Monday, April 18, 2016

Babies and Birthdays

Sweet Homeland of the Soul

Baby showers are not something I attend much anymore.  Most of my friends are long past bringing new little ones into the world and we're not yet to the point of having baby showers for grandbabies.  This weekend, though, I got to go to two celebrations of looking forward to new life and one gathering celebrating a milestone birthday that reflected on a life well lived and much more to come.  

My sweet friend, H, will be bringing home her 5th child in a few weeks.  It was fun seeing people I probably hadn't seen since her last shower, a few years ago, as well as some much-needed catch up time with two of my closest friends.  I was struck by the generations represented there--mamas, grandmas, great-grandmas and sisters and the friends of these women and girls.  As the two older sisters of this already-loved little boy took photos of their mama and helped with gifts, it was clear he will be surrounded by a circle of women that will love and cherish and guide him.  And that same circle will be there for his mother when she's tired and needs encouragement or just a pick-me-up from Starbucks.  

The other baby shower was for a new mom.  She doesn't have the experience of having four older children, but she has a group of women surrounding her, as well.  The girls she teaches who are so excited for this new tiny dancer, her mama and family, her fellow teachers and dozens of dance moms who make up that particular part of her "family"; we're all there to cheer her on and share her happiness at this "new chapter", as her mom described it.  This little one is already surrounded with love and a whole group of ladies ready to cheer her on as she takes her first steps and performs her first dance.

And to cap the weekend off, the "milestone" birthday.  You know, the kind ending in a zero.  The people gathered at this party have been friends for decades.  We have worshiped, laughed and cried together.  We have prayed each other through cancer and health scares.  We've had our own baby showers and weddings and funerals.  We have walked this journey together through the mountain tops and valleys and the long stretches of flat road that have no end in sight.  We have done life together in every meaning of the phrase.  

Celebrating a brand new life or celebrating a milestone birthday--both reminded me that we need people.  We need those precious people surrounding us, loving us, supporting us, praying for us, and just giving us that little thumbs up, when we need it. My hope for you is that you will find those people in your life and that you will take the time to nurture those people and allow them to bless you as well.  Open your hearts and lives and allow the people God has placed in your way to become part of your family.  We all need that circle of care.  Be that for others, as well.

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