How Blessed We Are

On Christmas Eve, the unthinkable happened. Dad had just left on a last minute trip, while Mom and I began a quick tidy of the house before my grandma and great-aunt arrived for a holiday meal. All was well. We had the soup in the roaster, desserts in the fridge and the kids were playing quietly in their room with Legos. It was a snapshot of Christmas cheer fit for Currier and Ives, modern edition. Until…disaster struck.

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Just littles

Since moving to Tennessee, our oldest three children at home have found a tidy little side income in in-house pet sitting. On top of helping folks out, it’s given our kids a few days at a time to do something very important—make memories together, independent of Mom and Dad, that they will carry with them their whole lives. They pack up board games, instruments, and books, and cocoon, feasting on the goodies their clients always leave behind, and playing with a rotating cast of cats and dogs. I’m hopeful that it’s a tradition they’ll keep into adulthood; maybe not the animals, but definitely the ability to continue building their relationships with one another, and enjoying the bond God intended when he made them siblings.

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Simply five

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People have asked (often) how we celebrate birthdays. I’m not sure exactly what the fascination is, myself. Sometimes I feel a little bit like June Carter Cash apparently did when Johnny Cash told her, “I like to watch you talk,” and she snapped back, somewhat bemused, “I’m talking with my mouth!” We do what we do, just like everyone else. Is it odd? I don’t really think so. I suspect it’s less what we do and more the sheer number of times per year we do it that garners attention.

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Signs

As a parent, I fret over the small stuff. Oh, I invest plenty of hours praying over the major details. But I major in the minors, as they say. I police the perimeters, knowing that prayer, my attentiveness, and a whopping dollop of grace goes a very long way indeed in cultivating spirits that eagerly desire to live and serve the Lord, and others.  “It’s not the eruption,” I tell myself often, “It’s the tremors signaling the build-up.”

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Welcoming the wait

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Yesterday, the wait began. Advent officially kicked off, and like millions of Christians around the world, our family entered into the season of remembering the longing for the arrival of the promised Savior while looking toward the second coming of Christ.

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