We are an Easter people of hope Print
Everyday Faith
Thursday, Apr. 05, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

Everyday Faith column by Julianne Nornberg

Recently the sun shone gently on the slopes of the river bank as my four children ran alongside it, shouting and laughing at their stick boats they'd sent downriver.

"Here comes mine!" they shouted excitedly as their sticks bobbed over the ripples in the water.

Buds on the willow tree above danced in the breeze as early spring grass poked its way up from the dry brown mud.

The earth and my children seemed to be awakening in the quiet light of spring.

Maturing in life

Memories tumbled about me as I watched my children, all of whom have grown and matured in so many ways since their babyhood.

Years ago we'd come to the same river and I'd hold their hands tightly as they explored the water's edge. But now, with knowledge and maturity that comes with age and experience, they were free to explore on their own and make their own discoveries.

Since when had my children grown up so fast?

It seems that just last week my oldest rested as a baby in my arms in the rocking chair. When did she suddenly become this beautiful, intelligent girl on the verge of womanhood? Did I serve her well as her mother? Was I the best possible mother I could have been in those years that whizzed by?

I cannot undo choices of the past.

Trying to be the best

And no, I was not always the best possible mother I could have been. Circumstances, sickness, weakness, and sinfulness all play into who we are on our journeys as parents.

But so does goodness, love, truth, and grace. And the knowledge that we strive to do the best we can with whatever tools God has given us up to that point. With humility we can learn from our mistakes and ask God to help us do better in the future.

And as I look back on the time I spent with my children in their early years, yes, perhaps I could have reacted more patiently when difficulties arose.

Perhaps I could have spent more time building forts instead of vacuuming around them. But God gave me the grace I needed to get through each day and help form the beautiful people my children are becoming.

The hope for spring

Is there such a thing as no regrets? Perhaps not. Only because we are human, full of natural tendencies to fall again and again in the desert of sinfulness. But God promises us that on the other side of the desert, spring awaits us with the hope and joy of Easter.

Spring is now here. And with it comes the overwhelming joy of Easter, the knowledge that Jesus has set our souls free forever to be with God in heaven.

Nothing on this earth can dampen that joy -- not even regret for past sinfulness -- for we are an Easter people, untethered by the things and worries of this world.

Let us live that way and, like children running joyfully along a river bank, let us show our young ones how.

Julianne Nornberg, mother of four young children, is a member of St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee.