Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thoroughly Showered

A pile of babies. Creepy, I know.

On Sunday, our church family hosted a baby shower for us.

Confession: I initially wasn't excited to be there. It was held directly after our church services, and right before I was to lead a two-hour missions team meeting that included talking with the parents about finances. I was tired, I was hungry, I had a lot on my mind, and "baby shower" isn't something that typically causes me to jump up and down with giddy anticipation. But I also know my wife, and I know that large crowds and lots of attention focused on her isn't really her thing at all.

So we went together. We sat on a couch in front of a large group of students, parents, and pastors. We faced the crowd while they watched a hilarious video made by the sophomore girls small group (a bit awkward for us, since we were sitting directly in front of the screen). We witnessed a game featuring high school and college guys attempt to put a diaper on a baby doll, resulting in a creepy pile of dolls at our feet. We heard from pastoral friends as they shared about children and parenting and love. Then we hung out a bit, cleaned it all up, and were on our way.

I know the above paragraphs sound a bit whiny. That's where I was coming from that afternoon. But here's the thing:

We left feeling deeply loved by our church family.

The actions at the baby shower ranged from the ordinary to the awkward. In and of themselves, it wasn't remarkable. Yet what struck me was the presence of people in our lives. Those who came truly love me, love my wife, and love our children. They gave us gifts. They played with my son. They held my daughter. They decorated our entire youth room, including the creation of a wonderful picture timeline of our lives. We laughed and joked and shared life. When I arrived back home after a long day of ministry, I finally saw the gifts and cards we had received. We're still reading through each of them, and are so blessed by everyone's kind words.

We're thankful. That word doesn't even really capture it, I suppose. People say "thank you" all the time for the most mundane acts of service. This was deeper for us. We are grateful for the love poured out for our little family, and humbled that we get to be a part of what God is doing in our church family.

So thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who showered us with love. Ezekiel 34 describes a God who showers us with blessing; Ephesians 1 says that He has lavished us with His grace. We feel throughly showered and lavished.

Our beautiful daughter.

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