What do you get when you combine a small child’s birthday with a major family holiday?
A tired mommy.
You also get more joy. More hugs and smiles and laughter. More reason to celebrate, if that is at all possible.
After all, what more reason could you want? The defeat of sin and death and hell for those who belong to Christ. The curse broken, the grave overcome. Those whom the Son sets free are free indeed.
Early morning. A little man-child in soft pajamas with a serious case of bedhead. Still a little sleepy-eyed, he wraps his arms around my neck as I plant a kiss on his cheek. “Good morning, love! Happy Birthday!” I smell of cleaning solution and a thousand tasks yet to be done are calling to me, but I push the thoughts aside to let this wee one know that he is cause for me to celebrate. Precious…a delight to my soul.
Amidst the bustle of preparing house and food for a large family gathering all before leaving for church at 9:30, I also pause to speak some very similar words to Jesus. “You are cause for me to celebrate! I love you! You are a delight to my soul! Thank you for dying for me, for all that this day represents.”
True, I would wish for quiet hours of contemplation and reflection at this time of year. Time to surround myself with sacred Scripture and tomes of deep thought. Quiet to ponder, pray…preparation of heart and mind and soul.
What I found, however, were snatches. Snippets. Moments here and there, tucked and woven into my day. A whispered prayer, a line of a song, a quote. Mommy liturgy.
And so it sometimes is with the hearts I hold dear, the hands that slip into mine for such a fleeting handbreath of time. These little ones, being shaped before my eyes, growing like a garden. Bits of time, minutes here and there…a quick hug, an encouraging look, a shared moment.
Matthew is four today. Barely a trace of “baby” left at all, only little snapshots here and there of a precious time that is fast fading. I would not hold him back, and yet I watch this time draw to a close with resignation and a bit of a pang in my spirit. For of all my “babies”, Matthew has been the sweetest and most tender. The quiet, dreamy, reflective one. The gentle one.
Today was cause for celebration. A birthday and the Resurrection. Feasting, family, worship. Lots of preparation, lots of hard work.
Hopefully, in the morning when my feet hit the floor, I will remember that tomorrow is also cause for celebration. Another day to love. Another day to serve. Hearts and minds to mold and shape. Gospel truths to share. Meals to prepare, a home to tend. Blessing upon blessing upon blessing.