The weekend began with me going to what I thought was a DTS meeting. It turned out to be a surprise birthday party. Let's just say it involved many of my closest friends, and a completely homemade meal of grilled cheese and tomato soup. Even the bread was homemade! It was all topped off with coconut ice cream and brownies. It was so good to get a piece of home from the States while in South Africa. It was a good reminder that in the end, I choose where my home is; it is not defined by location. I definitely believe that South Africa is becoming this for me.
Saturday was a wonderful adventure day. A bunch of my friends and I piled into two pick-up trucks and headed out for some exploring. We first went to God's Window. No pictures can accurately describe the beauty of God's Window and the awe that it instills. It is so aptly named. When I stood on top of the cliffs, it seemed like I could look across the entire globe. As I was perched there, I felt in complete awe of God and His creativity. It was so inspiring. After we finished picnicking and hiking at God's Window, we went out to eat at a pancake house called Harry's Pancakes. From there we began to wander home. From going to a beautiful waterfall, finding a pile of broken sculptures, and picking wild flowers, it is easy to say that my Saturday was very wonderful.
My actual birthday couldn't have been spent in a better way either. I was surprised with a completely streamered room and breakfast in bead. This consisted of my favorite kind of muffin, loads of chocolate, and some of my favorite flowers! After that I went to church and was surrounded by beautiful people, listened to such Spirit-filled music, and had a wonderful little boy named Trevor sit on my lap drawing little pictures of the sun and clouds over and over again. After that the youth of our church went to the monthly Pull-Together. I thought nothing could compare to the Heritage Celebration we had at Pull-Together last month, but I was completely mistaken. This month we had a singing competition, and my church won! I've never seen so many crazy, singing, excited people in such a small space before. Finally, to put the cherry on top of it all, my roommates and I went out for dessert on Sunday night. Even though we ended up going to McDonald's because that was the only place open, I don't think there's anything much better than having your best friends screaming Happy Birthday to you in front of all of the very confused and entertained McDonald's staff while holding a piece of cake with a french fry sticking out of it as a substitute candle.
As cliche as it sounds, I truly felt golden at the end of this weekend. I kind of felt like I was radiating and brimming over with joy and happiness. I realized how truly blessed I am. I am constantly surrounded with people who have a love for others that leads to selfless service. I am surrounded by beauty in both human beings and nature. And even though my life isn't perfect at all, there is something so amazingly beautiful about its imperfection. It actually overwhelms me to think about how loved I am. I am so blessed, and so unworthy to have such an amazing life. I struggle to understand why God has chosen to take me on this crazy journey that is sometimes scary, yet so worth the adventure.