Last week, our three grown children, their spouses, and three granddaughters gathered here–in one place, at one time. Even Steve’s sister and brother-in-law were able to join us for a day. Such gatherings do not happen often.
(Left side, front to back: 1. Steve, 2. our younger son, Jeremy, 3. our daughter, Heather, 4. her husband, Tim. Right side, front to back: 1. Steve’s brother-in-law, Bill, 2. Steve’s sister, Karen, 3. Tim’s and Heather’s daughter, Sophie, 4. Eric’s and Hilja’s daughter, Elena, 5. Eric’s wife, Hilja, and 6. our older son, Eric. Not pictured: Jeremy’s wife, Nancy, and Eric’s and Hilja’s baby daughter, Maarit.)
For Steve and me, the greatest pleasure in life is the opportunity to enjoy our children– what King Solomon called “God’s best gift” (Psalm 127:3 MSG).
He went on to say:
How blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!”
–Psalm 127:5 MSG
And what is a quiver-full? Dr. Howard Hendricks of Dallas Seminary explained years ago that, in Bible times, a quiver most often held six arrows. Thanks to our three children who chose their spouses wisely, Steve and I now have a full quiver–with three little arrows as well.
Oh yes, we are blessed, and always count down the days until our little clan can gather once more.
Even four-year old Elena reveled in the long-awaited together time.
Sophie (8), Maarit (3 months), and Elena
During the week, we visited several parks with playgrounds…
…and even explored the zoo on Wednesday. But perhaps some of the sweetest memories will be those associated with home…
… such as one afternoon at Eric’s and Hilja’s, catching up with one another and playing games.
(Jeremy and Nancy)
There were fun moments at Nana’s and Papa’s house, too.
(The Night of the Big Sleepover)
Now these moments are treasures to hold close in our hearts–not so much for what we did as for who we were with.
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
–French novelist, Marcel Proust (1871-1922)
How fitting that, as the landscape blossomed last week, so did our souls–because of a family who make us very happy.
* * * * * * * * * *
I thank you, Father, for the joy of doing life with this particular group of folks. We may not live in close proximity, but because of you, our spirits are intertwined. Every opportunity to be together is cause for great celebration. And we praise you for the gift of recollection, so beautiful moments like these may live in our hearts forever.