Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
This last week at bedtime, I’ve been asked the daily question, “Mummy, how many more days until my birthday?” Our excited boy just couldn’t hardly wait for a big slice of chocolate cake and the anticipation of presents.
The long awaited day (things seem to take a long time when you’re three going on four!) finally arrived and Luke was jumping up and down with joy as he looked forward to birthday festivities.
We were supposed to be having the extended family over for his birthday lunch, but sadly the lockdown changed that. Although we dearly missed being able to have everyone together, we were still determined to celebrate our big boy and his four years of life.
And what a wild four years it’s been! Luke has especially been strong, even in the womb. I recall his powerful punches and kicks to my ribs and organs in the last trimester almost as if to say, “Ready or not, I’m coming out soon!” From eczema creams to food allergy clinic and extreme fussy eating, we’ve had our challenges but made very good progress along the way. Our boy likes things done a certain way and has no problem telling us, if it’s not quite right! And unlike his sister, I have to be nervous if he’s quiet, which indicates he’s up to some potentially dangerous adventure.
He never stops being “on-the-go” and it’s sometimes a struggle to keep up with him! But I think about all that Luke has taught me in these four years. I was fairly patient, already being a mother to Anna, but I still had way more learning to do (and still do)! Showing more compassion, grace, flexibility, and tolerance are just a few of the many, positive characteristics that Luke has fostered into me to be a better person.
Luke always has a smile on his face! He’s always ready to fight the baddies with his Luke Skywalker lightsaber and he continuously sings the classic Star Wars songs on repeat. Having a sword fight with daddy, baking cookies with mummy, and riding bikes with Anna are the best things right now. I want to ponder up these special moments of our four year old’s life.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reminds us to, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances.” I think I need to spend my whole lifetime learning and practising these verses! It’s easy to be joyful, pray regularly, and give thanks when life is going well. But what about when life seems difficult and uncertain? Am I choosing to still be joyful, pray, and give thanks? As our kids reach birthday milestones, it is my wish and hope that these words will always be with Anna and Luke. And that I would also be able to more deeply live out these straightforward yet challenging truths, to what lasting fulfilment and contentment in Jesus looks like.
Regardless of hardships we face in our every day lives and particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, may God grant us enough grace in our days to choose His lasting joy, talk with God throughout life’s many moments, and always find the things in our lives to be thankful for. Whether it’s a family member’s birthday, school year being completed at home, having groceries delivered, more quality time with members of your household, or sunshine in the garden, may we all find little moments to pause from the craziness and celebrate the blessings around us.