When I was uploading pictures to my computer yesterday, I was pretty bummed that the one above came out so fuzzy. It had looked clear on the back of my camera after I took it.
Still, fuzzy or not, I am sharing it.
Because it marks an occasion our sweet Nina has been looking forward to for years!
Yes, our girl finally got to sing in the church children's choir!
After years of making microphones from pencils, magnet toys and even balloons...
And, singing praises as she played cantor...
Nina overcame her still developing reading skills to practice, practice, practice, and, thus, memorized songs for this past Sunday's Mass.
What a delight it was to capture her sitting in the front pew of the choir section eagerly awaiting the beginning of the Mass after I came out from helping her big brother get ready to serve on the altar.
Nina was beaming -- before, during and after the Mass. So pleased to be offering the gift of song up to our Lord.
I, of course, beamed, too. So happy that my girl truly wants to sing for Jesus and is now old enough to do so with the choir.
I, admittedly, also cried. During Mass, I got grateful-teary as Nina served in the choir while Luke served on the altar and was later overcome with sad tears as I looked up at the crucifix and the stained-glass window of Mary and prayed for the young girls our extended family has recently lost to suicide.
Why did their girlish excitement and gifts to give have to be extinguished so soon by their own hands? How many prayers must be offered in reparation? how long will healing take?
Sorrow weighed heavily on me.
Then, I caught Luke smiling and waving from the altar at his sister, who waved back. It was all I could do not to laugh as I shot Luke a look of redirection and then redirected myself to the what I should have been focusing on all along -- the Mass.
What a gift it is to us. And how happy I am that my children are choosing to share their gifts of service as a part of the celebration.
May their smiles and song keep going and growing.
One of Nina's dreams came true this past Sunday. Through mercy and grace, so many other dreams will, too, I know!
Might you join me in prayers of praise and petition for all little girls on earth and those dearly departed?