Goodbye 2023…
Years ago, someone in our family gave me the dubious title of “Mother of them all.” We only have three children but over the years the family has grown and although we are still not a huge group by some standards, it’s quite a challenge to fit 16 people around a table meant for six! And for someone like me, who likes to turn even the mundane, everyday business of domestic life into something aesthetically pleasing, it takes grace to just go with the flow. I’m told it’s good for my character! 😊
A family reunion is a singular treat for us since this gathering did not come easily for anyone.  Some came from Germany, the rest joined us from Johannesburg and we, of course, came from Florida, the longest journey of all. This is the power of love – it is like an extra-strong elastic band that is stretched to the max by distance, but snaps back to bring us together when it is need most!
Better writers than I have written whole books on the nature of love. As a young woman, totally in love with my husband, I was surprised by how each new baby enriched my experience of this amazing emotion. Slowly I began to understand – the more you give love, the more it grows, and I almost cried “Eureka!” And then I discovered that if I allowed the Holy spirit His way, He would take this overflow, and teach me to love people I had never given a thought to.  
It has taken me a lifetime to learn to read the Word as a love letter from our heavenly Father to us. I am deeply moved by the lengths God goes to in reminding us how much He loves us. I still vividly recall the morning when I read these words from Psalm 18:19 as if for the first time: “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
He became my Savior when I was 7, I answered the call to ministry along with Best Beloved when I was in my 30’s, but suddenly I realized that, somehow, I had never truly grasped that He delighted in me. I wept in the golden heat of this realization.
In many respects 2023 was not easy, but it continued to teach me that real love never stops growing, and that, if He is allowed, the Holy Spirit will take the pain of life – the wood, hay and stubble of hard human experience – and turn it into the glory of a love-centered life.
May 2024 be a year in which the Light grows and the Love multiplies – for all of us!