There’s nothing better than pulling off a fabulous surprise. And that’s just what I did for my Mom’s 77th birthday last week. My sweet husband was in full support of me taking off early Saturday morning leaving behind a house full of yellow and black decorations from a bumble bee theme party the night before. No food in the house and dirty laundry. Bless him up one side and down the other because he not only held the fort down but he actually cleaned it up. I don’t deserve that kind of awesomeness.
I conspired with my sister and brother and so they had my Mom thinking she was having dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with my sister on Saturday night but instead it would be me. Of course there had to be some drama before it all went down and it involved a very scary make over that left me looking like I needed to be walking 14th street downtown Atlanta in fish net hose and spike heels. I was so excited to be seeing my Mom that I exceeded the speed limit to the tune that I was an hour and a half early. So I decided to kill some time by getting my make up done at the Lancome counter. The make up artist worked on me for about 45 minutes and used approximately 13 different brushes. You’d think that might clue me in to the fact that I’d be looking “layered” for sure but I was so tired from driving and relaxed that it never occurred to me I’d be wearing more make up in all my make up wearing years all put together. It wasn’t until she handed me the mirror that I realized I didn’t recognize my own self. My eyes looked like raccoons – thick dark black layered eye liner and several layers of mascara. Sparkly stuff on my eye lids and color tinting on my brows. I could see my mascara without looking in a mirror. That ain’t right. You’re not supposed to walk around with a black halo effect in both your eyes because of your make up. I didn’t want to hurt the lady’s feelings so I just thanked her and paid for the make up and ran, I say RAN, to the closest bathroom. But as soon as I got there I realized I only had 5 minutes before meeting my Mom. I grabbed several wads of toilet paper and started taking off layers of the make up. I just hoped my Mom would know who I was.
The waiter and hostess at Cheesecake Factory were all in on the surprise and saw a picture of Mom and were expecting her. As soon as she came in they escorted her to the booth I was sitting in with my back to her. As soon as she was about to sit down she saw it was me and took two steps back, gasped in shock and turned to the waiter and said, “Oh my goodness, that’s my baby.” She filled up with tears and we hugged. I couldn’t help but think, “how embarrassing – a 42 year old baby that looks like a hooker” As soon as Mom sat down the next thing she said was, “Your eyes.?” So I started splainin’. She actually liked it but I had to remind her I had taken off a ton of layers. We had a good laugh about it and talked about all the fun surprises we had planned for her over the next few days.
The greatest thing of all happened on my trip back home. I was halfway home when my Mom called to tell me that at her Dr’s appointment that morning they told her she could come off the oxygen she’d been on for a few months. This was a direct answer to our prayers and the perfect book end to a wonderful surprise birthday visit. God is so so good. I shared this testimony in church today because so many of our church family had been praying for my Mom to come off the oxygen and they praised God with us over His perfect timing in answered prayer.