A Letter to a Baby Girl Born on Good Friday

A Letter to a Baby Girl Born on Good Friday

**This is dedicated to baby Julia, born today to our sweet friends, Angela and Adam. ** Dear one, We have waited for you, hoped for you. Your mama, daddy, grandparents, cousins, family, and friends can’t wait to see you and say that because you are here, this is surely a good day We woke up this morning glad that we can mark this day as the one that brought more joy into the world. We know how we have done Good Friday in the past remembering the darkness, remembering the words that we have chiseled down to neat phrases we can handle: I thirst, My God, It is finished. But it isn’t. Not for you, beautiful girl. It is just beginning. And there we are. On this day, when we all look to the cross, toward its rugged vulnerability we also look at your sweet face, tiny and tender. On this day, when so many mothers weep for children around the world, when fathers fear the broken systems that threaten their boys and girls, we hear your tiny cry. And it is a sound that stirs us to forever circle you in peace. We listen fiercely to your whimpers and your wails and we promise, like all the mothers and fathers that everything is gonna be okay. Shh, hush, dear one. It’s all going to be okay. The hush proclaimed by so many faithful folks tonight is about just that, sweet girl. All the wails and hurts and whimpers of brokeness that we see in all the cracks in our hearts and our days and our cities are met...
Something in the Water

Something in the Water

I had not planned on bringing my two-year old into the Vespers service Sunday evening. But plans change, and he ended up with me standing tip toe on the back pew, giving commentary every two seconds: “Dat’s water?” Yes, I told him. “Dat’s the big boys, IN the water?” Yes. We’re Baptists, so we go all in. Chest deep into the pool at the front of the chapel. (He’s a fan of the big boys – 4th and 5th graders mostly) “What dey laughin’ about?” That, I couldn’t tell you, son. The precious boy standing in the baptismal waters was CRACKING up. And I loved it. He got so tickled and couldn’t stop. I mean, lots of people get emotional in this moment of symbolism. But laughter during a baptism delighted me as much as when a couple gets the giggles and laughs during their wedding. It’s just effervescent joy. There was so much joy in the chapel. It so happened that this crew of five baptismal candidates were all related: siblings and cousins. It makes sense, really. As one kiddo begins conversations about their faith journey, the ones listening nearby start to get in on the conversation, too. And once they had each proclaimed to their church that they were ready to go all in and let baptism mark their identity, it was a little hilarious to hear about how they coached each other through the actual event of getting soaking wet in the baptismal pool. Standing in the back, the 6th grade girl turned to Pastor Jake and said, “Can I ask you something?” He nodded and...
Rambling Imagination

Rambling Imagination

Know what this is? It is, according to my two year old, a tunnel. For his beloved choo-choo trains. Know what this is? A choo-choo train, of course. And what might this be? Not, as you might imagine, a mess for mommy to clean up. I was informed, with much excitement, “Yook, Mama – a twack!” (Look, mama, a track). For the car. The car that was his cracker. He had taken his straw full of milk and used it to “draw” a track for his cracker-car to go round and round in. Messy as it may be, my little one is reminding me of the power of imagination. I would say I am surprised by these little sparks of imagination, but my boy comes from a long line of wonderers. I’m a constant daydreamer. Hubby has a tell-tale face that means he is waist-deep in an ocean of thought. Brilliant things often come out of this thought ocean: sometimes sermons, sometimes ways to fix the broken things in the garage, sometimes a random argument in favor of him buying and restoring an old muscle car (Um, no). The Queen of Imagination was my Grandma Gladys. She used to make Brother, Sister and I go “rambling.” Rambling meant that we’d walk with her, along any little sidewalk, in a garden, beside the lake, or in the woods. I make it sound like we had these long hikes through nature. Nope. We were suburb kids and she lived in the city of Lakeland, FL. So most of our rambling happened on well-paved paths that looked a lot like culdesacs and mowed lawns. A few times, she dragged us on nature trails...
Time to rest

Time to rest

Sometimes we find ourselves repenting from our foolish ways as new parents. Our little man has had lots of ups and downs with this going to sleep thing.Yes, I rocked him to sleep for forever. And we are working (have been working) on him putting himself to sleep. The past few months have been pretty great. Then we had the season of travel and grandparents and we just lost our good habits. Which led to last night – the apocolyptic cries. It took Jake 2 hours to get him to sleep last night, while I was out at a women’s group. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then today. On fabulous days like Tuesdays, the boy goes to MMO in the mornings, comes home exhausted and sacks out pretty easily. Today, I was greeted by his teacher with what I can only understand now as a warning: “He had a great day. And he ate a cupcake; it’s Oliver’s birthday!” All righty. “He ate a whole cupcake?” I asked, confused. My little Ghandhi has been super committed to his very own hunger strikes for various injustices, like when I dare to present him with a vegetable or other insults such as a vanilla wafer. He has a point to prove, after all. Yes, he ate the whole cupcake. Hmm. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but as we came home and I realized it was not exhaustion I was seeing but a wild-eyed, sugar-induced frenzy. He’s had sugar before. We love a whole grain around here, but we’re not that granola. We just don’t do...