Joyful . . .

Five days ago, my little girl turned 3.  Cliche, I know, but I can’t believe the time has gone by so quickly.  Her birthday kicked off an incredibly joyful weekend.  Joyful for many reasons.

A little boy I knew grew up and got married this weekend.  I cried like he was my own brother or nephew or at least family.  And in a way he is.  His parents helped make me the person I am today – shaped me and challenged me and encouraged me (and still do).  So, watching him as he watched his bride walk down the aisle was, for me, such a moving experience.  Once again, his parents challenged me.  But this time they challenged me as a mom.  I want my girls to grow up and be the kind of girls that boys like him will want to marry.  Boys like him – and their daddy.

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The very next day, we took a step in that direction.  Henley was baptized and the morning couldn’t have been more wonderful.  Pastor Dana, who also baptized Emma, held our little one in her arms and explained that this was about recognizing the fact that it is God who took the first steps to bring us into relationship with himself.  That anything we do is in response to his love and grace.  It is humbling to know that Henley will look to Gerron and me for her spiritual guidance.  It challenges me to “step it up a notch”.

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And then on Sunday night we celebrated Emma’s birthday with the family.  Weezie, Poppy, Grandma, Grandpa, Kristi, Dani, Kailen and, of course, Pastor Dana.  She had been asking us to sing Happy Birthday to her all month – so as we all began to sing she smiled the biggest smile and danced along to the music.  She taught me an important lesson at that moment.  I’m always so embarassed when my birthday rolls around and people sing.  I don’t know why.  But she reveled in it.  She soaked it in!  She danced and clapped to that dreaded birthday song!!    I have every intention of doing that from now on!

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So much joy . . .

Birthdays, Baptisms, Weddings . . . they come and pass in a moment.  But I sure hope that I become the kind of person that celebrates them long after the initial moment . . .

I want to celebrate the gift of life and the lives of those around me.

I want to celebrate the gift of love and the gift of being able to love others.

I want to celebrate the gift of faith and the ability to walk in relationship with the Creator.

I want to live a life of celebration because I just don’t want to take anything for granted.

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2 thoughts on “Joyful . . .

  1. Beautiful! I wish I could have been there for it all, but am thankful that I get to experience it in spirit because you are such a wonderful friend. I love you!

  2. Wow. Thanks for your kind words!

    Ashley was telling me about “celebrating life” just a couple days ago. It’s a big theme for her right now and, unbeknownst to me, I actually bought her a book recently about the subject without even knowing she was interested in it!

    The book is called “Cold Tangerines” by Shauna Neiquist. Check it out! Ashley has read the first couple of chapters and said she loves it.

    Shauna is the wife of Aaron Neiquist, former worship leader at Mars Hill Bible Church w/ Rob Bell, and he now works at Willow Creek. I believe Shauna is the daughter of one of the Willow Creek guys.

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