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Living in Gratitude and Faith

Chris and I received a double blessing this season by having two separate Christmas celebrations. Both brought fun. However, our memories of Christmas a year ago heightened the sweetness experienced during our earlier celebration.

A year ago, our son lay suffering from the ravages of a 10-hour cancer surgery followed by intensive and simultaneous treatments of radiation and chemotherapy. He missed Christmas, and Thanksgiving, and New Years and all the fun normally enjoyed during those special times. His wife, Melissa suffered along with him and did all she could to help as family members grieved.

Shortly after his diagnosis of cancer, David’s best friend from teen years narrowly escaped death in a severe car crash. As a young high school student, Blake lived with us and became a second son to me. As we looked at the pictures of Blake’s wrecked car, we marveled that he made it through the crash alive. His wife, Janet, devoted her energy to helping her husband heal. Separated by geography and limited by healing restrictions, the two men grieved and prayed for one another.

A major sweetness of this Christmas came as we spent time with David and Blake and as we gave thanks that both currently enjoy almost totally healed bodies and definitely renewed spirits of fun. What could be more heartening than to see them, along with their wives and children, laugh together? This level of thanksgiving brought me to my knees

In addition, we focused on our second grandson, Dalton who will be deployed to South Korea in May. If we had more faith in the leaders of both countries, we would be happy about this Korean experience. Today, as we anticipate the adventures Dalton will surely have, we also pray for peace and safety.

This young man has spent his entire 24 years of life providing fun and pleasure to all who know him. Many years ago, I frequently said to Dalton and his brother Lane, “Boys, let’s go on an adventure.” Those of us who love Dalton will now have an opportunity to bolster our faith as we send him off on this new adventure, which Grandma cannot go with him to share. Today, I say, “Dalton — have an adventure of a lifetime. I can hardly wait for you to come home and tell us all about it. Go with God, Dear One. We all love you.”


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