“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
-Philippians 1:3-6 (NIV)
Just this past week, my wife, Lisa, took Annabelle to Austin, Texas so they could visit with Grandma Silvia (a.k.a. Grandma Silky), which I am sure was an interesting experience for my daughter, to say the least.
I must admit that the house is much quieter, and moments seem to move a little slower with my family gone. I definitely miss their presence around me, and I might even potentially miss the chaos constantly in motion. The house remains clean. The silence of a home environment seems almost too good to be true, especially when I need to get work done or study for my doctoral program. Funny how the nature of this dualistic reality works – when immediate family is present, we sometimes wish they were absent to get things done. However, when they are gone for an extended period, our heart clings to have our loved ones back, somewhere near us.
In the form of relationships, we often take for granted the people we assume will continue to be here every day. The blessings that life gives us means that life can also take them away instantaneously. For instance, people eventually die, leaving precious relationships behind, only to be reunited at another eternal time in the future.
Induration, this timeframe with Lisa’s visit to Texas is the longest I have been separated from Annabelle since her birth. Her missed presence shows how much she truly is a source of joy and my sunshine on a cloudy day. It feels a little lonely without my girls here with me in our home.
It does not matter how bad I feel or what might be consuming my mind. Annabelle’s smile makes a lonely day that much better, giving me the ability to focus on my child and not so much on myself. Our attention given to serving others draws forth positive energy that can only lead to other positive outcomes. Perhaps that is why Christ fixated his attention on others in service to them. He felt positive vibes in the act of doing so.
When Lisa and Annabelle return this week, I hope their absence will be a reminder of how truly fortunate I am to have each of them in my life. They sure are my closest support system since we still do not know many folks in Knoxville, where we now live. In a sense, I would even call Lisa and Annabelle my best friends. I hope a grateful heart lives in the realization of just how amazing they are when I can see and experience their presence on a daily basis.
(Annabelle loves to eat, party, and dance while we play the game, Singo, at one of our favorite local spots in Knoxville, Calhoun’s Restaurant.)
(Annabelle thinking, “Is that the theme song from the movie, Frozen, I hear again on the TV? I love this tune!”)
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