we've no less days
to sing God's praise
than when we'd first begun
There are certain moments in life that freeze into your mind. Those that capture a feeling that will last forever. I had one of those moments yesterday, and it was so beautiful to me that I want to capture it in words, too.
Yesterday afternoon was our church's annual fall festival. It's not a fancy event. We gather at Optimist Farm, take a hayride (or four) around the field and through the woods, bob for apples, eat some hot dogs. The big boys usually play football, and the kids play cornhole or ladder golf. But mostly we wander around and visit with friends, enjoying the weather and watching young'uns play. It's fall at its best for me.
But after dinner is when it really gets good. There's a bonfire (small and controlled in a fire pit, thank you!) and marshmallow roasting. Well, since it's mostly kids, there's more marshmallow igniting than marshmallow roasting, but they seem to enjoy them blackened. Then the singin' starts.
We have some awesomely talented musicians at FBC. Our choir's anthem on Sunday morning absolutely took my breath away. The music is traditional, reverent, beautiful - exactly what I want to hear on a Sunday morning. But the campfire singin' is good ol' fashioned hymns like your grandma sang in her little white clapboard Baptist church in the country. Pow'r in the Blood. I'll Fly Away. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. Throw in a few requests by the kids - Jesus Loves the Little Children, Deep and Wide (thank you Sweet T - great suggestion!), She'll be Comin' Around the Mountain - and you have quite the sing along.
The accompaniment to this singin' is quite a collection - a couple of guitars, an upright bass, an accordion (seriously!), a few tambourines for the kids who're willing to join in, a washboard. In spite of the fact that I can't carry a tune in a bucket, I enthusiastically sang along because seriously, I just can't resist "I'll Fly Away."
But the mental image I'm tucking into my mind is when we sang Amazing Grace. Derek had Luke snuggled close on his chest in the baby carrier, fast asleep. I'm singing to my little off-key heart's content. We're standing beside friends, surrounded by the church family that helped to carry us through our dark days. And Jay is in the center of it all, grinning and dancing his crazy toddler moves (he definitely got his Daddy's rhythm-or lack thereof). He was absolutely full of life, enjoying himself as totally and completely as he ever has. Beautiful moment, full of amazing grace. I shed a little tear of joy. I am so grateful for the blessings in my life.