Day of Rest


(Auntie Audrey, Grandma, Trev’s Dad)

This pretty much sums up how we’re all feeling after the pace of this week.  Ironically, the three people in the photo are back at it again today, having taken the train to center city for some sightseeing.  It’s our young and spry family of five who are taking the day off today.  All five of us are stricken with a cold, to varying extents.   I’m not sure how the elder Youngs have managed to escape it, but there’s no slowing down die-hard holiday-makers.

On Tuesday, we all stopped by my mom’s store for coffee before going to Pennsbury Manor while Trev worked his one day for this week.  It was a lot of outside time, and it was pretty cold, but Pippa was delighted to get to carry the keys around for our tour guide, and a good time was had by all.

Yesterday we went to the zoo. ‘The zoo?’ you may ask. ‘But it’s February…’ Ah, then you must not know about the great winter bargain at the zoo. If it’s in the 50’s out, you get in for $5. If it’s in the 40’s, you get in for $4. If it’s in the 30’s, $3…. You get the picture. Let’s just say we got in cheap yesterday! I realized while we were there, to my shame, that Romilly had not been to the zoo since she was about Beatrix’s age. She *loved* it. She was out of the stroller running around the place all day (after all, we were the only ten people crazy enough to be at the zoo yesterday), and she literally leapt for joy and laughed outloud with each new animal she encountered.  Except maybe for this one:


This ‘little’ guy, aged 9 months, wanted to be her friend, bless him.  He was trying to high-five her and even put his nose against the glass to show her his silly side, but she wasn’t having it.  This is her walking to me very quickly.  I thought this little cub saw a kindred spirit in her.  A playmate.  A friend he hadn’t met yet.  Trevor thought the look on his face was more like, “Mmm… afternoon tea!”  and I think Romilly sided with him.

Anyway, when faced with the prospect of leaving at 9:30 this moring to catch the train for another cold day of sightseeing with our poor drippy girls, we had to call a younger Young family pow-wow, and we decided to have ourselves a day of rest.  At present, the girls are all napping, which they *desperately* needed, and we’ve had  chance to breathe.

Well, it wouldn’t be right to blog about resting without some mention of what the Bible has to say on the subject.  I could discuss how God rested on the seventh day after completing all of His creating, or how He established the sabbath as a day of rest for his people Israel.  I could even get into why we tend to have our day of rest on Sunday instead of Saturday, the original sabbath, but to be honest, my one day of rest hasn’t cleared my foggy brain quite enough for any of that.  Instead my weary head turns to these verses in Matthew 11:

“28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

What a wearisome thing life is, isn’t it?  When I start to become overwhelmed with life, I have to bring myself back to these words. “Rest for your souls…”  Sometimes we think if our bodies could just get the rest we need, our souls would be just fine.  But without Christ, our spiritual burden is much greater than any physical or emotional one we’ve ever carried.  Our labor apart from Christ is that of one enslaved to a master we can never appease.  Working to satisfy appetites that grow only hungrier, and at the same working to find approval from a Holy God whose approval we know we do not deserve.  What a burden!  There is nothing so restful as trading that burden for whatever the Lord, who made me and loves me, has in store for me.  Whether He would call me to the farthest corner of the world to share His love, or simply to wake up three times in the night to *cheerfully* tend to my poor sick babies, it is a lighter yoke than bearing my own sin.  What an amazing God, to offer us rest not only from the physical labors of life, but also from striving to earn our favor with Him.  We can rest, because Christ has carried that burden for us.  So simple, so sweet, and so easily forgotten, but today I am thankful *again* for the truth of the rest I have in Him.

Visitors, Parties, and Sickness, Oh My!

Whew!  I don’t know if I’ve ever been more grateful to come out the other end of a weekend.

After two days straight of cleaning, washing, shopping and otherwise preparing for their arrival, I am happy to report that Trevor’s family got here safe and sound on Saturday night. All five of them! This visit, we have Mum, Dad, and Nathan as well as Grandma and Auntie Audrey, who haven’t been here since our wedding! That’s ten people staying in our wee four-bedroom Cape Cod (you do the math.) It’s a good thing we like each other. So far the sleeping arrangements seem to be suiting everyone: every time I ask Auntie if she’s *sure* she’s comfortable on the mattress on the floor of the playroom she says, “Oh, yes, Dear, it’s absolutely marvellous! I’m taking it home with me.” Oh, how I love her. Nathan might not be enjoying the sofa quite so much, but he’s certainly not complaining about it, and you can handle anything for a week, right?

So, yesterday was the big day:  Beatrix’s dedication and Romilly’s birthday party.
Photobucket Photobucket  

(Trev’s mum with Bea, and Trev with Ro)

I haven’t actually counted, but let’s see… there were 27 people in my house yesterday! (Remember my house? The tiny little Cape Cod? Yeah, same one.) And it was really fine. I’ll do it again, I think. (You know, not next week or anything. It’s like labor, you have to give yourself time to forget.) Ro held up like a trouper through the endless present-opening (thank you, everyone!) and when she finished, we chose one toy to get out of the packaging and play with before her nap. Do you know, as soon as she got the toy in her hot little hand, she slid off Trevor’s lap and went running to share it with her sister, saying “I need my Pippa!”? I just love that kid. She’s definitely my favorite.

As you can probably tell from the picture of her, the poor birthday girl has been hit with the plague that’s been making it’s way through the toddler Sunday school class, and by the time they went to bed, Pippa was suffering, too. It seems to be mostly a coughing, snotty sort of affair, but when Pippa coughs too much she often gets gaggy and ends up throwing up. So she did a bit of that last night and then took herself off to bed (you know things are bad when a three-year-old does that!) At about ten o’clock we heard her cough some more, then cry a little, and then silence. We let it go rather than wake her up by checking on her. When Trev went to bed a bit later, he peaked in their room as he always does, and found her *covered* in puke vomit hmmm… is there a nice bloggy euphemism for this that I don’t know yet? How on earth do they fall back asleep after that?!? We did our best to clean her up with a warm washcloth, changed her top, and put a clean towel between her and the mess on her bed, but really, short of a bath and complete change of bedding, there wasn’t a lot we could do for her. And she was just *so* fast asleep.

This morning at 7:15 AM, I faced the ineveitable aftermath of the night before, and gave Pippa (and Romilly, who is never to be left out) a bath.  Seriously, I thought I was going to have to shave her head.  I haven’t had to clean up something so foul-smelling and unaccommodating since the time Gulliver ate a stick of butter.  But, we persevered, and I’m happy to report that (by some miracle) she is a picture of health today and we’ve had a lovely day with the family.  Sadly, we did suffer one casualty: Pippa’s little musical ducky that she has had since she was a tiny baby was unsalvageably covered in sick.  She doesn’t know it yet, but he’s out with the birthday party trash.  I’m home now with the napping littles while Pippa and the gang celebrate President’s day with a trip to Valley Forge.

So my house now looks pretty much how it did before I started cleaning four days ago, and the girls’ room still smells a little funky, but there’s nothing like a whirlwind weekend to make you appreciate the status quo. Even when the status quo involves *double* the already large number of people living under our little roof!