Friday night was our annual HOPE Night - a culmination of our homeschool co-op's year. Each grade level presented something - from the 2 year olds right up through our college-age guys. The kids were happy, sang and recited with excellence and God received the glory. I was especially pleased with the 7-9th grade Public Speaking class I was honored and blessed to teach this year. They have been working hard on a skit entitled "At the Cross" (can be found here). The audience "met" characters who knew Jesus or met Him on His way to the cross. Peter, John, Mary - the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Simon of Cyrene….just to name a few. My prayer was that what Christ did on the cross would become more real to "my kids" and then they would be able to make it more real to the audience. I believe my prayer was answered. Afterwards, "my kids" (my students are much more than students. I have grown to love them. Therefore, I naturally refer to them as "my kids.") surprised me and all came marching up the center aisle to present me with beautiful flowers and a basket overflowing with things I love - coffee gift cards, chocolate truffles, caramel creams, scarves, nail polish, things for my hair, etc. Their outpouring of love made me cry. How humbled and blessed I am to have gotten to know these wonderful young people. How blessed I am to be a part of such a ministry.
Saturday evening, a handsome young man escorted me to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's presentation of the music of John Williams. Ok - the handsome escort was my 16 year old son. The Kodak Hall at Eastman is just as beautiful as it has always been and to be surrounded by friends and beautiful music is a bit like heaven for me. I smile now remembering the look of intent attention on my son's face as he listened to his first Philharmonic concert. I cannot wait to go with him again.
Sunday was a day filled with love. My husband went out early to get things for breakfast, only to find me already in the kitchen with my youngest daughter helping me whip up some pancakes when he got home. He got some of my favorite things - a way he shows his love for me. My kids wrote notes for me and were generally kind. We went to my mother's church, as did my brother and his family. We heard a wonderful message honoring moms and then the whole crazy gang went for lunch to a cozy family restaurant with delicious food. The day was beautiful with clear blue skies, warm temperatures and bright sun, so the drive home was very nice. I got a bit of a nap and, after eating dinner with my in-laws, my husband and I went for a walk with our 3 youngest.
Truly, a weekend dreams are made of. So, you can imagine my confusion when I went to bed feeling sad last night and woke up this morning in the same condition.
It took me a while to realize it, but, I truly was laden down with blessings. So much love had been poured on me and, while I tried to bless others this weekend, I wasn't able to "off-load" as much as had been heaped upon me. It was almost as if too much "glory" had been placed upon me. Glory is not easily handled by humans as it is truly meant for God. I knew the only way I could obtain a lighter heart was to bestow blessing and love on others. By loving others, I glorify God; therefore, I am returning the glory given to me back to where it belongs.
So, I immediately began praying for others. Then, I texted those people to let them know I was thinking of and praying for them. This shows love. I wrote cards of sympathy to friends who are grieving and I began to write thank you notes to the many who blessed me over the weekend. I was able to sit and chat with a traveling preacher's wife and just enjoy the sunshine with her. I was able to open my home for a very casual supper tonight - but those who joined us had fun and, I hope, felt love.
By showing acts of love and trying to bless others, my heart is, indeed, lighter. The focus is off of me and on others. The glory is going to God, just as it should.
I have learned that being sad and feeling weighed down isn't always from too many cares - but sometimes, it comes from too many blessings. We must sometimes give away blessings in order to really experience the joy of the blessings given to us and feel lighter.
So, tonight, I feel loved. I feel blessed. I feel happy. I feel ready to continue loving and blessing others.