Week 146: Birthday Party for Dad
We celebrated Sarah’s Dad’s birthday in style…
Each Sunday, my wife and I cook and eat a meal together — intentionally. Every Friday, I’ll be sharing our experience here in this space. I want to see the growth that will come in our marriage because of this. I hope you enjoy our story. You can find last week’s post here.
There’s a unique kind of excitement whenever Sarah and I make a trip to Costco. People are everywhere checking items off their lists. There are so many things to grab your attention as soon as you walk in. We’re like kids in a candy store.
Does this mean we need to get out more? (Don’t answer that.)
Today we were here with one thing in a mind — a birthday cake for my father-in-law. On the way, though, other things caught our attention. Like a new laundry hamper that we desperately needed. Oh, and look at the deals on meat in the deli! And…well, you get the idea.
Finally, we made our way back to the bakery. Unfortunately, the cake we came for wasn’t available. This tends to jolt me a bit. I’m the type of shopper that comes to the store with something in mind and attempts to make a beeline for that item and that alone. But Costco has some kind of magical effect on me. My eyes are opened up to other possibilities than just what shows up on the list. This can be dangeours when it comes to the grocery budget, but when you are open to whatever opportunities might arise, you often find that serendipitous things start to occur.
We found a chocolate layer cake that looked beautiful and we knew Dale Susan Schoettle would love it. We grabbed and made our way to the checkout…with that hamper in tow as well.
Not long after, we found ourselves at a familiar table with our family gathered around. My father-in-law was at the end of the table with that cake in front of him. My niece and nephew were gathered around smiling and waiting for Aunt Sarah to finish lighting the candles. I stood by my brother and sister-in-law as we all waited patiently for that moment to arrive. The candles were lit, we sang Happy Birthday, and Dad took in a deep breath before blowing out the candles.
We shared the cake and ice cream, but we shared far more than that, too. Family gathered together around a table will always be special and sacred. That time is so valuable.
These may be familiar moments. They may be common. But they are no less important. Any time family is gathered together, special moments tend to ensue. We had a wonderful time celebrating Dad’s birthday, and it was a fresh reminder that simple moments hold great power.
Intentions and Creating Space for Joy
You’d think that our intention of getting a cake at Costco would have been fairly easy to accomplish. What’s intresting is that we came to Costco with one intention (a specific cake), but that just happened to get thwarted. But the larger intention (getting a cake for Sarah’s Dad) was still open. Things happen in life, and our plans don’t always work out. But putting intention — putting thought — into our interactions with those we love is something that must continue regardless.
My father-in-law’s birthday falls in mid-December, a time when holiday preparations are in full swing. The seemingly simple task of finding a cake was a reminder to me of a principle that often finds its way into the holiday season.
Even simple intentions can be incredibly impactful when they’re aimed at creating space to share joy with people you love.
Making a meal. Decorating the tree. Putting together a Christmas playlist. Putting thought into the stockings along with chocolate.
As I write this, the Christmas holiday has come and gone. New Year’s is on its way. With it come resolutions. Mine tend to focus on how many books I want to read in the coming year, but this year I think I may add one.
I want to carry on that practice of simple intentions and creating space. Sharing moments. Partaking in joy.
Sarah is such a great encourager in this regard. I’m always impressed by how she cares for and is so considerate of the people in her life. She’s always looking for thoughtul ways to share joy with family and friends. She has a seemingly endless capacity for this. I’ve tried to take notes in our three years of marriage, but I want to learn even more in 2019.
So as we head into a New Year, may we all look for ways where we can be intentional in creating space for joy to be shared between family and friends. It doesn’t have to be a big production. It can be as simple as buying a cake at Costco. But simple moments hold great power, especially when they involve family gathered together around a table.
Wishing you many great moments with family and friends in the coming year.