Sunday, November 27, 2011

What is a family? (the Grandaddy letters cont...)

 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. 1 John 3:1
THE GRANDADDY EXPERIENCE  has now passed to phase three:
  • Phase 1 - The expectancy
  • Phase 2 - I have a grandson!
  • Phase 3 - We finally meet!

David Henry is now six-weeks old. So, for a special treat, his parents flew him down to Tampa to see his grandaddy Derek (and the balance of the family too).
So much has been crowded into these two days since I last posted that I honestly don't know where to begin. So I'll jump to yesterday afternoon when we did "Family Christmas" and kicked off the weekend of festive decorating. This is the first year in maybe five that we've had the children in the house at the same time. So - as they're scattering to the winds again tomorrow - we exchanged gifts and love with Andrew, Naomi, Craig and David.

David is thrilled about his first present!
As you can see from the picture, David is all kinds of thrilled to open his first Christmas present. We paired the colored stacking cones (all wood) with a set of wooden alphabet blocks. Now David can stack, build and knock down; he's good to go.

ONE-ON-ONE: Saturday evening David finally got the one-on-one time with his grandaddy he's been asking about. After fussing a while he snuggled into me in a little ball and hung on tight, like he didn't want to let go. Eventually, after my shoulder became completely frozen from twelve-pounds of grandson, I slumped into the rocking chair, where he looked at me with big eyes that eventually faded their way into peaceful slumber.

To be honest, I'm struggling to put the words together today. But it was such a peaceful, responsible feeling to have my grandson resting in my arms, just holding on, resting in the unspoken knowledge that he was completely safe, and loved....

DREAM MORNING: Then, this morning, I was able to enjoy what I've been missing like crazy for such a long time. My children sat with me in church.

Snuggling in with grandma
What makes it even better is that they didn't just come to please the parents. They came to church because they love Jesus and worship is a natural part of their lives. Two weeks ago Andrew and I worshipped together at an Anglican Church in Assisi; then a couple of weeks before that Rebekah attended the little Congregational Church Naomi and Craig joined in Connecticut.

FAMILY BY CHOICE: I am thrilled to have a close family, and even though our children live so many miles and an ocean away, we are blessed with an experience of love and community that transcends distance.

Bonding with grandma in the garden
Our practical, day-to-day family, however, is the faith community and the friends Rebekah and I have chosen to embrace. Our community is real and it is over-the-top wonderful. It's varied, redemptive, messy, full, demanding, busy, generous, overwhelming, challenging, fulfilling, genuine... and a whole lot more.

That's the church for you. If you want a family, and a community that means something, then there's not better place to be (unless you're with your children and your fabulous, brand-spanking-new, grandson David....!)

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