Well, baby shower #1 is in the books and I have to say that it was pretty awesome! We had one of the ladies there shooting FaceBook Live video during the time we were opening the gifts and there was one comment made on the video that has stuck with me since I first read it. The comment was: “I have never seen the father more excited than the mother. I love it!”
After reading that, I had to push play on the video to see exactly what she was talking about. (You can see the video below.) And after watching 20 minutes of myself laughing at everyone and everything in sight…I have to say, yeah, I did look pretty excited there.
Now, the full story is that this baby shower was headed up by my sister, Tookie, who did an absolutely amazing job of pulling this thing together. The place was great, the food was amazing (shout out to Jay Thompson for the Puerto Rican Rice!), and the gifts were much needed as we begin to actively prepare for our child’s arrival. However, more than anything else, it was the people we were surrounded by that did it for me.
Romans 12:15 gives one of the most practical instructions you will ever find for showing love for another person. It simply says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” So, to be completely surrounded by people who have been living examples of this in my life gave me an indescribable feeling that nearly brought tears to my eyes on several occasions throughout the night. I mean, these people are the ones who have seen me through EVERYTHING!
Some of those who came out are blood relatives that I never would have made it through life without. And others were “adopted family” because they have consistently proven they really meant it when they said, “If you ever need me, I’ll be there.”
The people there that night were the ones who helped me survive a devastating divorce. They were there when I lost my first home to foreclosure. They loved me through a time of the worst depression I have ever faced. They were the ones who walked with me while I searched for my identity. They prayed with me when I couldn’t pray for myself. They encouraged me to never give up on God during a time when I wanted nothing to do with Him. They were there to witness the entire rebuild of my life from the ground up. They celebrated with me when I found and married Sonia. They cried with me when I lost my mother a year and a half later. They congratulated me on getting commissioned as a pastor & confirmed the calling on my life. And here they were once again, partying along with me as Sonia & I begin our own journey through parenthood.
Let me tell you…looking around the room that night confirmed that I am blessed beyond measure, as the one thing life has truly taught me is that it is not about money or material possessions. Understand that life is really about loving and being loved. That’s it. Nothing more. When I finally learned that lesson, it completely changed the way that I view living, as that realization has given me a joy that actually does keep me laughing at everything and everybody! And believe me when I say there is nothing on earth like being surrounded by other people doing the exact same thing.
I want to end this post by encouraging you to closely examine your circle of friends and family. If you find anyone in that circle who is unable to live Romans 12:15 by celebrating with you in the good times & supporting you through the bad, then you need to hand them their walking papers and make the circle a little tighter. I promise that if you do this, it won’t matter where you and your circle get together. Because, no matter what the occasion may be, I guarantee you will always have the time of your life…even if you’re a grown man at a Baby Shower!