so we had a little birthday dinner for my brother last night. and by “little birthday dinner”, i mean 10 children and 7 grown ups. but i didn’t have to cook anything! my friend, the uber-cool betsy, made us 2 HUGE southwest chicken casseroles, a yummy salad, and that beautiful (even when it is ON FIRE) carrot cake. don’t i have the bestest friends in the world?
so all i had to do was get some paper products, happy birthday napkins, and those EVER-lighting candles. which almost burned down the house. and caused everyone to hyperventilate to try to blow them out and burned several fingers as we tried to remove them from the cake because guess what... THEY KEPT ON RELIGHTING (hence their name). but hey, all’s well that ends well.
while i was at publix getting the things i needed, i decided to buy this REALLY HUGE balloon for max. it was three aisles later that i heard this funny (and yet quite obnoxious) birthday song playing over the intercom (or so i thought). it was a few more aisles before i realized that the song kept coming from MY balloon high above my cart. it was a musical balloon (and even had a HUGE yellow tag on the bottom of the balloon that said in plain english “I SING”. funny, i had not read that when i put the balloon in my cart. it was on a LONG ribbon, so every time the balloon brushed up against something it sang. and it was very difficult to stop it from hitting the aisles as i rounded the corners. so i heard that song OVER AND OVER again in the grocery store. and then of course as i was checking out, it sang about 5 more times as it got transferred from cart to cart and bumped into things over and over again.
and then i walked outside. into the harsh march winds. and that silly balloon tried to fly away. so i had to grip it tightly and hold it close to me AND push the cart. so to give you a visual, in effect what ended up happening was my gripping the balloon and holding it close to me to keep it from flying away and the wind making it beat repeatedly against my head THUS making it sing OVER AND OVER AND OVER. i was laughing so hard because i knew that it had to be quite a sight, me and this balloon beating my head and SINGING that annoying birthday song OVER AND OVER.
so do you have the visual... windy afternoon in a publix parking lot, woman pushing cart, holding tightly to a LARGE balloon, said EXTRA LARGE balloon straining in the wind and hitting woman over and over on the head, balloon singing birthday song OVER AND OVER, woman’s shoulders shaking because she is laughing so hard...
and then behind me, i heard a voice say, “well, that’s something you don’t see everyday”. i looked at the general direction of the voice (which was actually hard to hear above the annoying happy birthday song and even harder to see since i was being beat repeatedly in the head by a balloon). it was my pastor. and he was laughing at me. where is the compassion and love, i ask? where is the helping out a weaker sister, a little lost sheep in the flock?
i was very glad that he couldn’t read my mind, because i was not thinking God honoring thoughts about that balloon.
anyway, after a battle similar to the one fought at the battle of hastings with the two greatest leaders of their time facing off in a bloody siege to decide the fate of england... the balloon and i engaged in a war of wills to see who would get into the back of the car and who would drive home. it was touch and go, but i finally prevailed and got that darn balloon in the car and the back of the suburban closed without it escaping for the umpteenth time and i drove home and the song only played a few more times as the balloon bumped into the car ceiling.
it said on the little card that it was good for at least 50 songs... i think i used up 40 of them in and on the trip home from the grocery store. but it had a few songs left in it for the birthday celebration.
the best part was that once we were home, my HUGE balloon and i, and once it was set on the table, i remembered that my brother had said that what he was going to miss the most this first birthday without mom was her singing to him. now i do not propose that this annoying birthday song balloon was anywhere comparable to my mom singing the birthday song, but it was a tiny bit of God’s grace (and His sense of humor) to sing over me and my brother for his birthday.
The LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
The sorrows for the appointed feasts
I will remove from you...
He removed sorrow from the appointed feast and He quieted me with His love and He rejoiced over us all with singing... and He did it all with a HUGE mylar balloon. He works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.