Thursday, April 27, 2017

Today

We had such an enjoyable morning. A full blown dance party before school, watching my children play and interact with each other with smiles and shrieks of sheer joy, I couldn't help but join them. Never mind it's a tragic sight to watch me dance. It didn't matter. It would have been more of a tragedy to not participate. I felt as young and carefree as them ... except for the cracking in my knees every time I jumped up and down.

The sun was shining after days of rain and we were enjoying the warmth of what 60 degrees could feel like on a spring morning. It beckoned us outside where we forgot about the pollen choking our throats. I wasn't watching my watch or barking out orders to keep us on schedule. I was simply living in the moment and delighting in the thrill of their joy. Their smiles were contagious, their laughs infectious. Their love for each other was flooding my soul as I watched in wonder. Witnessing the freedom in their play and the full surrender of their ability to just be allowed the normal hustle to be forgotten.

It's amazing what you can learn from a child. All the while you're the one meant to be teaching them. Yet I couldn't help but watch in wonder as my own eyes were enlightened from the lesson playing out before me.

Today wasn't about schedules or places to be or commitments needing to be kept. Today was about being a steward of the opportunity before me to savor every drop of carefree youth as I soaked up their enthusiasm. Today was about learning to experience joy in the simple pleasures of life as we picked up rocks, plucked weeds, and let the spring morning breeze brush across our faces. My hands were dirty from the mud and I didn't care. Make no mistake - I am not a "get your hands dirty" kind of girl but today I was because today I was digging in the mud with my kids who were exploring the bugs and slugs from the days of rain. Today was about letting them make a mess and dig in the dirt even though their clothes were clean and we didn't have time to change. Today was about releasing all inhibitions while throwing our hands up in the air as we let our bodies move to the beat. It was about learning to lay down the desire to "capture" the moment and live in it instead.

Today was a day I won't soon forget as I got to experience the rewards of motherhood in all its glory. I'm learning about the ministry of motherhood and the lessons I can learn from ministering to my children as they minister to my soul.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Missing Easter

It was a vacation to remember! There are simply no regrets (other than maybe how many calories were consumed) but we couldn't have asked for a better week. And then it happened.

As we were making the long trek home, I was bored and scrolling through feeds only to be bombarded with pictures of families surrounded by colored eggs, children running through fields gathering up eggs, baskets overflowing with gifts and candy, and smiling faces posed with the Easter Bunny. I started to feel sad because we hadn't done Easter "stuff." There were no hunts, we didn't color eggs, we didn't do Bunny pictures and there weren't even Easter baskets. I had spent so much time planning for vacation and making sure we had a chance to celebrate my husband's birthday that we missed all the Easter festivities. I wasn't jealous of others' pictures but I was feeling like we had missed out on celebrating Easter. Then I started to feel even more remorse about my pity party realizing I had truly missed the celebration of Christ's sacrifice and resurrection. This wasn't about baskets and eggs. This was about so much more and I was suddenly faced with the fact that I still had time to celebrate.

I was thankful we were home in time to attend church and worship on Resurrection Sunday. Even as I sat in service I was feeling like I had somehow missed it, like my heart just hadn't been prepared to celebrate. And there it was. The message entitled 'Don't Miss Easter.' Surely this one was a special delivery just for me. This wasn't about empty baskets or stark white eggs. This wasn't even about being in church on Easter. This was about my own heart bending in worship to grasp the magnitude of this day. This was about understanding that any Easter festivities should be centered around celebrating the great sacrifice and amazing miracle this day represents. 

Every part of my eternal existence hinges on this day with the reality that Christ conquered death and paid my debt. Easter candy loses half its value tomorrow simply because it's "after the fact." The price Christ paid never loses its value yet seemingly becomes an afterthought on this candy-filled, egg-infused holiday.

I nearly missed it. It wasn't a traditional Easter and there weren't picture-making Easter memories to share. But you know what? I have something so much better to share! I have the good news that Christ conquered death, that He paid the price for ALL, each and every one of us, to be able to have the gift of eternal life. He rose! Today represents the gift of LIFE given through victory over the grave. The tomb is empty. He isn't there. And that, my friends, is the most amazing thing I could ever share or celebrate.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the festivities and fun the same way I embrace and celebrate Christmas but this year turned out a little bit differently with the reminder that I didn't need all the Easter "stuff" to celebrate Easter. But what if you weren't in church today. What if you were alone in a coffee shop with nothing more than your bible and your thoughts? What if you were gathered around a table full of family and food wondering what's it's all about? What if you were knee deep in grass searching for eggs? What if you're just now coming off the candy sugar rush and ready for call it a day praying you captured some part of today's significance? 

I hope you haven't missed it. It's not too late to embrace this gift and celebrate with thanksgiving that today, Resurrection Sunday, He has indeed risen, for you, for me, for each of us. Let's not let this day close without stopping to make sure we haven't missed Easter. 


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Vacation Moments

Some thoughts from vacation;

1. Bringing two sets of grandparents on vacation guarantees plenty of help for the kids but also enormous amounts of spoiling and sweets being snuck to said children. Actually, they weren't even trying to sneak as most of their blatant attempts were right in front of our faces. 

2. Violet proved she could hang with the rest of us and also that she doesn't want to miss anything with only a 20 minute nap in a 14 hour stretch at Magic Kingdom. She did remarkably well overall. 

3. Eli showed enormous amounts of maturity and together we're learning how to help ease anxiety and work through meltdown moments. I couldn't be more proud of how well he did! He thoroughly enjoyed himself! 

4. People around the pool have a remarkable self confidence. I worked out for months to be bathing suit ready and still was more covered than 90% of those around me. I can't decide if they should be more covered up or if I should be more confident. 

5. We had the most magical day at Magic Kingdom but as we were leaving along with the mass exodus, it was a stark reality to look around at the thousands of people and wonder how many of them know the Lord. What if they felt about Him the way they felt about Disney? Oh yes, I unashamedly love Disney World but I love my Savior so much more. This is the world we live in and leaving our bubble was certainly a reminder of how lost so many still are. 

6. Car rides are really terrible for me. I get too car sick from reading or looking down too long but I also get extremely bored. The kids did better than me, actually, but I am thankful for Dramamine and a DVD player. 

7. Being gone the week before Easter made me slightly sad that we missed out on Easter festivities like dying eggs and hunts and bunny pictures but I am truly grateful for the memories made and the opportunity to be in church worshipping on Resurrection Sunday! 

8. Tomorrow is Easter but it's also my husband's birthday! We got to celebrate with his parents while in Florida but somehow he thinks he's holier than me for sharing his birthday with Christ's sacrifice. Coincidentally his dad's birthday is on Christmas Eve. 

These are just a few of my family fun vacation moments!