1. I was not at home for my 22’d birthday. I was at the Faith Builders College Student Seminar and Retreat. I will now show a picture of the mansion/castle where the retreat/my birthday was held.
2. Even though I was not at home, my dad and many of my friends and siblings sent me “Happy Birthday” text messages or voicemails. It made me feel loved.
3. My birthday was July 6. That was one week ago. I didn’t post on my birthday because there was no internet access at the castle.
Scratch that. I assumed there would be no internet access that far off in the boondocks. I found a signal on the morning of my birthday, and halfheartedly tried to connect, but gave up when it was slow.
A few times during the retreat I pulled out my droid and thought about connecting.Then I said to myself, “What’s the point? This is a retreat.” And I would stick the droid back in the drawer.
4. The day after my birthday, my mom sent me the following text message:
Just has the horrible thought that maybe you Can.t check face cool there n didn’t get my happy birthday on your birthday. If so i am very sorry i didn’t call also
I laughed and laughed.
5. Several of my friends decided that they would sing “Happy Birthday” to me 22 times, since it was my 22’d birthday. They only sung it six times.
By the end of the day I was still awkwardly asking people what their names were, and they would say, “well I know what your name is, because I heard the songs.”
Here are three of the song birds.
This picture always makes me smile. Conrad and Cindy are getting cozy, and Chris is trying to scuttle out of the photo.
6. That night, the three pictured above, along with Holly Kemp, Rachael Mast, and I, climbed to the highest room in the tallest tower.
There, they sang Happy Birthday to me for the sixth and final time.
We also talked about random things. Like Heaven. Which was brought about, obviously, by the enormous and beautiful mansion we were in.
7. Not only was it my birthday, it was also the first birthday of a staff kid named Adaline. I thought that it would be nice to get a picture with her, since we had the same birthday and all that jazz.
Me: Come on little girl, smile for the camera!
Adaline: GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME, CREEPER.
Me: Don’t run away little girl! I’m lots of fun! I promise!
Adaline: 911! Police! Get me away from this person!!!
8. Perhaps most importantly, I listened to four wise men (as in, men who are wise, not nativity scene characters) give wise seminars.
But here’s the thing. Every single one of those seminars was applicable to my life. I went to bed that night feeling absolutely amazed. I hadn’t felt so fed in a very very long time.
9. It was also the birthday of Richard Bean, one of the speakers.
He gave a super relevant talk on sorting through and processing the messages we receive in the classroom.
Later, I mentioned this to my Aunt Barb, and she said, “Richard Bean? I knew him when he was a little boy!”
For some reason I found that humorous.
10. The morning of my birthday was foggy. Chris decided to walk around the pond. I took a picture of it.
11. After all the seminars of the day were given, we were split into small groups to discuss anything we wanted to discuss in the context of a small group.
Talk about spiritually filling. I had a great time in my small group. It was one of the nicest things about the weekend.
(This collage is missing pictures of the leader and his wife because I couldn’t find any. I’d look them up on Facebook but I can’t remember their last name. I didn’t even bother with last names this weekend, except in the case of Mr. Bean, for the obvious reason that his last name is Bean.)
12. Do you remember the story of my friends trying to sing “Happy Birthday” to me 22 times, but only making it to six?
This blog post is kind of like that story.
That is to say, I can only think of 12 stories about my 22’d birthday.
And so, since the post was about the retreat as well as my birthday, I will close with a picture of the entire group I spend my amazing birthday with.
Photo credits: Bad pictures taken by me. Good pictures stolen from the Faith Builders Facebook page.