Saturday, January 28, 2017

A birthday and awaiting a birth.....

Today was an exciting day for our family!  It was the celebration of Anna's third birthday.  I can hardly believe that she is already three years old.  Gwen sent me this picture from after the party.
It was a Peppa Pig extravaganza!  Anna loves Peppa Pig and I found this Peppa Pig rain coat, which she loves.  She also was quite pleased with the Frozen rain boots that she has wanted for a long time.  She was distressed when all of her siblings had rain boots and she did not.  So Grandma Lyn came to the rescue and found these.   Lia was so happy to provide face painting and temporary tatoos for all of the kids.  It was a wild and crazy couple of hours but Ken and I wouldn't have missed it for anything!  Well, almost anything...... which brings me to the awaiting a birth!

Doug and Susie are still waiting for the arrival of their precious little one.  We are all getting anxious to meet her.  We had talked about the possibility of not being able to be at Anna's party if this baby decided to come today.  Sadly, that did not happen.  Anna's actual birthday is Monday, so she just might end up sharing a birthday with her cousin!  Nothing we can do but sit and wait!  One thing is sure, Jesus knows the exact right time for this baby to be born.  

You know, it is really good to spend time with a bunch of kids and their parents.  Especially if you are really old, like me!  There was so much energy in the house today.  There were 21 kids between the ages of 2 months and 10 years!  Plus their parents!  Additionally there were some other adults that Anna wanted invited to her party - thankfully that included grandparents!   So there was a lot of noise and lots of activity.  Anna's favorite spot was playing with the pink play dough that Gwen had made.  The big kids spent a great deal of time upstairs.  It is really nice to be around these young families. 
How wonderful it was to look around at all of the kids and to know that they are all being raised knowing about Jesus.  It is such a great feeling knowing that Gwen and Tim have surrounded their family with a support system of like minded friends.  There were many churches represented in the group, but the main thing is that they all love Jesus.  It is so nice to see kids who don't know each other, come together at this kind of event and all get along and have fun.  Yes, those parents have their hands full.  But all I could think about was this verse....Psalm 127:3-5a

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.  

So I decided to look at these verses in the Passion Translation, and I am so glad that I did!

Children are God's love-gift; they are heaven's generous reward.  Children born to a young couple will one day rise to protect and provide for their parents.  Happy will be the couple who has many of them!  A household full of children will not bring shame on your name, but victory when you face your enemies.  For your kids will have influence and honor to prevail on your behalf!

Doesn't that just give a deeper and clearer meaning to those verses?  Today was one of those times when I sit back and marvel at my children, now adults with their own families.  Each season of life has challenges and rewards.  These young families have sleepless nights, stacks of laundry and dishes that never end.  There are struggles with time management, activities and work schedules.  Yet, they are parenting some wonderful kids who will have influence and honor.  And there is so much joy and energy in their lives.  In the grandparenting season, there are a host of challenges also.  There are health concerns, retirement concerns, job concerns, financial concerns.  And there are worries about our children and grandchildren.  But the rewards are wonderful.  Today was one of those rewards.  Sharing across generations.  Participating in the joy and the fun.  

It is always easy to look at the troubles and to retreat into darkness when things are going badly.  But it is so worth it to see the rewards that far out number the challenges.  Even with all of the muck of everyday life, there are bright and happy spots to focus on.  The trick is to watch for the reward!  
I think that this is a better challenge then just being thankful.  This is looking for the blessing beyond the thanksgiving.  Yes, I will be making time to watch for the reward every day.  And remembering that there is more than just being thankful.

Jesus, thank you for Anna and this wonderful day to celebrate her life.  Give our family great grace as we wait for Doug and Susie's baby to come.  Holy Spirit, help us all to look beyond the challenges to see the great rewards no matter what season of life we are in.  Thank you for your plan for the family that includes blessings shared between generations.  Amen

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