Of Beyonce and Jesus. [My Unbirthday.]

My girls are nuts. If you met them, you'd have to toss most of your pre-conceived ideas about Muslim women.

Beyonce and Jesus were both central figures at my birthday party yesterday.

Who needs cake when you have cream puffs? These things are to die for!

 It felt rather narcissistic to throw myself an early birthday party, but birthdays are a HUGE deal for women in Senegal, and so mine provided the perfect excuse to throw down. I haven’t had that much fun in weeks-…there is something incredibly surreal about line dancing to Tim McGraw’s “Where the Green Grass Grows” with a bunch of Senegalese girls on a hot, African afternoon. I entirely loved it! We ate chocolate cream puffs from my little French bakery [my favorite dessert in Senegal], taught American dances [read: line dancing, the cupid shuffle,

Teaching the girls Beyonce's "Single Ladies" dance. So ridiculous.

 and by request, Beyonce’s “single ladies”], and then to get to the gospel, we played “hot seat”. This entailed me sitting in the middle of the room, allowing the girls to ask me anything they wanted to. They immediately pounced like a pack of wild hyenas lunging for my jugular. As I was peppered with intensely personal questions about my love life, Christy sat idly by, smirking and egging the girls on as I pictured ten thousand different ways of killing her for leaving me out to dry. [The winner? Decapitation with hedge trimmers. Dull ones.] After answering every prying, invasive question in the book,

When dancing, go big or go home. ;)

Sophie asked me what the most important thing in my life is. I know, it sounds like a bad Christian skit you’d see in some backwoods Baptist church-but it actually happened. And so I got to talk about my walk with Jesus-when I made that decision, and how He has taken a life that was hopelessly dead in sin and made it new and alive in Him. There is something incredibly scandalous about grace-and my sweet girls don’t have a box for a God that loves them not because of anything that they have done, but because of what He did. Grace is scandalous-but when you understand it, it’s irresistibly compelling. I love watching my girls start to understand that they were created to know and walk with Jesus-and that they don’t need to do anything to make God love them. He’s already done it all.

Most of the girls that came to my party.

So, there you have it. A little bit of chocolate, a little bit of Beyonce and a whole lot of Jesus. Stay tuned for my actual birthday party on Monday! My team won’t tell me what we’re doing…whatever it is, I hope it involves more cream puffs!


  1. Love it. So you.

  2. Bob Richardson says:

    “Go big, or go home.”
    That’ll preach one of these days.
    God bless you!

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