Why I can say that every day is a holiday and every meal is a feast!
I consider myself to be among the most fortunate of men! I love living and I want to share why I feel this way. The short version is: I have a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; I have the most wonderful and loving wife and family I could ever hope for; I have a great boss and rewarding work; we have the resources to meet our needs; and for me, every day is a holiday and every meal is a feast!
Of course, I could write books on each of the topics I mentioned. That is not my purpose at all. What I intend is to caveat my words with a reality check and then, as I am able and invited, share. First and foremost, I want to explain that I have taken the liberty of using one of my bosses’ favorite sayings in picking the title for my ramblings. I have been acquainted with my boss, developing into a close working relationship and friendship, for thirty years. We both grew up on active duty in the Army, choosing the same career path. My boss left at twenty years and became a personnel security professional. I stayed for thirty-five years and then became a personnel security professional, thanks to him. Almost anytime he writes an Email, makes a telephone call, or discusses a contentious issue where he doesn’t fully agree with another’s position, he caveats what he says with: “just my thoughts.”
When my boss says:”just my thoughts” it usually means that he has conducted research, gathered empirical evidence, sought guidance from reputable sources, and formulated his opinion based on all of this plus his personal knowledge, experience, and values. He doesn’t list his references but if one is bold enough to challenge, he is ready, willing, and able to do just that. When I say: “just my thoughts” from this point on, I may or may not be able to provide a similar level of supporting evidence. In fact, I have no intention of doing more than sharing my thoughts and opinions – I do not feel compelled or under any obligation to provide empirical support. You may choose to read or not. You may choose to agree or not. My prayerful hope is that you make the choice to read and consider what I have to say, and that occasionally, something I write will enrich your life.
If, for example, you are a practicing Buddhist, you may be immediately alienated by my belief in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior; the fact I believe the Holy Bible to be the inerrant word of God; and the fact that I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation and eternal life with Father God in heaven. I do not apologize for my belief and if we ever sit down and the door opens to discuss our religious convictions, I’ll do what I can to introduce you to my Jesus! We can talk and I promise to try not to argue or push. You won’t change my mind and if that offends you, I guess we won’t get around to sitting down and talking.
Anyway, I want to focus on my wonderful family for a few paragraphs. I’ve had some time to think about them – I am recovering from a right hip replacement on August 19th and have not been cleared to go back to work yet. I have a very wonderful and special wife, half my age, who has basically focused on me since the 19th. That’s not normal for us – we have a two one-half year-old son who usually gets all of the focus both of us can muster at any given point. We are quite a couple! Don’t get me wrong now, as we are “normal.” We have differences of opinion – often. We hurt one another – occasionally. We both have careers that can consume if we allow. My wonderful wife is also a world-class softball player and her team responsibilities demand a lot of her precious time. My advancing years and almost self-destructive years of martial arts and pounding pavement (jogging) have taken their toll – I am in need of lots of repairs and reconstruction – I watch her play and occupy space while stealing oxygen.
In preparation for surgery and a softball tournament at Disney World in Florida, my wife took our son, Prezy, to visit “Pa Pa and Grandma” in Louisiana way back on August 11th. She said that she could only handle one baby at a time right now and that required one of two things, I find a live-in nurse or Prezy visit Pa Pa. That gave me a week alone, just our dog Pasha and me. I occupied my time, mostly commuting between Spotsylvania County where we live, and Wheaton, MD where I work, and preparing to be away from work for a couple of weeks.
There is a saying – “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Of course, those are not my words, the Roman poet Sextus Propertius said them first – they proved, again, to be so true in my case. I couldn’t wait for my wife to come home and I was thrilled to see her. We missed Prezy but, as usual, my wife was exactly correct – I was a full-time job. She became my chauffeur and my nurse. She had to dress me, bathe me, and just as she predicted, I was all she could handle. She did go back to work while I was hospitalized and after I was settled at home, but I was still her full-time “baby” who required more time and effort than Prezy had after he was a year old! One of the main reasons I consider myself to be among the most fortunate of men is because of my loving, selfless, nurturing, wife – I couldn’t have made it through the last weeks without her! Thank God for a loving and loyal wife!
The other blessing I want to mention is family, in general. My parents have been with our Heavenly Father for many years now and our Prezy will never have the opportunity to know them in this life. Of course, he will be a product of them in part because of me. The same applies to my wife’s mother, Betty. She went home before Prezy was born. Thankfully, Prezy’s grandfather, Noah and his wife, Lisa have now become a major part of Prezy’s life. Pa Pa has been able to devote almost every waking hour to Prezy for a month now, and Grandma has done the same when she is not overseeing the education of a few hundred high school students. I couldn’t pick more appropriate role models for our son – a pastor and a principal! We speak to Prezy often, and have received photos and videos of him enjoying life. Our conversations are limited but meaningful. Prezy is growing in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man as he enjoys fishing, bicycling, Grandma’s family reunions, and learns to know and love his grandparents. Perhaps the biggest change so far, and I quote from the source: “Prezy no suck thumb!”
On September 12, we meet in Atlanta, GA to bring our Prezy home. Words don’t begin to express the excitement my wife and I feel! Our little man has become such a significant part of our life and his absence, even though we know where he is and how much he is gaining from his visit, has created an empty place in us that only he can fill.
My prayer for you today is that you are surrounded by a loving family! Your family is a blessing from God! I have mentioned my wife, my son, and my in-laws, in this brief article. There are many more people who are part of my family just as there are for you as well. All of them are to be cherished and we should be thankful for them. You, like me, may have members of your family you haven’t been in contact with for years. Reach out to them – forgive those who you need to forgive, apologize to those you owe an apology to, and do your part to knit, mend, and solidify. I know that there are some who may read this who are not able to reach out to family for one reason or another. Maybe you are the last of your clan still walking in this life, or maybe you have just lost touch and no longer know their whereabouts or status. My advice to you – be part of the family you have! How can I say this?
Galatians 4: 3 So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. 4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
What does this mean in relationship to family? That when you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ you become a child of God and a member of His family – an eternal family that was, is, and ever will be! You are never without your Heavenly Father and your extended family includes every child of God, living yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God has promised much to his family but find comfort and strength in this promise for today: “Ezekiel 34:26 I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.”
Do you want to know more? Do you want to be a child of God? Please don’t hesitate to make contact with a local pastor who can personally guide you into God’s family.
Note: Scripture Quotes are from the New International Version of God’s Word.