Thursday, April 18, 2013

Another Bulgarian Birthday

A week ago, I passed my fourth (nonconsecutive) birthday in Bulgaria.  At this point in my life, that means that 1/8th of all my birthdays have been celebrated here.

I never imagined this.  Even this time around, I figured I'd be back in the states in time to celebrate with family and friends stateside.  But life never takes you where you expect to go.

I can't complain.  As birthdays go, this one was pretty awesome.  My colleagues pitched in and got me fitness classes at a local studio.  Angel showed up at my office with a rose.  Vili surprised me at the office with a bouquet and a shirt picked just for me.  My colleagues had left by then, so the three of us chatted, laughed, and took a bunch of pictures.  I had been given a coupon for a detox massage about a month and a half before, so I took the opportunity to schedule the appointment on my birthday.   It was an hour-long full body massage followed by half an hour under some heated blankets.  Afterwards, I felt pretty weak, and I couldn't get enough water.  Even throughout the night, I would wake up to drink water.  I also took the opportunity to spoil myself and order Mexican food.

Birthday celebrations continued as the next day I went out to Mexican food with some other Peace Corps Volunteers.  I also went to Rakitovo for the weekend.  It was great to see old friends, play baseball with kids, and just be up in my mountain town.

Work has been stressing me out, but the upside of this is that I have been praying a lot.  I've listened to this sermon three or four times, and I've been finding a lot of comfort in reading my Bible.  I've spent moments recalling all the times that God has pulled me through before, and I remind myself that I believe that I'm exactly where He wants me to be.  It's tough because I can be a little obsessive and neurotic, but I remind myself that God made me this way and He doesn't condemn me when I come to Him with my tics.  I pray my weaknesses glorify Him.

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