Easter Volley

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Jeffrey has discovered badminton.
He dug deep in the old Rubbermaid chest we keep in the garage—the one with the bubble wands and the forgotten sandbox toys, the one with the spiders and deflated basketballs—he dug deep one day in boredom and pulled out a bent up racquet and a birdie. And then he found his dad’s old racquetball racket.
For me.
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Every day before time to start dinner, he enters my space and casually asks, “Are you doing anything, mom?”
I always am.
Most days I stop what I am doing—whether reading, or writing, or laundry, or whatever—I put it down and join him in the front yard.
This youngest son of mine is always up to something. But I’ve never seen him sacrifice his body for a birdie serve. Reluctant though I am to give up my doings…I am soon laughing at his antics and joining in the good-natured taunt volley. There is no net so some of his returns are rather iffy, but I don’t care. We laugh and giggle while Lucy Mae watches.
It’s plain fun.
I read the devotional at dinner time, and we pray together the thanks for this amazing sacrifice. We each have given our own sacrifice this Lent but don’t talk about it so much. You’re not supposed to, you know. I feel changed by the days but I don’t know. I don’t know if they do. I am memorizing scripture and we walk together and I talk Jesus to them and I try to live Him every day. But the Easter egg days are over and the baskets have lost the shine. The boys will help to hide the eggs for the little ones at church tonight.
I read about Seder suppers and lit candles and foot washings. If I mention these things, a collective groan rises in my male-dominated household. Every year I try something new but this year, I just live it and trust.
The boys’ youth group is reenacting the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday. And last night Jeffrey wrote a poem about Easter. It talked about eggs and candy and baskets. But it ended just right—with Jesus.
Their faith is becoming their own, and though I celebrate the beauty of this, it frightens me a little. What if it isn’t important enough? What if they forget?
Last night, as I tucked the littlest in, we parted the blinds to stare up at the almost full moon. That big orange glow in the sky always moves deep places. Gravity, I think. But I can’t help thinking and I tell him the same thing I do every year, about the Hebrew calendar and how it’s related to the moon and how we know that Jesus looked up at this same orange face and must have marveled at its beauty.
The moon has seen it all.
Yesterday, I bought a new badminton set at Kmart. It came with four racquets and four birdies. And a net.
I can’t wait to try it out. He is so going down.

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Sharing with Jen today:

And Bonnie:

And my sweet friend, Emily:


  1. says

    It is a monumental transition to watch as their faith becomes their own. And we, as mothers, hold our breaths and pray and continue to sow seeds into tender hearts, believing the Lord of the Harvest will bring forth abundant fruit. And when He does it, we praise Him with hearts overflowing. “I have no greater Joy than to hear that my children are walking in the Truth.” III John 1:4

  2. says

    Yes,the moon has seen it all and it was blessed to enjoy the gaze of Jesus Himself. Well done as always, Laura.
    BTW, Keep up the good badminton work!
    Happy Easter/Resurrection Sunday.

  3. says

    I have force-fed my family devotional readings and wearied them with symbolic practices, trying to infuse meaning into our family Christmas and Easter celebrations. They always felt like empty rituals and never worked. I like your way of celebrating better–playing badminton and gazing at the moon. Surely those are beautiful ways to point to the beauty, power, and goodness of God.

  4. says

    Such beautiful thoughts. I love the way you lay down pretty much anything because you have learned to play.
    Are those current pictures? I am slightly jealous of all that green grass…

  5. says

    This has touched me somewhere deep in my soul that I cannot quite articulate yet. Somewhere between the stopping of doings, the what-if they forgets, the ending with Jesus — it all seems so real, so strong, so embedded in the heart of Christ.

    And thank you for the comment on my blog about the community recharging you. It blesses me that you are blessed.

  6. says

    Badminton. I love that game. It’s addicting.

    This year I don’t feel as if I’m doing enough to welcome Easter either. Your words are poetry.

    Have a wonderful Easter, Laura.

  7. says

    This was a beautiful post… it struck a chord in me. I have felt helpless this year as well feeling though I am not doing enough to get across the meaning of Easter to my kids. So I pray that God will speak to them. That as we sit through that Good Friday service, they will GET the sacrafice and rejoice on Easter morning.
    So many good points int this post… Thank you!

  8. says

    I have felt that same thing Laura – not doing enough this Lenten season. I am always concerned about the doing.
    I think, looking back from this empty nest, that it is the way we live your life that most influences the faith of our children. They watch. They store in their hearts memories of a Mom who stops what she is doing to volley a birdie back and forth.
    You model Him so well Laura, and it will nurture faith in their hearts.

  9. says

    My eldest sister was on a high school badminton team. It was vicious.

    Your words remind me of my college volleyball days. One particularly zealous teammate encouraged us to dive, saying, “Sacrifice your body!”

  10. says

    What a delightful post. And what “should” we be doing the week leading up to Easter? I think it’s a time of quiet reflection…not on some of the superficial acts that we may do to make people believe we’re doing Easter the right way. I hope you have a blessed Easter with or without badminton!

  11. says

    When the boys were little and in toilet-training, they’d say, “Mommy, I have to go potty!” And I would certainly drop whatever I was doing to take care of it.

    I’ve decided, too, to respond the same way now, whenever they say, “Mom, do you want to do something together?” I just drop what I’m doing and do the game or read the book or whatever they suggest. Isn’t that just as urgent (though maybe not as messy) as the potty-training times?

  12. says

    You are an amazing mother.

    And I’m sure I’ve said this before, but having my children in the Catholic school system here is , well, the way a lot of this happens.

    If it was up to me.. oh my.

  13. says

    It is hard to keep my hands off of other’s faith too, sometimes. I like remembering my own limitations and pairing it with the limitless Christ within me, the hope of glory. And take him down. Do you know how great it is that your son still asks and you stop what you’re doing and say yes?

  14. says

    “I always am.

    Most days I stop what I am doing”

    this is what matters, i think. you leave your place of comfort and join him, out of love. don’t you think that is the essence of the Easter story?

  15. says

    Ah, miss Laura, I am so glad another mom and young son flail about on their lawn chasing plastic birdies! It is a grande time. How about you two come here and play us–although today we will have to dodge rain & sleet & snow.

    We are doing our recognition of the significance of this week different than most out here in the cyberworld too. I reckon God knows the aroma of our hearts without us lighting the perfect candle.


  16. says

    We are at a new church and while they make a big deal with the kids during their church time they don’t focus on holidays during the service. It really is an equipping church and amazing things are happening….BUT Easter snuck up on me. With no children in the house and feeling like surely it is still March I was dumbfounded to realize that it is this Sunday. I am so thankful that He sees our hearts. I’m SURE He blesses our efforts on holidays to be more focused and pondering….but I LOVE the Damascus road moments throughout my year when I have those moments of epiphany. I am His, His love for me is stunning….and I am humbled at His feet. Blessings to you sweet Laura…may your abiding be glorious this day! HUG

  17. says

    Every year I try something new but this year, I just live it and trust.

    and this, dear friend, this is what will strike them most: this living and trusting and playing badminton when inwardly we’re begging them to believe, because that’s all that really matters…. this dichotomy of parenting and letting. you are a beautiful mama, laura.

  18. says

    I had to smile at the description of the chest in the garage. Sounds just like mine, with bubble wands, deflated balls, spiders and all. 🙂 Enjoy the game!

  19. says

    What a great story!

    And I know….they won’t forget! My sister and I, both 30is or close to it…have NEVER forgotten the foundations that my parents poured into us. Your faithfulness will see its rewards! I am sure of this!

  20. says

    Love it. We just bought some badminton gear this week, even though I’m cheap and do I didn’t want to… Now I am so glad I did. I often get that little “mooooom? are you doin’ anything right now?” just about making supper time most nights, and I never want to run to the playroom to get bossed around by Mr. bossy britches until I am sitting like a peer with my arms crossed and a pout on my face because nothing I do is EVER right! 🙂
    But now, badminton in the front yard, that might just do the trick. 😉
    sounds lovely.

    and I loved what you wrote about celebrating Easter in your house full of boys, and how to work a way for it without getting a symphony of “man-sighs” in your direction… you GIRL! 🙂
    But you’re right when you say it, just live it and trust…
    all this life can really be sacred.

    One time a friend of mine told me, after I complained to her for advice on how to kick the nightly TV shows out of the schedule now and then with my husband, that if I go to the TV with him with the perspective that I am in service to the Lord during that time, and I minister to him, even with just holding his hand, rubbing his head or feet, thinking of his needs, praying for him for a moment… It will be the same as if I took him to church with me… maybe even better.

    I try to remember that when I feel like my boys are not so into intentional “Jesus” time like I am… such a GIRL! 🙂

    Blessings and Love to you again.
    Love to read you.

  21. says

    It will be important enough… their faith. It will walk its own course for both of them, but their faith roots go deep and will blossom in due season.

    Because of Jesus. Because you’re taking them by the hand and making sure that they know him.

    Keep to it. Live your Easter, sister.


  22. says

    I love seeing your Momma heart in this post. It’s so hard to let everything go when they need us, isn’t it? Blessing comes from every moment we sacrifice, though. I’ve never regretted turning away from a chore to attend to my children, but I always regret not turning away.

    Blessings to you! And sure wish I could have the pleasure of good conversation with you, over tea! Your heart is so beautiful!

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