I recently began my annual read of Six Hours One Friday, by Max Lucado. For the last few years, it has served as a reminder for me, a reminder of the sacrifice made by Christ, a reminder of those hours spent on the cross, one Friday, on a hill in Calvary. This year, this Palm Sunday, I am reflecting on the week before the crucifixion. Jesus entered Jerusalem as a KING! “Hosanna to the Son of David!” the crowds shouted, laying down their cloaks to provide a Red Carpet welcome to the KING! But, Jesus knew what was coming and He knew it was coming soon. I can’t help but wonder how He felt at that moment, knowing those same voices that were shouting “Hosanna” today, would be shouting, “Crucify,” tomorrow?
May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
Strength, dear daughters, comes in many forms. As you grow, I hope you will appreciate your strength. Never be ashamed of your physical strength – the strength that develops in your legs from the miles that you run or the hours that you dance. Embrace that strength and try not to take if for granted, but remember that strength is so much more than the physical. Strength is showing kindness even when it isn’t the popular thing to do. Strength is speaking up when necessary, but also knowing when speaking your mind is more hurtful than helpful. Strength is standing up for what you believe is right, but also admitting when you are wrong. Strength is recognizing that you need help sometimes and not being afraid to ask for it. Strength is trying. Strength is failing. Strength is trying again, even after you fail. Strength is getting back up after you fall. Strength is starting. Strength is finishing. Strength can be loud, but it can also be quiet. Strength is believing in yourself, even when others doubt. Strength is believing in others, even when they don’t believe in themselves.
I am a runner, since the age of 12, a runner.
First, it was for sport and competition,
but soon it became something more, so much more.
And 3 decades later, it is still so much more.
There is a peace that comes from running.
While running, it is just me.
Only my feet pounding, my legs pumping, my lungs breathing,
my heart beating.
I am the machine, the means by which I travel.
I am these legs that carry me for miles.
I am these lungs that heave the heavy breaths.
I am this heart that beats, beats, beats...
He is the whisper in the wind.
He is THUNDER.
He is the cool breeze before the storm.
He is the rainbow after the rain.
He is pure joy, bringing giddiness and glee.
He is quiet comfort, bringing contentment and peace.
He is both infinitely big and infinitely small.
He is above all things and in all things.
He is awe and wonder to the brink of fear.
He is love and grace to the brink of heaven.
He is simultaneously the most powerful and the gentlest of spirits.
He is the alpha and the omega.
He is the beginning and the end.
He is GOD.
There is a Monster in this House!
It’s scary, but it’s true, and when she’ll come, you have no clue.
But when she rears her ugly head, you’ll run and hide beneath your bed.
You’ll be as quiet as a mouse, you’ll whisper, “There’s a Monster in This House!”
But hiding does not keep you safe, she knows your every hiding place!
You see her when you comb your hair, she’s even sitting in your chair!
She glares at you and bares her teeth, all you hope for is relief.
You raise your voice, you stomp your feet, sometimes you just refuse to eat!
You bike, you run, you exercise, but monsters don’t care about your size.
You bang your head against the wall, but that just doesn’t help at all.
She follows you from here to there, that PESKY MONSTER’S EVERYWHERE!
You close your eyes and say a prayer, but when you’re done, she’s standing there!
Where do you go? What do you do? There’s NO ESCAPE! The Monster’s YOU!
Anybody else feel like the Monster in the House?
I will kiss you good night and kiss you good bye, while I still can. I know the day will come when you ask me not to, especially in front of the school or in front of your friends. I will still sneak into your room to kiss your cheek while you sleep.
I will tuck you in tight and say bedtimes prayers, while I still can. I know the day will come when you will turn off your own light and say your own prayers. I will still pray to be the mother you need me to be.
I will give piggy back rides and carry you off to bed, while I still can. I know the day will come when you have grown too big or I have grown too weak. I will still want to then.
I will sit through sports practices and play catch in the back yard, while I still can. I know the day will come when you drive yourself to practice and no longer want to play ball with your mom. I will still be your biggest fan.
I will put candles in pancakes, cupcakes and donuts, while I still can. I know the day will come when you will think you are too old for birthday parties and birthday breakfasts. I will still celebrate the gift of being your mom.
I will tell you and show you, I love you, again and again and again, while I still can. I know the day will come when you will make a mistake you are reluctant to tell me about, but don’t worry, son. I will still…no matter what…I will still.