We had a birthday last week in our house! Angel boy turned 12 years old, which means we have officially spent just as many birthdays with him as without. He was still at his first foster home on his 7th birthday, but that was the day I came home from his birthday party thinking “that boy is going to be ours”. God is so good! In the years since Angel has been our boy we have learned that big celebrations were not his gig…thankfully, we have become much more simple in our celebrations since then. As I was preparing for this years’ celebrations, I was pondering how enjoyable it is to make him feel special in the simplest of ways. Writing a sweet birthday message on the chalkboard that hangs in the dining room, where he would see it while he eats his requested favorites for dinner. Wrapping his presents in colorful wrapping paper with matching curling ribbon, which sit next to a homemade cake made just for him. The special day glass that sits at his spot at the table, reminding him that this day is to celebrate him and the joy he brings our family. The mirror decorated with messages from his siblings that he will find when he wakes up in the morning. None of these things are extravagant displays of celebration, but they are tender, simple reminders of what truly matters…that he is a gift and is treasured by his family. It got me thinking about how hospitality should not just be something that is present when guests enter our homes, or on these special days of celebration, but should be evident in the day in, day out routines of our household. My hope is that each of my children, along with my husband, walk into our home at the end of the day and can feel safe, loved, and treasured. There may not be balloons or presents awaiting their arrival, but there will be a warm meal on the stove and a cozy home that welcomes them in. The chalkboard birthday greetings will have been replaced with a scripture verse that reminds them that they are treasured and loved each and everyday. And yes, there will be chores to do, and arguments to settle, but there will also be that sweet time at the end of the day when we can all relax and just be…together.