Remembering to Rejoice

Last Easter I  learned another lesson from my parents. After church all my children, my parents, and my mother-in-law came over for the afternoon. Mom was okay while she was eating and even said she liked the food. But before and after the meal she was restless.

She kept asking what we should do. She wanted to go home. She wanted to go see her mama and daddy. She wanted dad to drive her home. She wanted to walk home. It was pretty distracting. We sang with her. I found a story for her to read. These things helped while they lasted, but then she wanted to go.

Dad answered her by saying, “When we get home you’ll just ask where everyone is. And you’ll want to come over here.” He didn’t want to leave. He wanted to stay until we had cake and ice cream. He wanted to doze off, sitting on the couch, as he listened to the conversations around him.

Eventually our crowded living room dwindled down to just my husband and me. Our grown kids went home and brought younger siblings with them for the evening. Our parents left, too. I started thinking about the days when my children were all home.

The days when Easter was a flurry of egg hunts, church, and family time that didn’t end with a good-bye at the door. We had bedtime songs and cuddles and siblings fighting and laughing. And now the house is so quiet, and sometimes I miss the blissful, blustery chaos.

And, though part of me wants my children younger again, another part of me yearns for the future. For children happily grown and settled with spouses, and bringing me adorable grandchildren to cuddle and marvel over. I want to see each of them find their niche and productively use their gifts and be everything God wants them to be.

And I see that in many ways, I’m being like my mom. I’m being restless. Wanting the past. Wanting the future. But what about now? I need to learn from my dad. I don’t want to miss a second of the present, because I’m restless for something else.

This time, right now, is a precious part of the journey of life. My parents are still living. My children are just the ages they should be. Right now. This is a time to be grateful for. This is a time to joyfully soak in. “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

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