Last Sabbath we had a church full of littles.
21 of 'em, in fact.
That's awesome, right?
21 children in the church and all but two under the age of 10.
And see, here's the catch. There were only 24 adults to go with that wonderful cacophony of BABIES!
Oh, but it was wonderful. We loved it. And the rest of the church loved it too. I can only praise God that our church family loves our babies and WANTS our babies there.
We loved it so much we invited 9 of those kids (and their parents) to come play with our 4 for the rest of the afternoon! Lots of fellowship and the occasional shenanigans ensued, making it a very blessed Sabbath indeed!
Colby sent them on a treasure hunt to the barn where he had hidden an old "treasure chest" under the floor boards of the old '56 Ford. It was a riot watching them all running here and there and searching the dark recesses of cobwebbed corners. They debated the reading of the map so many times they couldn't remember who was doing what where.
When they'd finally found it they immediately set forth to return the favor and hid some "treasure" for Colby to find.
Just a bunch of country kids traipsing through imaginary rainforests, hauling trunks full of treasure from their shipwrecked galleon, burying it 20 paces from the north-facing rock that looks like a monkey's face. Good times! Great memories.
Growing up, my own fun memories usually involve my brothers and my cousins. But I also have some wonderful memories of adventures with the church family youngsters. What a blessing it is to have friends for my kids that have the same values, principles, and hopes! It's the memories of these times that bond those kids together and give them a sense of belonging within loving friendships when they're questioning what place is theirs in this life.
So anyway, a few months ago, at a potluck, I was standing with my oldest daughter at the dessert table, waiting to help her scoop up some pie. Unfortunately for her, by the time she was next in line, there was only one piece left. The young man in front of her scooped it up on the spoon and my daughter turned to me with big eyes and whispered, "Oh, I was hoping to have a piece of that pie!"
The young man (10 years old) overheard and immediately turned and plunked that scoop of pie right on Emmy's plate. No hesitation. No regret. No selfishness.
I just about burst into tears.
Emmy's my girl that's a wild card. She's going to want to drive a fast car, or WORSE... ride around with a boy in a fast car. She's the one that keeps me up at night, worrying about what life when she's 17 is going to do to me.
All I could think in that moment was,
"Marry the one that gives you his pie, Emmy-girl. Marry the one that gives you his pie!"