October is my birthday month and I’m pleased to say, the day is now a memory. I find birthdays confusing. I want to be special but then don’t know what to do with the attention. My response mechanism wears thin. (I get angry at approximately the fourth person who wishes me happy birthday – as if it’s their fault!) Sisters create beautiful birthdays with simple blessings. They include lovely meals, garden flower arrangements, and favorite snacks tucked inside a pretty package. But also throughout the day (and indeed throughout the week) small gifts appear on your bedside table. Handmade cards with scripture verses, an autumn rose in a crystal vase, and this year, a caramel candy apple with the message “we heard you like these.” True confession, I’d never eaten one. I watch calories and protect my fillings. In general, I stifle my own enjoyment. I pondered the apple for several days, then made a decision. I removed the plastic cover and chomped away for ten delicious minutes. It was great. I had toffee stretching from my mouth to my elbow. And I discovered that the apple itself stayed crisp and tasty within its carmel shell. Who knew? Well, I guess God knew, friends listened, and I received an unexpected blessing.