Family Friday: Celebrating Milestones

This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. (Exodus 12:14)

I took a moment to scroll through my Facebook feed this week, and I didn’t get far before I saw pictures of happy, familiar faces in red caps and gowns on the Precious Cargo Academy page. I felt a mixture of joy, nostalgia, and a bit of sadness. So much joy, because Dr. Badham and her PCA team had created a safe way for families to celebrate their child’s learning and growth during a pandemic. Nostalgia, because in 18 short months the PCA community has grown near and dear to my heart. I felt sadness because COVID-19 restrictions have prevented me from physically interacting with the VPK children. I remember the joy of giving congratulatory hugs at last year’s graduation and wish I could have done the same this year.

Last week, my immediate family gathered together for the first time since Thanksgiving to celebrate my son’s wedding, a milestone that signifies his maturity and readiness to create a family of his own. When I saw him, I threw all caution aside and held him tight. I couldn’t hold back the depth of my love and pride. When we arrived at my daughter’s home, I held her tight, too. In early April she was hospitalized with severe ketoacidosis and diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. In that hug I felt sweet relief and joy for the gift of her life, and our family honors and celebrates each stepping stone in her recovery.

No celebration comes without courage, hard work, and perseverance. For every holiday and life milestone on our calendars these last four months, we have had to celebrate in new ways. For every day-to-day activity outside of our homes, we have had to adjust to new strategies. Take a step back and reflect on your experience since the pandemic began. Perhaps you have begun to let go of waiting for life to be different and embraced the present. Perhaps you have learned a new skill or completed a long-put-off project. Maybe the members of your household have grown in their ability to offer and receive forgiveness.

Besides the first steps, baptisms, birthdays, graduations and weddings, it is also those everyday victories that make us smile and say “Remember when!” or “Look how far I have come!” Big or small, every milestone matters and is to be celebrated.

Merrill Noble
Director of Children’s Ministry

For parents of school-age children:
Gracious and loving God, thank you for the milestones that remind us of where we have been. Please help us remember that we did not make it this far alone; that in hard times, proud times, and even ordinary times, you have been with us. Remind us through your Holy Spirit to be aware of your presence and to listen for your voice as you lead us in the ways that we should go. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Family Activity
Start a Family Recipe Book. With so many more meals eaten at home, what recipes have become your favorites? Begin your collection with the silliest, easiest, quickest recipe you use most often. Under each recipe, write one or two ways it connects your family. Let kids doodle illustrations. When your children are grown, they’ll enjoy showing the next generation the food (and fun!) you made together.