Champions For Christ

How do you respond to compliments about your children?.. Aww thanks, OR that’s sweet of you to say, OR yes we’re lucky they’re great kids, OR we thank God for his blessings? etc etc

All of these are appropriate response in my opinion, however I especially like to return the praise to GOD.

You see, last week a dear friend was going to be one of the leaders of the music ministry at a local Parish’s VBS (Vacation Bible School) . The theme of the VBS week was Champions For Christ.

This friend had inquired about having our oldest daughter assist her in teaching the VBS younglings. After I wrote her to inform her that she was already committed elsewhere that week, a lightbulb moment occurred to me!

It went something like this in my head…. “Well she couldn’t do it Buhhh , what if our younger three ALL could?.. I mean why not send our twin 12 yr old boys with very little dancing experience, to lead music and dance ministry at VBS?…..

It continued…

“I mean ,sure , they played little Joseph In the musical Joseph and the technicolor dream coats years ago,that ought to count for something right? Besides, they will have their younger sister who is mostly a “grandma” with her 12 yr old wisdom and her fantastic dancethletics ( I know , I know it’s not a real word lol)😉 shepherding them.”

My friend jumped on the idea once I shared it with her, maybe because she was part desperate for helpers to help her teach those random praise songs and dances she was charged with teaching preschoolers to 2nd graders, OR just a lovely friend and a great supporter of our family. I personally vote for the latter.

In any case, she bought and loved the idea and I was thrilled to unglue my kids’ eyes off their video games and TVs and get my three tweens out of the house for a few hours each day that week!

WIN- WIN!!!

A few hours after I dropped them off bright and early , the first morning, ofcourse not before I double checked that no one forgot their deodorant or water bottles. I began settling into my clinic when I got the most lovely surprise.

It was a text , filled with compliments for my kids! I have to be honest with you , my dear readers..I was glowing internally, because in my humble opinion… As parent , OUR Children can truly be OUR biggest compliment in life .

Throughout the week, the compliments kept pouring in, at times extended from people I hadn’t even met! , who told my friend, how much our children were blessing them, and how well behaved they were … HEAD SWOON☺️

Then came this layer of awakening, …I began to wonder whether I was surprised by the compliments?.. not entirely. Then I wondered if I too , give my children the evidence of my TOTAL belief in THEIR abilities consistently?.. hmm🤔. The truth is that as a mother , I find myself charged with DUTY.. duty to raise good citizens of the world. This is a duty I take very seriously, heck I even make my living (as a Child and Adolescents Psychiatris) helping others raise good citizens for our world.

However sometimes, DUTY can drown us from perspective. We forget to be PRESENT to all the good that is already around us, all the yield that our DUTY is already producing. We keep focusing on doing more and more, including inspecting for water bottles and double checking that deodorants have been applied lol.

It could be like missing the forest for the trees!

Well, this week’s Catheletics VBS at Incarnate Word Parish , reminded me to be MINDFUL of my yield as a mother . I am very grateful to be raising young citizens of the world whose inner light shines bright, even when I am not right there MOTHERING them. I am also grateful that they seem to be humble to their abilities too.

Therefore , I have received those compliments graciously AND return the praise to the one who made ALL of this possible…GOD!

Ultimately, VBS ended with a bang! Catchy songs and dances were learned by so many younglins ( and hopefully by some young at heart folks too), my lovely friend and her colleagues, did a fantastic job leading an amazing music ministry at VBS , our children got to spend more time together and grew closer this week – an unexpected gift all around!

I must say, I had hoped the week would go well, however I mostly trusted without any real evidence that our kids will emerge as real Champions for Christ. This was total bonus!

Of course they’re not perfect (yet)lol, but they danced , served as techno guy for audiovisual and bogeyed for Christ, all while mentoring young ones in the process.

I marvel at how the orderer of the universe knows EXACTLY what we need and when. We certainly ALL needed the JOYS and WINS that came from this week’s VBS.

My DH * and I very proud of our kid’s hard work and service to others this week.

Dear reader, when was the last time you took a chance and leaped with trust? How do you respond to compliments of yourself or your children , if you have them? Where is your perspective taking lens these days? I sure hope it’s PRESENT to all the blessings around you , versus muddled with DUTY.

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by finding and clicking the follow icon, makes it easier to share these musings with you and ensures that you can get notifications on future blog posts and not miss out !💕

*DH (Darling husband)

Easter Triduum

“The three 24-hour periods of the triduum include the major feasts for all four days at the heart of the Easter celebration: the evening feast of Holy Thursday (also called Maundy Thursday), Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday” (Google search)

I am a Catholic Christian. Part of my faith practice is to attempt to participate in the triduum which occurs during the Holy Week – the week leading up to Easter /Resurrection Sunday.

I used the word “attempt” because this year , it was mostly hoping to wrap up a late clinic in time to make it over with DH and the kids, to church to participate.

Holy Thursday is most likely my FAVORITE celebration of the liturgical year! If you ever have a chance to experience this ( Incase you haven’t ) , I would highly recommend this.

Growing up in West Africa, Holy Thursday Aka Maundy Thursday was one of the highlights of the liturgical year.

This is the day the church celebrates the last supper , while our Jewish brothers celebrate Passover.

The evening is solemn and beautiful . There is a real sense of Christ as one of us, sharing a meal with his disciples, then practically begging them to stay up and keep watch with him, for his hour of death was near. The sleepy eyed disciples likely startled at the ambush by the soldiers.

So much action playing out .. Judas doing his “ thing” with the betrayal kiss, Peter with his hot temper cutting off a Roman soldier’s ear in defense of Jesus, and getting admonished in real time by Jesus. I mean LOTS of action happening that night indeed ! The drama continues into the next day when finally Jesus takes his last breath on the cross .. IT IS FINISHED!

Jesus conquered death in order that you and I may live eternally with God. What an incredible expression for LOVE!

Fast forward to 2022. I am a mother of four. I rush to get my clinic notes completed and head to mass at 7 pm with my family. We gather.. we made it just in time to occupy the last pew on the side of the church.

I finally catch my rushed breath to center myself on what I am experiencing. It truly is a beautiful night. The scent of the incense fill the air . There are many priest and deacons preceding over this very special mass, much like I recalled in my mind’s eye as a child in Nigeria. The Altar always seemed so full of priest and seminarians back then , all dressed in their white habit . They look so Holy.

Then come the part where we , the church congregation are invited to wash each other’s feet , just like Jesus did to his disciples. A sign of love and service.

Traditionally, DH and I would wash each four children’s feet when they were younger . However this year, we decided to try something different.. our twin boys took turns washing each other and our two daughters washed one another’s feet.

The idea is you go up to the altar where the wash basin is set up , take turns showing LOVE and SERVICE to one another as you pour warm water on their bare feet and then dry their feet afterwards. You may choose to say a prayer of thanks for them or forgive them a hurt , whichever the case may be.

Watching our children gift each other in service was tear jerking. Of course, I must admit there was that mother hen part of me , that had to refrain from worrying about whether they were doing it right. Honestly there is No right or wrong , it was just ALL in the doing 💕

Twins washing each other’s feet❤️
Twins washing each other’s feet❤️

Personally, I love getting to wash DH’s feet because I get to literally SERVE him, which is something he is most deserving of , for more reasons than I care to blog about right now. You see , because I think one of his LOVE LANGUAGE is acts of service , therefore, we his family, are great benefactors of his service on a daily basis!

When it came time for him to wash my feet, DH seems to forget we are still at the Altar of God o lol. He’s gently caressing my feet while he whispers loving words to me. My soul is melting in this love that I’m receiving and giving!

The washing of the feet command is one of the few acts that Jesus asks us to repeat in memory of him… what a LOVE jackpot!

How do you celebrate leading up to and on Easter? Please feel free to share your traditions so others may learn.

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕