Say Goodbye, Say Hello

December 31! Its the last day of this year, the last last day of the decade. What a ride this last year has been. I am so excited about the new year coming our way but I am also thankful for all that has happened in 2009. I have learned a ton and have been blown away by how many good things came our way! Thanks Big Guy for every good gift!

I am currently at my dad’s house in Benton Harbor, Michigan with 18 other members of our family. You heard that correctly! There are 19 of us in one home with another six to show up before the start of a new year. It is not a huge house either but what house large or small could handle a crowd like this which gives definition to the word “loud.”

Correction, there are actually 20 of us here right now under one roof! I forgot the newest one in the family, Elijah James. He is a whopping four weeks old! My niece and her husband who live in Texas surprised us this morning at 3 am arriving with baby in tow.

What an incredible way to end the new year with the sounds of baby cries, gurgles and other variant noises in the house. His mother and father say that his middle name “James” comes from Robbie, the father. I know they were naming him after their favorite uncle, Jim. They just didn’t want the other relatives to feel badly.

What is fascinating is watching the adults react to this baby in the house. It really is amazing how people brighten up and start to talk “baby” talk. You know what I mean. They say things like “well, aren’t you a handsome little dude…goochie, goochie, goo.” They wrinkle up their faces and make these strange cooing noises. They become different people.

It really is kind of cool thinking about the end of the year while looking in the face of this little angel boy! He reminds me that new things wait us while we reflect on the great old things. There is a strange mixing of nostalgia and expectancy. It seems like yesterday when I was looking in the face of my own little boy (who is now 26!) There is such hope in those thoughts. It helps me embrace the moments while holding onto the memories. There is a precious balance in doing both. I think in that balance we discover the “full” life that Jesus wants us to live.

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