I've never been so surprised!

Surprise! and I was.

So, Sarah and I are driving in the car toward the home of my sweet friend, Phyllis. "I hope Phyllis remembers. I forgot to call her. Did you? We emailed about having a cup of tea together a couple of weeks ago."

"I think she will remember, Mom, but you have both been out of town, so we will see when we get there."

Phyllis had lived in Austria, too. We mutually love almost everything about Austria. It was the place where both of us learned so much about Jesus--trusting Him as we worked behind the iron curtain. Loving the beauty, the flowers, the mountains, the atmosphere, the coffee and the tea, and holding God's hand as we walked through a new culture and language and having to depend on Him. So, that is a part of why my heart and Phyllis's are connected. We did not know each other when we were there, but we cut our spiritual teeth on the same place at the same time. And I know that when I am with Phyllis, I will be in the presence of God.

And so, I was excited. She said she would have a pot of tea on her porch and celebrate my birthday with Sarah and me in our mutual, beloved friendship.

I knew that many of my sweet local friends, were tied up in a meeting for their children. And so it never entered my mind.

But, there they were, those sweet ones who could make it, smiling faces, laughing, you could have pushed me over with a feather.

Often alone on my birthday and away from my mother these past years, I didn't know how much I needed to be with friends. The tears flowed and flowed. How did Sarah manage this without me knowing? My sweet, amazing daughter who arranged it.

A breakfast feast--lovingly prepared with a dish from each friend. And of course, Phyllis used the tea set from Austria.

The best part was that they shared memories, life-shared, love, impact and blessing. My cup was indeed filled and I felt so very loved. I am so very grateful and humbled to have sweet friends who took the time to fill my heart. And now I move into my day with a new perspective. Love and grace makes all the difference. I am so very grateful.