I needed its loving, healing balm on the day after.  The birthday healing balm I so badly needed. AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Today I’m going to be raw and real.

The kind of real that reveals…

The kind of real that talks about those things we hide in our heads and our hearts…

The kind of real that hurts.


The calendar turned to August.

It’s a long hot month and usually more dry than humid. Except, this year.

All the pent up humidity of the past several years had been stored up and finally… this August… released into the atmosphere.

It was suffocating.


Pretty much describes how I feel.


August is the month of my birth.

Though I was due at the beginning of the month… God determined that I should come into the world the day before the end of that so hot month.

My poor mom. It was a long and difficult delivery, where my mom was required to stay in the hospital after I was born.  My father brought me home.  Poor man.  How grateful he was for neighbors.

Maybe this is why I never had a close bond with my mom and a stronger one with my dad.


This Quote from Ann's recent post was the healing balm on the day after my birthday. AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Birthdays were celebrated.

I have photos of me sitting in my high chair in front of a huge cake with candles.

When I was seven, I remember the heat of the day and my mom, perspiring, working on the party preparations in the crisp garden, and the pictures of my first birthday party.

My second birthday party took place when I turned 14. My 13th year I had a bad case of mono along with a relapse.  There was much concern for the condition of my body’s organs and I was hospitalized twice for a total of six weeks. My wellness was evidently the reason to celebrate.  It was the nicest celebration… a fancy dress-up lunch with my friends at a table overlooking the water at the Holiday Inn and a boat ride.

My third party was a surprise party.  An “over-the-hill” birthday.  My husband and friend orchestrated it and it was quite lovely.  The set-up was an easy one.  My friend and I had birthdays that touched on the calendar, so we started a tradition of celebrating them together with our husbands at a nice restaurant.  Always a fun evening.  On our way to Karen’s house, I noticed a co-worker and her husband walking around the corner.  This was NOT their neck of the woods, so they would have absolutely no reason to be walking together there… especially with a purse over her shoulder.  I feigned surprise when the garage door flew open to expose a host of excited friends.

Over the years I enjoyed many birthday celebrations with a special girlfriend over lunch. There may or may not have been a small gift involved. That wasn’t what was important.  Not one who seeks attention, I confess I did love the birthday attention.


Gorgeous fall flowers at the farmers market and a story about some birthday healing balm at AnExtraordinaryDay.net


After being away from “home” for twenty years… we moved back.

Frankly, it’s been hard. We left in success and came back broken and penniless. When you chose to follow God and His call there are no guarantees that things will turn out as they should.

Living five to eight hours away for all those years I thought we were keeping up with my old friends, but in reality, they had moved on.  Or maybe they just didn’t want to embrace two people who were not the same as they were before…

My old friend, with whom I had spent countless hours in the past, whom I knew so well that we often exchanged the same cards for special occasions, who often said how fun it was to celebrate our birthdays for a whole week of lunches and activities, sent me a simple Facebook greeting.  No text, no phone call, no invitation to get together.

I did go to lunch with my husband at a quaint little bakery restaurant in town. It was very sweet and special.

But the emptiness burned in my heart.  And it hurt.

Maybe that’s why this….


 QUOTE -- Ann Voskamp  on AnExtraordinaryDay.net | These words from Ann Voskamp were a balm of healing following my birthday...  It's raw and real and maybe you'll be encouraged when you click over to read.

You accept freedom the moment you accept the apology that no one offered.
Ann Voskamp

hit home.


When I read it today… .I was reminded… grace.

Two of my friends whom I moved eight hours away from surprised me… the day after my birthday… with this…


Edible Arrangement - An After-Birthday Balm - AnExtraordinaryDay.net


It was like a party that was delivered to my door.

It was sweetness, love, deliciousness, and hugs all tied up in cellophane.

And it was just like God.  Because His timing is perfect.  Always.

You see, I would have loved and appreciated it ON my birthday.  But I needed its loving, healing balm on the day after.

As well as these words from Ann, two days later.


Happy Birthday Fruit Bouquet sent from my friends - AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Be encouraged my friend.

God knows.  And He never quits demonstrating His loving tender care for you.

It might not arrive at your door by courier.

But never. ever. doubt His active love for you.

And His comfort for the hurt of your unsuspecting friend(s).

I have a caveat… we also need to forgive.

How can we NOT do that?  God, through Christ Jesus, already settled every account.

It’s up to us to let it go (once we have forgiven in our hearts) and choose to live in freedom.


Colorful Edible Arrangement Birthday Bouquet and SO Delicious and Fresh - AnExtraordinaryDay.net


Okay… I will be honest and say that it still hurts.

Wounds take time to heal.

God has already applied the healing balm.

And as long as we don’t go back and look under the bandage or pick at the scab… it will heal.

And one day, we’ll notice the scab is gone.

There may be a memory…

But when we accept the freedom God gives… the memory should be mixed with His mercy and grace.


What is it that you’re struggling with?

Put your eyes on Jesus… and not the person.  

And then…

You accept freedom the moment you accept the apology that no one offered.
Ann Voskamp


Take a breath.

And with each subsequent breath, it will get easier and fresher and sweeter.

That’s freedom.

The freedom that Jesus bought and paid for… for you… and your friend.

Thanks for stopping by today… I can’t wait to hear your lovely thoughts!

Wishing you... An Extraordinary Day!

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  1. Mrs.T says

    This is so good, Diane, and I love the quote. Thank you for sharing your heart. Your words surely spoke to mine.

  2. I’ve missed visiting your space. This is timely for me. I love how God met you. Praying things get easier.

  3. Babette Baker says

    How, beautifully shared Diane! I myself have been thinking about my upcoming birthday this month. The thought came to me other night as my head hit the pillow “oh my gosh” I will be 55! Lately when I look in the mirror I think to myself “what happened?” I feel like I look like I have aged so much this past year. I mentioned iit to my son and he said it’s cause you aren’t happy, when he faked a smile like the joker, yes that’s it the hurt still hurts, betrayal is a deep wound, learning to let go and allow God to pour the healing balm of Gilead upon my brokenness is the first step and forgiving even as the quote says when there is no real apology is a big step. God bless you Diane and may you continue to celebrate each day!!

    • Babette… I know exactly what you mean. Walking through the hard days does show on our faces. And I don’t like it one bit! LOL
      I’m so sorry for your betrayal. One of my friends… one of the two who sent the fruit… walked that same path as you and I walked with her through those oh so difficult days. My heart hurts for you and with you. Praying you know God’s comfort and healing balm more and more each day. {{hugs}}

  4. Gwen says

    This too is a post close to my heart. An odd end to a friendship I held onto when I’d known it was long gone ended so oddly that I cried. Confused. But God gives us unexpected notes that very day we feel the most alone…or a friend dropped off a bracelet for healing.. I’ve been amazed at how quickly God is there! And like you say…not on a day when we expect but on the day we need it most. God bless

    • Oh Gwen… I am so sorry. 🙁
      God is so good to show us His love and care and I’m so glad to learn that He had a special way of encouraging you, too.

  5. Gwen says

    Oh!! ?????????Happy Birthday!!!!

  6. Shirlene Weber says

    I know that pain due to changes in the relationship over many years. I am still friends with my long time friend of 37 years just a different kind of friendship.
    So sorry anyone has to go through hurt like you have but oh so thankful for a LOVING GOD who has perfect timing. God bless you all.
    Diane I am always blessed by you when you share from your heart. You should publish all your writings and photos you have a gift. I would buy several copies to share with others!!!

    • I’m sorry for the hurt, Shirlene, but glad to know you’ve come to terms the relationship, now. And thank you for your words of encouragement… it means so much.
      Shirlene, I’m humbled… thank you. {{hugs}}

  7. Glenda Kremer says

    sorry I did not know it was your birthday. I thought we were facebook friends but you did not show up in my birthday list so guess I will do here what I do there
    so sorry it was not a happy one!

  8. Debbi Saunders says

    I was so touched by your shared from the heart post,Diane <3 … I am so sorry to hear of that special Friend who betrayed your friendship. I am hurt and heartbroken for you…. You are in my prayers. A big HUG!!

  9. Tammy says

    Diane, I’m so sorry to hear that your birthday was disappointing. I’ve been there, so I can relate.
    We, as Christians, know that we shouldn’t put our faith in people because, while usually well intentioned, people will eventually let us down. Only Our Great God will be there no matter what. I loved reading about how he used others, and was there to lift your spirits the next day. Stay well my friend. Still miss seeing you guys!

  10. Betty Brown says

    Happy belated birthday Diane.I loved reading your memories of past birthdays.I never had any birthday parties or acknowledgements. When I turned thirty a few girlfriends had me a little party and made me feel special because they knew I had never had one.:) I’m sorry you didn’t feel “made special ” on your bday.

  11. Happy birthday, Diane. May the Lord bless you in many more splendid ways in his sweetness and grace.
    I’m so sorry that you too could relate to Ann’s post.
    Hugs to you.

  12. Jemma says

    Disappointments can steal the goodness right out of life, can’t they.
    I too have had and continue to have them and from some of the people whom I counted on the most.
    But just as you have mentioned once we let go, forgive and give it to God, it helps to ease the sting.
    Thinking of you and wishing you a fabulous new fresh beginning with a brand new Birthday year!

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