As we travel through this season of Advent, I find myself enjoying the holidays this year more than I have in a long time. I can’t explain it, I can only appreciate it. The air seems crisper, we are in a season of health in our house, there is an unbounded energy at the church and our attendance numbers are growing. That should be enough to make anyone happy, but I think there is much more going on in my life.
There are times that one realizes that they hit milestones, for my wife and I, we will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary next Monday. How can this be? I mean, when we first were married people didn’t think we would survive the first year. I immediately think of the Gershwin song, “Who Has the Last Laugh Now?” Whatever the case may be, I consider myself a blessed man as I journey through life with an amazing woman by my side, anxious to celebrate another 24 years with someone like me. Cazandra continues to teach me that I have a heart and a passion for life that is powerful and is able to overcome any adversity that may come my way. Her love carries me to a higher place, something I never thought that I would experience. In counting my blessings, her grace, and amazing love is at the top of my list. To Cazandra I say, “Happy Anniversary to you. Thank you for honoring me with the life that we share. Here’s to many more years to celebrate!”
And then, to hear my oldest son, Mr. Julian, excited and alive after completing his first semester of studies at the Santa Fe School of Art and Design is one of the greatest joys of the season. His voice sounds amazing. I smile with gratitude as he falls deeper and deeper in love with the art of making music. For me, it is grace in the form of redemption.
In my home, we are all blessed with great health this winter, which was not always the case. All of us are well fed and have wonderful beds in which to sleep. We never finish a day without reminding each other that we are loved beyond our wildest expectations. To hear this litany of joy pervade the air is nothing short of a miracle, wrapped up in what I call family.
Praise be to God for the moments of realization that we have more than we will ever need and certainly more than we deserve! On our journey through the season, we stop along the way to rest and admire the sights that are all around us. Let us stop and be silent, taking in the beauty. And, after much rest and merry-making, we can start off down our path, grateful for the reality that God loves us with a height and depth beyond our wildest comprehension.