Friday, December 25, 2015
Today our house experienced a very rare occurrence...we had all 4 kids and all 4 grandkids (5 if you count the one in-utero!) with us! We are truly blessed to be able to have them all together at the same time - even if only for a couple days.
After our traditional Christmas breakfast: cinnamon-chip french toast, bacon (10 pounds!) and eggs, we sat in the front room to do the gifts.
Our son, Evan, read some scripture, then our oldest granddaughter Eden helped distribute the gifts to everyone. Our family tradition is to open one gift at a time according to chronological age (youngest first).
After the gifts were done and we were all just sitting around talking while the young kids played, our 2-year-old granddaughter Lydia crawled up into my lap (picture above). She didn't get much sleep the night before, and was obviously worn out from all the festivities. She was in my lap for quite a while - even though the 2 older kids were being pretty noisy - and nearly fell asleep.
While she was enveloped in my arms I was overcome with many emotions.
I was going back and forth between, "...where will I be next Christmas?", and, "...will I still be here next Christmas?"
If all goes according to my plan, I will probably be up in Seattle either preparing for or recovering from a double-lung transplant - the much-needed operation that will help keep me here on earth a bit longer. This would enable me to have many more cherished moments like the one pictured above. One thing has become very clear during this recent journey...time with my wife and family has become my most treasured "possession".
But that's MY plan...it may or may not be God's plan. Either way, I want to be found faithful.
From my vantage point it would appear that God is not finished with me yet - and that's OK with me!
In my head I know that heaven is glorious (literally!) and I long to be there with my Savior.
Yet I am so blessed right now, my heart wants to stay here where I am loved and supported. I supposed that's selfish of me - but right now I really don't care!
I love my incredible wife. I love my kids and grandkids. I love this whole blended/extended and sometimes dysfunctional mess we call family! I love serving others - locally and globally. I love the relationships I've developed (new and old).
I guess it all boils down to what the apostle Paul said in his letter to the Philippians (1:21): For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain!
Blessings this Christmas!