Since we each had a few days off for Easter, I calculated the half way point. Erie, PA. Well, who doesn't want to go to Erie, PA for a weekend? So tropical. The plan went like this: Ben would take a train from Chicago to Drew and Brittany in Indianapolis, Scott and I would pick Ally up at Word of Life, then we would each drive 6 hours to check in to adjoining hotel rooms (Scott's treat) for two nights. Glamorous, right?
The thing is, Christmas was the last time all of my favorite personalities were in one room. AND I have no future date when that will happen next. AND we have a baby in the family now. She's growing too quickly and lives so far away we are afraid she won't know us. So desperate times call for desperate measures. Also, we are addicted to daily photos and pictures our thoughtful daughter-in-law provides. (Yes, I said daily. She's the best.) We just needed to get our hands on her.
Road trip here we come.
I love how Brittany gets me. She sent these from her vantage point. One with the caption "Brothers". I couldn't help but notice the size difference. Just like their Dad and Uncle. The oldest doesn't mean the tallest.
Not just because of the food.
Though there's that.
Next up, the hotel pool. I wondered what we looked like to the others in the room as all of us hovered around her and pushed her back and forth in this little jig I picked up. Yes, it seems we've become those grandparents.
She has the cutest parents.
Another thing I realized is how easy it is to let your grandchild do things you would never have let your own children do. Like sit in the middle of the table until the food arrives.
But she's so cute!
And has crazy Uncle Ben hair!
Adjoining rooms was the best idea.
We could do this after the baby was asleep.
But probably my favorite part of the weekend is not pictured here. Some things need to be sacred.
We called a meeting in our room. One showed up with his Bible and told the others to bring theirs. At this point in time all three of our kids are in school studying the Bible. We love when they want to tell us what they are learning. Essentially how they are making their faith their own, apart from us. This is a very good thing.
Since it was Good Friday and we would not be spending Easter Sunday in the same church, Scott led us in a Communion service right here in our room. It was special to say the least. Family time does not trump important holiday traditions.
I came wanting them to know what I have been learning while reading through the Bible this year. It's amazing to me that each time through, new treasures emerge that I didn't catch the last time. It is too good to keep to myself.
The context is way back in the Old Testament when the people of Israel were approaching the end of their time in the desert (40 years) and entrance into the Promised Land. Moses was giving instructions on how they are to live in this new land. The land God brought them to so He could start again with a people He would call His own.
The Lord said to Moses, "Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels
on the corners of their garments throughout their generations,
and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner.
And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after.
So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God.
I AM the Lord your God."*
I love so much about this passage that comes at the end of a long list of instructions. First - an accessory akin to jewelry!
But more importantly, a visual reminder to remember. It's so easy to forget how far God has brought us and that He expects obedience, isn't it?
And it's easy to follow selfish desires that often lead our hearts toward distractions that later prove empty, unsatisfying and possibly destructive. We forget that God is holy and calls us to be holy, less like the world around us in increasing measure.
Sometimes even though we know what to do and what not to do, we don't and we do. We need reminders. I need to remember.
My children are adults now. All in their 20's and mostly independent. I can't bear for them to forget and drift. I want them to remember.
So I attempted a little craft. (I know better than to ask them to make their own. #crafttimewithmommy)
I tied a blue tassel on each of their wrists. "Remember God's instructions. Do them. Don't follow yourself. Be holy."
I don't expect them to wear it everyday of course (I've learned my limits), but asked each to put it somewhere visible. I see Scott's on his dresser. I got this picture a week later.
I admit I cried a little. My favorite parenting verse in living color.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."**
Obsessed with God. That's the gist I think. Of all the things we teach our littles, this is the main one that needs to stick. Passing God's faithfulness to the next generation. Even when they are adults. Because life is hard when you're a grown up. They still need instruction. Let's be real, I still need it.
Sadly, our time came to an end too soon for any of us and we had to say goodbye. I'm grateful for these kids who put up with their mother's ramblings (and lame crafts) and get on board with her nutty ideas, including 12 hours in the car for 2 short, uneventful days together.
PS. Lest you think it was a holy moment and my kids were in awe when I produced a tassel for each of them, their response was a quote from a favorite childhood movie:
"Hey Rug Man, haven't seen you in a few millenia, give me some tassel...."
Another proud parent moment.
But the worst part, I knew one of them would say it. And it's not because I thought it first. Well....
*Numbers 15:37-41 Yes, Numbers! (This is why we have to read the whole Bible - amazing treasures hidden in there.)