Life-altering events take place in my family one after another, and often two and three events at a time. It has been this way for several years. I feel quite experienced and seasoned to be able to say, "I'm used to it by now".
At least I hope I am.
But the fact that I am becoming an old hand at fielding major milestones does not lessen the bittersweetness, and in no way reduces the joy....or the workload...involved.
Last night, we finally had our oldest son's high school graduation party. He graduated last May, but in deference to others in our small fellowship who were graduating, and still more who were planning major celebrations for other reasons, we elected to postpone his event. As usual, God blesses those who wait on Him. Josiah was generously rewarded for having waited to experience his own "big day".
The party was a success. There were moments it seemed you couldn't stir the crowd with a stick. Almost everyone invited was able to attend. They came - without appeals, without pressure, without even having to "RSVP". We placed no expectations on anyone. We quietly sent Josiah's graduation announcement, and a small invitation inside that to an "open house". Anyone who could drop by on the evening of September 5th would be welcomed. No ceremonial pretense, no putting anyone on the spot.
It was what he wanted - very indicative of his laid back personality.
People respond to grace. Yes, to me, it all vividly illustrates the grace message. "Ho, anyone who is thirsty, come to the waters..." God doesn't need a head count. He doesn't exert pressure on people to come. He never begs, never invites out of any neediness He feels.
Simultaneously, my daughter Sarah is preparing for her second mission trip to Cambodia. She leaves in two days. Huge events...coming at my mother's heart fast and hard...at the same time.
Ah, September! Did I say it is typically a quiet month for me?
I AM rather used to it, now. I don't feel the least overwhelmed. I simply feel profoundly grateful for being given this gift of a busy life. It keeps me well outside my limits, and almost daily brings me to the end of me, myself, and I.
None of these 'big milestones' have even been a topic of my personal conversations of recent weeks. This is not at all because I have "tried" not to talk about them. Rather, I can say for a fact that God gives quiet faith. Quietness and confidence. There was a time when I thought I might never actually feel the peace of God in my life. Most things felt like "too much". I was consistently overwhelmed by ordinary life. (As though any life spent home educating four children, living by faith for a long season, and married to a husband in full time ministry can be AT ALL "ordinary".)
So I boast in the Lord. Major milestones....hurling at me at top speed....and a heart that is still.
How great is our God!
Sarah - I pray for you daily. Godspeed, dear daugther!
Josiah....congratulations, my boy. WE DID IT!