Saturday, 22 March 2014

Happy Days

A month can seem an eternity.  A month can be the blink of an eye.

Enoch is already a month past his 11th birthday.   His cake made it onto the blog - but the rest of our celebration with him did not.  As did many other things.

Suffice it to say - there is much of our lives that does not show up here - but then that's how it should be isn't it?  It would be pretty creepy if every single part of our lives were documented and sliced and diced and served up for public consumption.

So if we rewind (remember doing that with cassette tapes?  esp. using a pen?)

Enoch, shares his Feb 19th birthday with none other than the great Maratha king Shivaji himself.    This means that our mornings are a little less hectic as the kids don't have to be at school at their usual 6.50 AM.

After getting the household together we had a time of prayer with Enoch - with Appa praying for his first grandson who had been born 11 years ago on that day.  It was especially appropriate as Amma and Appa had come to be with us at that time.

Then it was time for gifts.  In good Eicher tradition - we had hidden them around the room.  And so Asha and Enoch went on a treasure hunt.  And found a number of goodies for Enoch (with the odd one for Asha too).

On some years the kids get something 'big.'

This was one such year for Enoch.

After everything had been opened, we told him that there was something else which was 'hiding in plain sight.'

We had slipped a new key onto our key holder - and asked Enoch if he could identify the new key.  He did and we had him open the front door - and bring in what was 'parked' outside, waiting to be seen:

Later in the day, Enoch's friends came over for a birthday party.

We had a football theme going - starting out with a game of 'straw blowing' football in a small lego football pitch that Enoch had made.

And then of course there was the cake.

Now past experience has told us that some kids come who are strict vegetarians - so this year we had an alternative for them too - we decorated some eggless muffins for them as an ersatz cake.

 We are so happy for Enoch to have friends - and pray that this year he will be an even better friend to them in every way.

Drumil - whose sister is in Asha's year - had to go early.   I was wondering why he showed up so very punctually at even before the party's 'starting time.  Like so many others, Drumil has tuition classes to attend - and a reminder call came to our place to get him out the door.

And then there were Enoch's friends Nikita and Jasper - who weren't able to come on the big day...

... so they helped Enoch extend his birthday to the weekend when the showed up - parents in tow - and decked Enoch in a Barca kit - and made him a lego football card to boot (punintended)!

What a kick to see a card like this!

Enoch looks a bit like he is being drafted himself into the dream team.

How lovely to have an extended family to be with us on these happy days - both through direct parentage - as well as those like John and Nalini Gabriel (Nikita and Jasper's parents) who have been such a joy over the years!

With so much fun you would imagine that we would put off the birthday thing for another year and declare a moratorium on B-day festivities for at least a few months to allow us to catch our breath again given Asha being a Jan-baby and Enoch showing up in February.

But the happy days continued!

As a family we were so blessed to have Appa and Amma with us for a month.

Appa and Amma had been with Sheba's older sister Daisy and Ramesh and their kids Frankie and Shofar for half a year.  They flew in to Chennai and spent another 3 weeks with Peter and Yashmeet and Anmol before coming here on February 6th.  They were thus able to celebrate Enoch's birthday with us....

... and we were able to celebrate Appa's 76th birthday with them on March the 2nd!

No, we did not light 76 candles for Appa - we had them in a '7' and a '6' on top of his cake.

Before we were married - when we were just starting the process of praying about what God wanted of us - Appa suffered a terrible heart-attack.

Sheba said that it was the kind that usually had a 5 year life-expectancy after suffering such an attack.

Appa is very good with his medicines - and we pray daily for him as well.  And it has now been 15 years since that attack.

How grateful we are to the Lord for His gift of such a good father to Sheba.

Each additional year added to our lives is an absolute gift.

We really do not know where the next steps of any of us are - but are glad when we look back and see God's wonderful faithfulness in so many ways.

For Appa - God has protected him and guided him even before Appa acknowledged who God was.  In his youth Appa had been part of a 'rationalistic' political party among other things - and all along God continued to draw him nearer and nearer to him.

It was very appropriate that Appa's birthday was on a Sunday - the Lord's day.  After our family celebration - we continued to celebrate with our family of faith.  Being the first Sunday of the month, both our house-fellowships met at Rolly's home for worship, breaking bread, teaching and sharing, and then we had a meal together.  Asha is able to play by ear and so even our small fellowship's singing (which is not always the most harmonious) is sweetend by that heavenly instrument.

 Later in the evening, Appa was able to share at the Gospel meeting we hold at the centre every Sunday evening.  It was good that on his physical birthday Appa was also able to share the story of his spiritual birthday in Rourkela, Odisha more than 40 years ago!

As we wind down March 2014 - we just have to say how glad we have been for these happy days.  They days of celebration because of God's great love and kindness to us individually and to us as a family.

May we (and you too gentle reader!) experience many more happy days in the days to come!

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