Yesterday I read an article in Christianity Today’s online commentary that I receive by J.I. Packer. (Available here). He talked about the need as Christians to reflect on our life in terms of looking for life’s joyful surprises. In just looking at recent photos of the past two months, I realized how many wonderful surprises I have had — little, perhaps, but nonetheless significant. Despite generally not liking cold winter months very much, I realized how many moments of joy God has provided. Here are a few that are worth counting.
1. Owen with his kindergarten teacher and two friends… This coming week is Owen’s last of his first year of yochien/kindergarten. It has been such a great year; we may have had the best teacher in the school to help Owen, and our family, make this big transition. We love Hirose Sensei so much — she will forever be endeared in our hearts. On the right is Owen’s friend Suzuka, who Annie calls “my best friend.” Her family has become good friends with ours; her dad is studying English with Eric; her mom with me; they have been important keys to our building friends in the community.
2. All three kids saying goodbye on our front steps as some neighborhood friends were driving away…It has been fun to “host” neighborhood play parties here. We’re planning a farewell party next week as Owen’s class will be divided between two classes starting in the April new year.
4. SNOW DAYS! We’ve had more than usual… and they’ve been great fun. Here is Olivia scraping her nose a bit too close to the playground stairs…(Honest – I didn’t do that to her – it really was an accident!)
6. This next photo was taken by our friend Craig C. at our spring retreat – somehow it just captures the joy of Olivia… she really does love life!
7. Finally, this photo was taken by our friend Faith at the retreat – she said she took it after hearing Annie singing out during our worship time. It’s been fun recently in the car as all three children have a favorite worship song that we take turns playing and singing together. How much I pray that God continues to give all three of our children a love for life, and a life full of worshipping him… and cultivates in my heart an ability to see these things.