I wear waterproof mascara on Sundays. I can’t make it through worship sets or communion without tears finding their way to my eyes. Maybe its the beauty of corporate worship. The truth of our faith being sung in unison; a bold reminder to my heart that life has conquered death because of Jesus. Maybe it’s the elderly couple that serves communion, their tenderness, an aura about them. Maybe it’s watching Wyatt intently listening to the worship, raising his hands, patting me on the back and giving me kisses.
My sisters and I started a study by She Reads Truth called “Mourning and Dancing”, one month after our mother died. We have talked many times, that the moments of our lives will forever be marked with both mourning and dancing. Both small and big moments. We will forever be enraptured by the beauty of our ever-growing children, but very aware of a presence missing. I am loving, forever, moments with my husband, yet mourning the loss of my father’s beloved. Weddings, graduations, holidays, basketball and soccer games, baptisms, births, Sunday dinners. All beautiful moments, now dancing with mourning.
Yesterday, I took Wyatt swimming at our neighborhood pool. As we were getting his shark flip flops on, and with Wy’s excited shrills filling the air, I reached for my phone to call my mom to ask her to come with us. Mourning and dancing. And as Wy and I walked to the pool, I couldn’t help but stare at this little boy, who was just an infant not long ago. I loved the way my mom looked at Wyatt with all the love and tenderness the world could hold, and in that moment of looking at my son, I could see her. That image of her adoring him, and declaring the faithfulness of the Lord she saw reflected in his face. Mourning and dancing. Most moments will be this- seeing so evidently the beauty of the Lord’s faithfulness and moments of heaven coming to earth, while being paired with the the realization that there is still brokeness and sadness and hurting.
I’m a nostalgic soul, I always have been. But more so now, I search for senses that bring sweet memories of past, crashing in on me. Past memories that hold all my people in them. Today it was grammy’s chocolate cake. She made this cake for EVERY birthday. It’s mouthwatering, fudgy-deliciousness and a complete mess all at the same time. I was feeling super ‘pinterest-y’ and wanted a three layered cake, so I increased the recipe by half, but the cake is so fudgy, my three-tiered cake ended up resembling the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Nonetheless, it was delicious and I think it’s Brandon’s new favorite.
It was a perfect addition to our Sunday dinner, but even so, a presence was missing.
Life is beautiful, filled with both mourning and dancing.
PS I posted the recipe below. A Magnusson family treasure, so consider yourself blessed.