Home Sweet Home Again

(This picture of our front door is compliments of Stephen’s artistic eye 🙂 )

Alan and I just returned from a Southern Caribbean cruise that was full of emotional highs and lows. We did a lot of things we’ve never tried before, such as taking a mud bath in volcanic spring water, zip-lining, riding horseback along the beach and into the sea, a realio-trulio submarine ride, etc. Alas, I’m totally over my head with preparations for my beloved children coming home for Christmas (starting with the Hawaiians this weekend) and will have to wait until snug, snowy days in January to recount my tales. Meanwhile, I’m reading with relish each Christmas greeting that has come to us via email or doorbell but now sadly realize that no thoughtful greetings will go out from us until after the holidays. The silver lining is that all 19 of us will be together, and we’re going to get a family picture made on December 26th, so I will have that to share. The last studio portrait, made about 7 years ago, only had 11 of us, so our family has really grown!

I hope you are healthy, happy, and dazzled by God’s beauty and love these days. The older I get, the more I marvel at His grace and goodness. Know that I love you because of Christ (even those I don’t know by name) and pray for you, and please pray for us whenever the Lord brings our family to your hearts and minds. Life is such a blessing, but it’s also a race, a battle…heart-breaking and thrilling. Don’t let anything dull your passion for all that is pure and good! May God bless you with His boundless love, joy, and peace.

“Now unto him that is able to keep you [and me] from falling, and to present [us] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”  Jude 24-25

The First and the Last and the First

Well, the last day of hunting season is over, and it’s the first day of December! Did you get the deer of your dreams? We have a small herd of nearly a dozen deer that run our woods, but although Abby dreamed of catching one, they all got away! (Note the white tail to the left of the telephone pole.)We also have a flock of about 13 wild turkeys that enjoy pecking at our driveway and tempting Abby into chase…although I noticed that they managed to stay clear of our front door on Thanksgiving Day! 🙂

The first and the last. My last-born, Joel, and I have had a standing game since he was big enough to toddle outside by himself:                           Who can be first to find the first crocus in spring?                                 And then we share the delight with each other!I was the last born in my family, and I played a similar game with my father, but it was more about gathering in the last roses during the first snowstorm of winter up in Sault Ste. Marie, where the first snow often hit in October! This is the last rose to bloom in our garden this fall. Joel is at Western today, looking at their graduate school, and my father is now with the Lord, so I couldn’t share my delight with either of them, but I thought you might enjoy sharing the beauty of this last rose with me.

Aren’t you glad for friends to share life’s journey…both the firsts and the lasts? I am so thankful that for every wistful “last” in life, there is the promise of a new first yet to come!

“Fear not; I [Jesus] am the first and the last…which was dead, and is alive. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”

(Revelation 1:17, 2:8, and 22:13)