praiseworthy

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“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others
cannot keep it from themselves.”

Baccalaureate was yesterday at 4:00.  Ethan almost didn’t go….

It was one of those “we almost didn’t bother” but we did and it was amazing.  God likes to do that now and then.  Totally unexpected SOUL FOOD.

The 2016 class, the faculty, the volunteers from the community, teachers, friends, parents, and ministers all came together for a heart-felt, spiritual service.  I sat in the pew with Seth, Sarah, David, and Caleb and soaked it all up.

If you’re reading this and you had a part—THANK YOU.

pride, joy, smiles, tears, song, words.  so good.

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Hunter reading Scripture.

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Glad there was a program so I could study it and learn names.

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High School choir in beautiful harmony.

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Caleb (Grace’s boyfriend) reading Scripture.

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I learned a new hymn and I loved it!

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Rachel and Sarah singing with their Dad playing guitar.  Making us cry.

 

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Rachel spoke to her class some encouraging words.

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They were given candles as “Go Light Your World” played.

Whoever put this service together was thoughtful and gave the kids so much to remember.

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They will go far.

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The Pastor of the church was kind and down to earth.

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I held it together until Grace became emotional and then realization flooded over me again that this is a season of changes, not just for me as a mom; but for my children as close brothers and sisters.

The love they share will never change.

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friends

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Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

baccalaureate service

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I am this sentimental about all seven of my babies, mark my words, but as this is the Week of Jacob, he is constantly on my mind.

I spent hours and hours at the end of our first hand-me-down couch with my first born baby.   I remember those hours like they were yesterday.  Most of the time he had my undivided attention, but sometimes I would watch TV as I held him.  Other times I would read a book.  There was very often a cat snuggled with us.  We were cuddled under a quilt made by my husband’s grandmother and I would put a glass of water up on the top of the couch.  All day long, whenever it was time to eat, we were there, no hurries, no worries.  In the evenings my husband sat with us, too.

He was born the very last day of 1996 and we had one solitary year together before his beautiful baby brother joined us.  Everything our baby did was amazing to us, my husband and I were both so proud.  As he said recently, every parent thinks their child is someone extra special and it is the same for us.  What a cherished gift children are and worthy to be given everything they need to grow and learn.

My friends and I used to remind each other now and then about how quickly our children would grow and leave us.  Those crazy days when we had a bunch of little ones, healthy, busy, impossible to predict, we were exhausted trying to keep up.  “Soon they will be gone” was our mantra to get us through those days but we said it with a laugh because it still seemed so far off.

We had plenty of time.

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Last night at 5:30, the family–all 10 of us–were dressed up and in the vehicle, driving to the little league field to drop off Caleb for a game, and then heading for the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in town for the Senior Baccalaureate Service of Evening Prayer.

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I sat on the end so I could lean over into the aisle…all the better to see our boy.  Although their handsome Dad did his best to keep them in their seats, by the last hymn my two youngest were hanging off my back.  Sarah’s soft hands holding my arm, Seth twirling my pony tail.

Our Jacob was one of the students selected to read Scripture.

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“And this is my prayer:  that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God.”  Philippians 1:9-11

The service had a special meaning for me personally because I have chosen the word “light” as my word of the year and it was the theme of the service.  In fact, as we opened with Versicles, the whole room was saying these words together:

Jesus Christ is the light of the world,
The light no darkness can overcome.
Stay with us, Lord, for it is evening,
And the day is almost over.
For with you is the fountain of life,
And in your light we see light.

It touched me to the depths of my soul.  Thank you, Jesus.

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Do you remember that part in the movie “Anne of Avonlea” when Diana is about to get married and Mrs Barry is carrying on because she’s “losing her firstborn forever”.  Aunt Josephine, in her typical bluntly comforting way quickly says, “Don’t get all sentimental, you still have Minnie May”…..that’s what I think of when I see this  picture of me and my Minnie-Sarah.

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After the service we all went downstairs for refreshments.  Seth, the one who is just victoriously finishing up Kindergarten, had two buttered rolls, bypassed the pasta and salad, and then ate four cupcakes.  The people of the church were all so kind and thoughtful, and happy to serve the community and class of 2015 in this way.

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“You’ve been a blessing from the start,
I love you, my son, with all my heart.”

So thankful for these wonderful, priceless moments!