Sunday is supposed to be a Sabbath, a time away, a time to rest. But today... Not so much around here. The kids were still on a bit of a high from the play (both performers and viewers), so we had LOTS of energy abounding all over the place. And because we never properly celebrated Amanda's birthday back in July (due to her travel arrangements for her mission trip to Tanzania with my parents), I had planned today as her "birthday" - complete with THESE homemade cinnamon rolls for brunch, spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, and chocolate cake with homemade frosting. of course, to end the evening.
But, as I was putting the finishing touches on the cinnamon rolls after church, Brian called me and told me that he had a pastoral emergency to attend to, and he wouldn't be home for a while. So, I began the dinner preparations and fed the kids brunch while he dealt with the immediate aftershocks of the suicide of a terminally ill neighbor/friend of a parishioner. Ministry sometimes isn't pretty. This was one of those days when I am glad that much of my work goes on behind the scenes. I prayed for him while I held down the (rather rambunctious) fort.
He returned a while later, and walked in to the warm scent of sweetness and cinnamon. He thanked me, saying that it was nice to be greeted by something other than the smell of death. You do get these strange little insights in our line of work. I was just thankful that I was able to be his safe place today.
I finished up the cake and started the frosting, and sat down to nurse Joshua before Brian and I headed out to Walmart for our Sunday grocery shopping run. Got that errand done and hurried home to finish dinner and decorate the cake. A couple of hours later, spaghetti, sauce, meatballs, and garlic bread completed, we sat down to enjoy Amanda's favorite meal. Everyone ate their fill, and then, we had cake. We sang to Amanda, even though it was months after the fact. But her eyes shone, and she clearly appreciated being remembered.
All through the fabric of this busy, hectic day ran the thread of the sorrow of the other family. In stark contrast to the loud, boisterous joy that was radiating through this house, was the knowledge that there was, just across town, another family, suffering unimaginable grief. As I sit, writing this, my feet ache and my back is stiff. But I am thankful that I have the opportunity to be busy, and tired. Because I know, I know that others do not have that luxury. So, I go to bed, this evening, exhausted and sore, but also humbled and with a heart full of gratitude for all of the blessings in my life.
I am truly blessed.