It has been awhile since all our family members had been together for a visit. Christmastime this year afforded that opportunity at the home of our oldest daughter and her husband, Dave and Heather Cree, in Spruce Grove, Alberta. Heidi and Nathan Carrol, our youngest daughter and her husband live in Edmonton and didn’t have far to go. Leanne flew in from Vancouver for a week, and Mike and Vanessa, our son and his wife came from Phoenix. (Mike and Vanessa were there for the wedding of Vanessa’s friend on the 30th of December, but it was also an opportunity for them to visit with family. Wasn’t that providential!).
It’s interesting to see how we now connect as adults. It actually takes awhile to adjust to this new reality — especially for the parents! But it is a great delight to see one’s children processing life from their current perspectives based on the child-hood training they have received and their new relationships in marriage. Life has a way of causing all of us to ask questions about the things we learned and “knew” in earlier days. But I guess that’s the price and process of maturity that we all seek. It’s probably natural for parents to worry a bit that their children will process things in the right way, but it’s also an opportunity to trust God that He is capable of completing His work of grace in their lives. Because of this we can’t help but be impressed about how they are growing in faith, in love, and in the wisdom that comes from God.
And then there are the grand-children — three beautiful girls belonging to Dave and Heather (and now, just a few days after we were all together, the birth of a grandson to Nathan and Heidi — Gideon Robert on January 5). The girls are such a delight to watch and love. Their love is so absoulute and genuine. Brynna mentioned that she wanted us to stay with them all the time! It’s nice to hear! Other nice words to hear are, “Grandpa, I love you,” and “No big deal, Grandpa” (when an item of food was dropped on the floor, accidently).
Being together like that celebrates God’s goodness in all of our lives which we marked with a photo op at a local Spruce Grove park on a cold but sunny Saturday morning. We also celebrated with food and drink, with gifts, with games, with light and deep conversation, and with prayer. How can anyone thank God enough for the gift of a loving family? Carolyn and I came away from this time together with a deep sense of God’s love and goodness to us in the children and grand-children He has given to us. There are many bridges to cross in our immediate and long-distance futures, but we look forward to many more times of joy and blessing in times like we so recently enjoyed.