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The family is here, 10 adults and 8 1/2 children, the 9th child is due in October.  There is a fresh coat of dirt mixed with juice spills and ice cream under the island counter that even Tip, the dog won’t lick up.  Echoes of screams and squeals are vibrating throughout the house and yard, and I am sitting on the swing with sticky fingers surrounded by mounds of paper napkins stained with popsicle juice, art projects and a newly paint spotted t-shirt.  Oh, and I am 62 and at the moment I feel old.

Its Sunday.  Rock of Ages plays while I encompass and embrace all that surrounds me.  My 8 month old baby grand son hides his face to play peek-a-boo.  Lord, let me hide my self in you.  I want to be washed as clean as the children jumping into the pool, I want to be refreshed and free of all that binds me to earthly things, but Lord you know me, and you know my weaknesses, the same old potholes I continually fall into will always be in my path.  Helpless as the children, dirty as the kitchen floor and weak I am.  But you are the same Lord who has forgiven me, like these mommies and daddies, when Kells slugs T-man, or the popsicle stains my white skirt, over and over and over again. You forgive.

Now the remains of the party spread before me and I see the remnants of the weekend with new eyes.  Toys and popsicle sticks, paintings pinned around to display young talent or love of color.  Fingerprints of youthful energy scattered everywhere remind me that soon I will have to wash clean the surface, but for now, how I love the image of one that has been here.  Sweet, sweet Jesus you have taken the events of this weekend and scattered it all around.  I can only be filled with thankfulness, sticky fingered thankfulness.