The more I explore my introverted nature, I realize that the gift of my presence is one of the most valuable things I can give. In my spare time, I can choose to do a lot of things that I love, and up at the top of that list is staying home on the couch cuddling up with a good book, or a cute husband, or an even cuter puppy. (Just kidding, Josh is the cuterest.) The valuable hours between when I get home from work and go to sleep are very limited. So, when I choose to go somewhere, it is certainly a sacrifice of varying sorts and magnitudes.
Last night, I planned a celebration for my Birthday Eve Eve. Yeah, it’s a real thing that I made up. In the past, I’ve been hesitant to do these things for the fear that nobody would show up. I think childhood birthday parties might have scarred me in this way, although I can’t remember anything specific.
However, last night was quite a turning point for me. It was so fun to have so many of my friends from completely different pockets of my life come out and be in the same place at once. It was literally a picture of all that God has provided for me and I don’t know that I notice these gifts quite as often as I should. And, as more friends popped their smiling spaces into the not as smelly, not as full of barking dog park combined into bar restaurant place we were in, part of me was surprised. First of all, I just kept inviting people as I thought of them, and I didn’t realize how many people I invited. But, I think I mostly just felt so special that they had showed up and gave me the gift of their presence for those hours.
It is simple. And maybe it’s not as much of a sacrifice for others to show up to a place as it is for me personally. But, I think in a lot of ways it is. Every single person can be choosing to do a million other things at any given time. But, they chose to spend that time celebrating me. It is simple to show up, but that doesn’t make it any less of a gift. And, last night, I realized that the gift of presence is everything.
Cheers to these friends that show up, not just on my birthday eve eve. But, also in the panicked phone calls, random places I don’t expect to see them, in the mundane routine things of life, from far away places, in conversations that are life-giving and joyful, and in conversations that are hard. Thank you to the friends that show up through text messages and make themselves present even when they can’t be there physically.
Thanks for being my friend, and thank you for the gift of your presence.
(Some friends didn’t get pictured because I don’t know why they aren’t in the picture. But, they their gift of their presence still counts even though why aren’t they in these pictures?)