Thursday, November 27, 2014


For the first time in 27 years Pam and I are spending Thanksgiving without our kids. Honestly, in their absence we are trying our best to hide from it -- at least from the traditions that can only lead to pain today.

Thanksgiving around our house was always a bit unusual.  The kids never wanted to go anywhere, and they really didn't want anyone to join us at our house (except when Jonathan or Christian had a girlfriend -- which for some reason was the only exception to the rule).  They just wanted to be with immediate family.  They just wanted to spend time together in an environment where they could be themselves and enjoy family.

The result was often pretty ridiculous.  The conversation at dinner always turned in unexpected directions (and usually unwanted directions) and the boys would always try to outdo each other in the outrageous humor department.  We certainly had our traditions, but the scene was always anything but traditional.

Our Thanksgivings will never be the same -- they can never be the same.

Even in the midst of the devastation of this year, though, Pam and I have so much to be thankful for.  We are of course, thankful for each other, and for Christian and Dani.  We are beyond thankful that God loves Jonathan even more than we do, that God desires good things for our son and that we have confidence that we will see him again.

We are thankful for the many people who have been there for us this year.  God has blessed us with so many incredible friends and with a great family.  We are grateful for those who even these many months later continue to pray for us and to encourage us.  We are thankful that God continues to give us purpose in our lives.

If the last nine months has given Pam and I anything it is perspective.  After Solomon achieved everything there was to achieve, experienced everything there was to be experience and built everything there was to build, he realized that none of that really mattered.  It was all just "chasing after the wind."  These words are easy enough to understand, but the idea is nearly impossible to really comprehend.

At the end of the day, the whole duty of man is to fear God and to obey His commands.  Take some time today to rejoice in The Lord.  Hold your friends and your family close.  Tell both God and the people around you how much you love them.  Do so through both your words and your actions.

Feed those who are hungry and clothe those who are cold.  Visit those who are in prison and those who are sick.  Have mercy on one another.  Be sensitive to those who are hurting -- even those who are the authors of their own pain.  Forgive.

Thanks again for all who have supported us this year.  Pam, Christian, Dani and I are so grateful. With much love.



Mom said...

Bless you Pam, Christain and Dani with Love and more family days ahead. Love you're sweet family
Marsha Newberry

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written John....thank you for sharing your heart as well as your pain. Our prayers are constantly with you, Pam, Christian and Dani.....and I know Jonathan is looking down at your today....Love, Joyce & Doug

Anonymous said...

Beautifully done. I hope you know how much your gift of writing is appreciated. Lookng forward to a book one day....written by you of course. And edited by Pam. ;) God Bless. Christy

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