We’ve had such good, precious moments this weekend.
Sunday morning my heart swelled watching three of our sons help with choruses at church, one on drums and two on guitar. My 14 year old still feels a little awkward up on stage–for all his obsession with the guitar he’s more comfortable behind the scenes. But all three of them truly love music– they’re the type who grab their instruments and play at odd times of the day, just for fun. Music and faith are so important to me– to see that love in the boys too is just the best.
Sunday afternoon all the kids (with grandbabies in tow) came to our house for a meal and a few gifts. Erika and Israel are spending Christmas with his family this year, so we had the perfect excuse to do some of our celebrating early.
As always, I treasured the time with all our kids here under our roof, older and younger interacting, babies looking around and trying to figure out all the hubbbub. I just couldn’t look at everyone’s faces enough. There are times when some of the adult kids are busy and can’t come to our weekend dinners. I understand that and truly have peace with it. But, when everyone is here, I breathe out and in with an added sense of thanksgiving.
Sunday evening was the Christmas program at church. Our teens mostly had supporting/ helping roles. Since our youngest two are now 8 and 10, their parts were bigger than they’d ever had been before. They did a great job– knew when to come in and go out, enjoyed working together with their friends.
When the tiny kids came out to sing Away in a Manger, complete with rocking-baby and look-up-in-the sky hand motions, I realized it was probably the first year since 1992 or so that we had no one in the tiny-kiddo class. Our kids are growing. It gave me a little pang, but mostly I felt content. God must be giving me peace about all this growing and changing. Years ago I thought I’d never be a mom who felt ‘done’ with babies. But the grandbabies are filling that ‘baby’ space in my heart these days, and when they’re not around, my gangly 8 year old still crawls into my arms. I really am so very content with this stage.
Monday morning I was at Erika and Israel’s house bright and early to drive them to the airport. They still had a dab of gathering to do, so of course I scooped up little Ranger for a snuggle. I told them only half jokingly that he was actually the reason I’d agreed to drive them to the airport. At one point we were snuggled cheek to cheek, with him facing out on my lap so I wasn’t quite able to see his face. Erika came into the room and laughed. She said he had the most smug little contented smile as he sat with his cheek against mine.
“Babies know when people adore them,” I said with a laugh. And again, that feeling of blessing, rich and warm, wrapped me like a blanket.
Not every moment is good, or easy. This evening John and I got the youngest 6 together for a game of Phase Ten. Cordiality from 14 year olds (we have 3) sometimes feels like a pie-in-the-sky dream. They didn’t want to play games with mom and dad and little sisters. Many unhappy words were mixed in with the game play, lots of stern reminders. And yet we persevered and jollied them up, John and I– me biting back frustration, and John smiling steadily with iron behind his grin. Somehow by the end there were real grins and real laughter, and even the grumpiest ended up feeling cherished, I think. And that time too, by God’s grace, was anointed with blessing.
Between all the precious golden bits of my life, there are so many hard ones, times full of worry and concern, stress and anxiety. Some days the hard overwhelms me. But when I remember to hold onto the good times, to remember my Savior, and to really see all He has given us, my heart settles back down, gets back to that place of gratitude where balance is so much easier to find.
Never would I say my life is perfect. But oh, we are so blessed.
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