how I love a surprise.

I must say, coming out of two weeks of illness—sick children, sick mommy and daddy—a respite is much longed for.

Lucy Mae is the only one who hasn’t been ill.

And she is not much help.

Pray for our travels, friends. We will leave Sunday after church.

A day late with my Thursday ABCs in the Word (F) verse, this one spoke to me as I prepare for my birthday journey:

“…Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.” (1 Chron. 28:20)

Doesn’t that bless? Somehow, I need to know He is with me as I prepare to leave my children for a week.

And, as I gain another year in my ever growing collection.

Love you, friends!


Self-portrait, Week One

Forever in Blue Jeans
has issued a challenge to all mommies to post a picture of themselves every Thursday (or, in my case, Friday) for 52 weeks.

I felt a little self-conscious to participate at first (who wants to look at this mug?), but then I remembered how, as a girl, I treasured the scant pictures of my mother in her younger years. This is a gift for my boys, so they will remember what I looked like just a few short days of turning forty.

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  1. says

    happy birthday, laura! experience has shown me that our forties herald in more authenticity and are, in many ways, a season of setting out as we begin our journey home to ourselves. have a wonderful time away with your beloved.

  2. says

    How precious sweet Laura. You’re mug is beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    How very adorable and loving your hubs. Father, forgive me right now for I sin against you in envy of Laura’s marriage and her creative hubs.

    I love ya, chic!

    Have a grand week…a whole week of love and hubs. You deserve it for sure.

    I miss hearing from you. I’ve been emailing you from my gmail account in hopes you can receive it at home.

  3. says

    Happy Birthday, Laura!

    What an awesome surprise!

    I think you should hang onto that man and never let him go!

    I pray that this will be one of your favorite years ever! May it be overflowing with blessings!!!!!

    Have a great time on your trip! Hope you take lots of pictures to share with us! I love how you illustrate your writing with great snaps!

    ~Joys and Blessings,

  4. says

    Happy Birthday! I so wish my husband would surprise me like that – have a wonderful time with your beloved on this special year – your face is pleasing to the onlooker and it will be a blessing for your boys and the generations to come :0)

  5. says

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Laura! You are beautiful inside and out so never be fearful of a photo :).

    Glad to hear that all are feeling better. I have been way out of the blogging loop for a few weeks…hoping to get caught up this weekend.

    Praying that you will enjoy your surprise! What fun!

    Love, Stacy

  6. says

    How exciting a surprise trip!!!! Doing a happy dance for you! Love your picture…looking good for your advanced years. hehehe…I can say that as I have passed you by a decade.

    And from a very selfish standpoint…no matter when someone posts their ABC’s it’s FINE…because it’s really ALL ABOUT ME ANYWAY!!!! :o) I’m sure!!!! Even if no other person noticed it or commented it’s GRAND. I can not tell you how God has blessed me through the stirring up of His Word.

  7. says

    Hi Laura, I’m so glad that you’re feeling better. Enjoy your birthday week. Your husband is so precious for doing that for you. Your photo is wonderful! The verse is just what I needed to read today. I’m going to copy it out, carry it with me and also put it up where I can see it. Again, enjoy your birthday week and HAPPY BIRTHDAY my lovely friend. xo

  8. says

    Oh Sweetie, I am thinking you are going to return after a week with refreshment and loved on by your Man and by YOUR GOD!

    Love to you, enjoy the time, and I’ll be waiting to welcome you back.


  9. says

    Ohh, I love your photo, you have beautiful eyes. Now remember ch 1 of Jennifer’s book no talking bad about your self ;).

    How cool is that your hubs has planned an entire weeks pilgramage. Oh I’ll pray you enjoy and treasure your time together. The verse was perfect too.

    And speaking from experience, 40 is really actually much better than the 30th.

    Have a blessed Birthday.


  10. says

    You go girl! Maybe if I posted this picture every week I would be more inclined to lose weight. You look good by the way!

    Your husband sounds too cool! Please be sure to share when you get back. My cabin get-away was beautiful in many mant ways! I hope the same for you!

    In His Graces~Pamela

  11. says


    What a special surprise. Enjoy every moment.

    I came home to find a surprise yesterday too. My son had tidied the house and baked a cake for me – just because. He’s a keeper!

    Praying for you. Can’t wait to hear all about your holiday.

    Love ya,

  12. says

    Hope you have a beautiful and exciting birthday week, Laura.

    It’s true about the self portraits… I wish I had more pictures of my mother in her earlier years… I am sure your children will cherish this one of you.

  13. says

    What a guy!! I can’t wait to hear about the special trip! Your eyes are crazy pretty! I’ve paid good money for contacts that change my plain brown eyes!

    I’ve seen the look that Lucy Mae has on her face many, many times on my lil Jack 🙂 She looks like a character!

    So happy for you , feelin better and off for a romantic time with your hubby.


  14. says

    Have a wonderful time on your surprise birthday week get-away. And happy 40th. I remember sometime in my early forties, realizing that I was finally comfortable in my skin.

  15. says

    Oh my friend, Happy 40th Birthday…. As you know I’m a few years down the road from that one….. I’m now in the 50’s… ….. I pray your birthday is special…

    I got your package in the mail and was so blown away. You have blessed me beyond measure, my friend.

    Funny thing is, I wanted one of those journal covers but just didn’t order one. How cool is that?

    Thank you sweet friend for posting your picture. I love seeing your BEAUTIFUL face…

    Welcome to the wild side, dear friend…

    Love you,

  16. says

    Oh, I guess I’d better specify…. When my friends reach 40 I say to them, “Welcome to the wild side”… You’re not getting older, you’re getting wilder…. for our God loves the adventures…and the wild ride…..

    Love you,

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