My son and I have just returned from a trip to Northern Ohio to visit my dad's side of the family. It was sometime during this trip that I decided that I am a millionaire. (No, I've not been playing the Ohio lotto!) But I don't mean a millionaire in financial matters...I am a rich woman when it comes to the wealth that has been afforded me by the family the Lord gave me. In terms of a family tree, my roots go deep. To this day, I am 29 and I have a great-grandmother (which means my son has a great-great-grandmother) still living who is going to be 97 this year, Lord willing! Until last year I had all 4 grandparents not just still living but still married. Phenomenal! Knowing and keeping up with cousins, and second cousins, and grand-nieces has helped me feel connected and stay grounded. Our family has seen its share of the devastation that divorce can bring, but we have held together to leave a legacy to each new generation that comes along. I feel a great strength has been passed to me through the character, relationships, and love that my family has provided. I don't know what the future holds for my immediate family, or how close to or far from extended family we will end up. But I know that I, that we, will be deeply and dearly loved...and that there is a group of 40+ people (not to mention Tim's side!) who will be rooting for us and supporting us any way they can.
All this causes me to think about the way Jesus Christ changes lives: how a man in a pick-up truck picked up a hitchhiking soldier one day from the side of the road and made it a point to tell the hitchhiker about Jesus. And how that hitchhiker, under Holy Spirit conviction, prayed the sinner's prayer that day. And how that hitchhiker turned baseball player became a minister of the gospel. And how together with his wife that minister of the gospel of Christ raised a family of 3 children for the honor and glory of God. And those 3 children - one of whom is a minister, one of whom is a minister's wife, and one of who ministers through foster care - each worked to raise their children in a Christian home for God's glory. And now, together with my husband, the baton is ours, to in turn pass along to our children, and so on. But it all started with one man who knew the power of God in his life, and was not afraid to share it. Even with a hitchhiking soldier. It's purely a humbling thing, to think that God has been working His purpose in me since that time. Just think of what a story-weaver God is. I'm so glad to serve a Mighty God who regards His children with love & foresight.
Pictures to follow soon from the trip, I promise!