By Alexis A. Goring
May 23 is my birthday and this year, I decided to celebrate it with my dear friends from church. So I planned a dinner at one of my favorite restaurants and showed up early because I was excited to attend my own birthday celebration and spend time with my friends.
There were three wonderful surprises that touched my heart during this celebration. The first surprise happened on the evening before my birthday when my Mom surprised me with beautiful and unique roses that were each a rainbow of brilliant, soft and vibrant colors.
The second surprise happened on the evening of May 23 when my friends showed up to the restaurant with a beautiful bouquet of roses mixed in colors of red, white, yellow and pink as a “Happy birthday” gift for me.
I was not expecting “happy birthday” flowers from anyone so this made my day and reminded me that I am loved by family and friends.
Another sweet surprise on the night of my birthday dinner celebration was when one of my friends who was really busy that night still found time to show up to my birthday dinner and celebrate with me and our friends.
The blessing toward the end of the evening was when one of my friends paid my bill. I was fully prepared to pay my bill and after dinner asked our waitress for separate checks. She returned with four bills. I accepted mine but before I could read the bill, one of my friends gently and quickly swiped it away from me with a smile on her face. She then reached into her purse, retrieved her credit card and paid both of our bills!
My friends were kind enough to help me carry the gifts and flowers and my take-home dessert to my car before we parted ways.
The acts of kindness from my friends on that night truly made my birthday special. The beautiful multicolored roses from my Mom made my birthday unique and wonderful. Ultimately, these small yet oh so significant acts of kindness blessed my heart, I think it was God’s way of working through loved ones to remind me of my true value and for that, I am forever grateful.
Alexis A. Goring is a writer at heart and a journalist by profession. She loves the art of storytelling and is especially delighted to have released her first book, an inspirational romance novella called Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories, in Sept. 2013. When Alexis is not working on her next book or chasing down the next big story for the newspaper where she works as a freelance reporter, she can be found listening to songs by her most admired musicians, enjoying the food in cafes/restaurants, shopping at her favorite malls and spending quality time with loved ones (family and friends).
Hope in My Heart is a collection of short, heartwarming stories with characters in need of hope.
In “Love Unexpected,” a car crash brings commitment-wary Sebastian and career woman Chandra together. Neither is looking for romance, but those around them see the potential, and Sebastian and Chandra discover that sometimes love shows up unexpectedly.
Christmastime is the setting for the middle story, “The Best Gift.” Christina desires to lose ten pounds so she can fit into her dress for her sister’s wedding. Jordan wishes her mom would stop trying to marry her off. And Joshua hopes to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend but eventually learns that the best gift this Christmas will be the restoration of his relationship with God.
In “Peace and Love,” three characters living in a metropolitan area are desperately searching. Elle, a starving artist, aspires to become a paid professional. Eric, a divorce attorney, wants to resolve his issues concerning his parents’ divorce. Kristine anticipates finding her birth mom before she marries Derek. All characters pray their searches will conclude this holiday season and fill their hearts with peace and love.