I know when a baby is a baby – from the moment of conception. But just when does a baby lose its baby status? Is it when the sweet little giggle doesn’t come quite so easily? Or when the short, chubby legs take their first steps? Maybe it’s when you no longer need to kiss the boo-boos to make it all better. Or when tiny little teeth start to protrude.
Does a baby grow up when he’s able to smear pureed bananas on his face? Or when she knows how to chatter ‘mama’ and ‘dada’? Maybe a baby is no longer a baby when she can put her princess panties on all by herself. Or when he can brush his own teeth.
When the sippy cups lose their lids, and car seats become boosters, is that when a baby is no longer a baby? Does a baby grow up when he can read his first sentence, or when she can tie her own shoes?
“It goes by so fast.” “Treasure these times.” “They grow like weeds.” “He’s not a baby anymore.” “What a big girl!”
To a mother, a baby will always be their baby.
Two small heads bob to the music. Older brother creates a hip for his little sister to sit. They sway in time, heads tilted toward one another. So free to love, uninhibited by age or pretense. There sits Jesus, on that hip. There He stands, holding her tight and secure. Loving freely, intimately, tenderly – nothing held back – pure, unadulterated love. How He moves the young who are so close to Him, inspiring the older, more guarded and selfish. Thank You for reminding me of Your tenderness waiting for me to embrace.
A day at the park – sand beneath bare feet. Blown into hair, tossled by the wind. Shovels digging, sand flying, dry and coarse, knees caked with sand. Look at the beautiful creation! Gone in a blink, onto another, bigger, better. Don’t we do the same? It never is good enough, not quite the way I wanted it, just 5 more minutes? Wasting time trying to perfect the transient, seeking that next thing that will really make life complete, forgetting the end goal of the journey – God’s perfection.
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. ~Matthew 5:48
We went to a Baptism today – a tiny new soul wrapped in white, eyes half shut to the mysteries of life. Surrounded by loving hearts and hands, this innocent one is well on his way to knowing Jesus.
The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household. ~Acts 16:31-34
A tiny baby, entrusted to his parents, is given the opportunity to be claimed by Christ, as a priest, prophet, and king. This treasure will be nurtured and grown over the next few decades, until a time that Jesus may say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:23) What a worthy investment!
It’s nearly birthday time. I’m always amazed at how focused kids are on birthdays. When one comes around, nothing else matters except their birthday. And I’m not talking about the birthday boy. No – the word ‘birthday’ has some mystic force that lightens their eyes and grabs their imaginations. ‘My birthday is in 1 week!’ ‘My birthday is in only 8 months!’ It’s so earth-shattering from their tiny perspective. As we get older, birthdays can become a drudgery, just a memory of the ‘good ‘ol times.’ Celebrating the 20th anniversary of a 29th birthday – wishing to be back in that simpler, more innocent, wrinkle-free time.
What is a birthday, anyway? We think of cake and gifts and parties. But the day of our birth was an intimate, sacrificial, painful event, one of the most emotional, unforgettable moments of our parents’ lives that we somehow don’t remember. A day of passing from the nacient world to this world, full of wonder and awe, things only dreamed of, so much hope and love and joy to explore and experience. I remember the birth days of all of my children very well, and I delight in their anticipation for the celebration. Their birthdays are celebrations of their very existence, found only in God’s creative miracle of Life. Thank You, Lord, for the gift of Life.
JD was a doggy today – M’s doggy. She led him all over the house, his tongue hanging out, an imaginary tail, almost real, wagging behind him. His imagination brings so many smiles to our house. Silly, extraordinary, all his own comedy. Most of the time his sole purpose is to delight himself, laughing out loud, head thrown back. He just loves life. Always an optimist. I suppose God places at least one in every family, to remind us what is good, to remind us to focus on the beautiful and simple things of life, like children’s laughter. He makes me smile almost every day, and I’m so grateful for my son the comedian.
How did you make these angel faces, Lord? A pinch of starlight, kissed with morning dew? Sprinkled with rose petals and washed in aerated waterfalls? Only Your infinite hands could so delicately weave the rosy cheeks and laughter with the wide eyes and hope-filled expressions of these little darlings. So perfectly made, with their imperfections, as You saw fit in your all-knowing wisdom. You have transformed a soul with Your Love.