Christmas morning, as Pamela and I waited for the girls to come down the stairs for breakfast, we realized that this was our 33rd Merry Christmas spent together. I guess that would make sense since we have been married 33 years! Some personal reflections….
This is a time of rich traditions that Pamela brings from her family and I, also, from mine combined with those we have initiated ourselves over the years. For example, the CD in the stereo this morning has been played every year since our first trip to Europe as newly-weds. We loved the German Christmas Markets beginning with Nurenberg and listening to this CD reminds us of a time shared…just the two of us.
Now that our girls are both in college we are beginning to contemplate returning to those early days as the nest begins to empty…another normal stage in the Family Life Cycle. After more than 30 years in ministry I have returned to my first-love as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice and I have continued to travel to Tampere, Finland several times each year since mom and dad’s last trip in 2008.
I suppose one of the greatest things we have learned over these years has been to entrust our lives to our God. From the beginning, I have proactively moved my family from one job in ministry to the next, looking for that perfect time and place to participate in a church that finally fit my template for how things are supposed to be. In 2009 a cataclysm of events finally persuaded me that I needed to give it up, realign my focus and learn to rest in God’s leading.
So, we enjoyed our 33rd Christmas with each other waiting for our girls to come down the stairs Christmas morning, appreciating the simple things, grateful for our blessings and resting in the Lord’s leading, knowing that He is faithful.
Merry Christmas to all and God’s blessings to you!