Saturday, Scott and I attended a going away cookout for one of the young families in our Sunday school class. It was a time of celebration for what the future held for them and for the relationships they had formed here in Virginia. I watched the young families as they enjoyed the fellowship.
Mothers gathered on a quilt in the grass and babies laid side by side. Crying, cooing, drooling, rolling, scooching(that butt in the air, army kind of pre-crawl), squirming, wiggling and bouncing were the most popular activities. Toddlers were toddling in that walk/run method, designed to keep their head above their feet, with parents nearby for the inevitable tumble. Preschoolers discovered sticks, rocks, basketballs and even an unattended water hose, all to a wonderful sound track of giggles and squeals.
Today we hosted young moms and kids at our pool. Over the course of the day I saw sweet babies sleeping, more toddlers toddling, and preschoolers splashing. Youngsters jumped off ledges to open arms of mothers. Little girls played mermaid and floats became choo choo trains and cargo boats. I threw myself into the playing. Trying to keep up with each little one and trying hard to pay attention to every minute of adorable they presented. The moms asked what I did after they all left our pool each Tuesday. They theorized I took a nap after such a vigorous playtime with the kids. They are not too far off on their theory. I don’t actually take a nap, but I do not plan to accomplish much later in the day. I relax.
I recognize that is something most of these moms do not get to do. I only need energy for part of a day, they need energy for 24 hours. I have a good deal going on here. I have the pleasure of taking in all the fun and delight of their little “bundles of joy”, without having to deal with the hardship each one also represents.
Why do we call them “bundles of JOY?” They poop, pee and spit up. They demand attention and leave parents sleep deprived. They are messy and loud. They cost money. They challenge us, change us and then they grow up. “Bundles of JOY?”
The reason babies and children are our “bundles of joy” has nothing to do with whether they are perfect, quiet, happy, clean or always on their best behavior. These little ones are a “joy” because they fill the heart of their moms and dads.
After observing the energy and diversity of all these little ones over the last few days it is clear they are pure joy to those who love them. “Bundles of happiness” would not suffice when describing them. Happiness is based on circumstances. Happiness comes and goes, we have ups and downs…but joy is not based on what is around us. Joy is what is in us. Joy does not change.
Children running, preschoolers playing and babies on blankets are “bundles of Joy” reminding us that true joy is a heart that is full, no matter what the circumstances. According to John 15:11-13, our Lord explains that when we fill our hearts with Him…”abide in Him”,” keep His commandments”,” love one another” we will know joy and our “joy will be made full.”
That is what I seek, to abide in Him and have the joy of the Lord in me. I don’t need to be happy all the time, but I want to know joy beyond my circumstances. My Lord, my bundle of joy.