With great anticipation, we packed our suitcases, hired our dog’s favorite sitter, and planned our long-awaited weekend away in California to celebrate with family. For the most part, we had not seen the family since Christmas of 2019–just before the pandemic hit. This gathering would draw us together for the first time in more than a year and a half. The moment pivoted around celebrating the newest member’s first birthday.
Suitcases were packed on time as we were motivated by joy to arrive at our destination. We hit the Interstate and found it clearer than any other trip we had made to the west coast. A couple of stops along the way, and in 8 hours we arrived at our destination. The day of the party, I crammed an oversized gift in a much-too-small bag, then fluffed the tissue paper creating floral peaks around the top. On the short drive to the party, it toppled over. Pretty floral puffs transformed into scrunched paper. Just remember, Janis, no one will notice as the one-year-old tears into her packages.
Hearts pulsing in anticipation we passed through an open front door where we were adorned with leis to celebrate in Luau-style this milestone for the baby and for all of us gathered. Hugs and joy-filled laughter permeated the air. Our love meters skyrocketed. Love held captive for the last year burst from our hearts.
Reflecting back on these moments–faces I could touch again, broad smiles stretched across each one’s countenance, the grandeur of the floral centerpieces symbolizing each one’s delight to be there, the music, the dancing, the traditions bestowed on the newest member–I wondered how this tied in with God’s joy in those moments. His love for each of us surpasses all we experience in this life that makes our hearts soar. He showed me a Scripture:
“The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty who will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness;
He will quiet you by His love;
He will exult over you with loud singing.”
The love we express for each other is only a fraction of God’s love for us. As He watches us in our day-to-day happenings, He rejoices over us. He sings loudly over us because we are His and He has freed us forevermore. His love is not based on our actions. His love is based on Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary that made us His own.
Let us drink in that love. Bask in His freedom. And allow Him to quiet our troubled hearts with His love. He waits with open arms to forgive our sins, to save us from whatever entangles us, and to invite us into the dance of His love.
Heavenly Father, open our hearts to pulse with your love for us. Let us celebrate as part of your family and rejoice daily
in the freedom we have because of Your Son’s sacrifice.
From My Heart to Yours,