It’s that time of year again. Today is my birthday. I actually don’t love birthdays because I don’t love being the center of attention – ever. But I must tell you that I cherished your kind texts, emails, fbook messages and phone calls. I have missed all of you.
Today is also my friend Nancy’s birthday. I’m not “fooling” you when I tell you that we were both born on April Fools Day exactly 20 years apart. I am the older and she is the younger. I won’t talk about my age, but she is 42 today so you can do the math.
I first met Nancy when I interviewed her for a position at our dental office. We hit it off in about 15 minutes and she was hired immediately. Technically I was her boss, but I will tell you that many times I felt like Michael Scott in “The Office” when he asked Stanley not to undermine him in front of the rest of the staff.
There were more than a few times I had to remind her, “Nancy, I am the boss here. I know we are friends but you cannot run me over like a truck!” (I can hear the rest of the girls from the old days laughing because they know this is true.)
This week I asked Nancy to do a personality test because I figured we would come out with the exact same personality. She whined and complained like I knew she would but she complied like she always does. I was very surprised to see that we were not very similar AT ALL. Her personality description was “Determined Realist” and mine was “Spontaneous Idealist”.
Nancy “likes to be in charge” which is why it wasn’t easy to be her boss. She is practical, hard-working and loyal, and she likes traditions. She figures if something works – don’t mess with it. Do it the same way you have always been doing it – sameness – nostalgia – it’s all good. She likes listening to music from my generation and she’s an old soul. I also learned that she is an introvert.
I, on the other hand, buck the system and I buck tradition. I mean, what if there is something more that I’ve been missing? What if there is a way that is even better ? Let’s look outside of the box. I am “open-minded” and flexible and I live life according to my inner values. (At least that’s what the test tells me) I love hearing new songs from Nancy’s generation. I love change and I am on the high end on the extrovert-a-meter.
Some of this surprised me and some did not. I was surprised that Nancy is an introvert. She is fun and she is funny (often at my expense) and she’s the one you want to invite to your party to make sure everyone feels welcome and is having fun. But evidently – even though she IS the party, she has to drag herself to get there. I thought she was an extrovert just like me.
It did not surprise me that Nancy and I differ on “traditions”. Even with church – Nancy prefers a church where they sing traditional hymns and the Pastor wears a robe. I prefer a rock band and contemporary worship where the Pastor wears jeans. But we both share the same love for Jesus and believe that the Bible is God’s Word to us.
Somewhere between our 20 years and our different personality types we have enjoyed a delightful friendship for 14 years. (Nancy can you believe it? When we first met – you were 28 and I was 48!!)
She is truly one of my best friends. She is consistent and she is solid and she was stuck-like-glue when I went through cancer.
Since Nancy likes being the boss and she also likes traditions, the minute I was diagnosed with cancer she established the tradition of going to Bunny’s restaurant on a regular basis. It went something like this –
She would call me regularly (I’m talking a lot) and she would say, “I will see you at Bunny’s in 30 minutes.” (Me) “Nancy you can’t just call people and expect them to show up in 30 minutes.” (Nancy) – “ I’m leaving now.” (Me) “Nancy, I can’t do that, I have things to do. You can’t just expect me to show up according to your whim.” (Nancy) “I need to see you.” (Me) “OK, fine then.” Yep – she’s good. And since I am “spontaneous” – it came pretty natural to me.
In Nancy-like tradition we always sat in the same spot and ordered the exact same meal to share and she kept up her annoying tradition of teasing me because I order sour cream for my chicken drummies. We talked about life and faith and she always left me walking out the door laughing. (Again, mostly at my expense.) It was a tradition I came to count on.
For our birthday celebration, we have long held the tradition of going to Kincaid’s restaurant year after year after year. Since we couldn’t go this year, I told Nancy to figure out Zoom so we could make a toast to us. She whined about having to do that because I am not tech savvy and she whined about the money. I told her she didn’t do it right because you can get 40 minutes for free. But we finally got it done and had a wonderful time talking while we sat outside in the sun.
This morning I asked Nancy how she was doing on our special day that is just plain weird this year. She said she was both happy and sad. She felt blessed for her husband, family, and friends, during this challenging time. And on her birthday, she also felt sad missing her deceased husband who died from heart complications about 7 years ago when her twin sons were 2. She also felt very sad that his surviving brother is on a ventilator with the coronavirus. Nancy has been through a lot and she understands fear and pain.
We talked about how this coronavirus has stripped us of so many things that we love and it has put us in the position of pretty much spending time with the people under our roof and God. For us, this experience has strengthened our walk with the Lord.
If we had one birthday wish, it would be that even one person might accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior during this trying time. Maybe you think it isn’t logical or scientific to believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead. But Nancy and I would tell you that logic and science limits Jesus. Logic and science don’t leave room for miracles. God is so much bigger than both logic and science. He is the Creator of both.
My husband would tell you that creation and the Bible have all kinds of scientific evidences. He is man of facts and he believes that faith in Jesus is the most scientific and logical thing a person could believe in. He would recommend books by Lee Strobel – Case For a Creator, Case for Christ, and Case for Faith. If you are a scientific type, these books might open your eyes to the things that Nancy and I live by.
If there is one birthday wish I could have, it would be that you would investigate for yourself. Take this quarantine time to figure out once and for all – Is Jesus real? Do I believe? Do I realllly believe even in the midst of this crisis?
Nancy and I have both been through some difficult challenges and we would remind you that this is simply life in a fallen world. Jesus never promised a utopia – but He promised He will be with us in the midst of the mess. The “utopia” life is yet to come.
Think for a minute about what you would like to do the first day this quarantine is over – the sky is the limit. Now – imagine that day and multiply that by one million times and that will be what every day will be like in eternity with Jesus. Isn’t that worth investigating?
This life matters and our current situation is hard. But this life is only one or two drops compared to an ocean of eternity. Please consider accepting Jesus’ free gift of salvation. I realllly want to hang out with you forever and ever and ever. Heaven will be a field day for an extrovert like me!
Hmmmmm…this morning I told Nancy I didn’t have time to get a blog done and she told me to get one done. And of course, she is the boss of me so I listened. I prayed before I started typing and had no intention of going where I did. If you haven’t met Jesus, I pray that you will consider these thoughts.
So that’s it for today, Nance, I got the blog written. I missed seeing you today. The minute we are let out of jail I will see you poolside – your house!!!
Yes…she was most definitely making fun of me in this picture. See the pleased look on her face????
Until Next time,
Until next time,