This past weekend we embraced the present, the past, and the future. My"blogaton "was in part due to heading up north to visit with family. We were able to spend time with Joel's 102 year old Aunt who still livcs at home with her son, plus spend a few hours visiting with a dear friend and second mom who lived across a field from Joel as he grew up. We also went out for supper with his cousin and wife, having a nice chat. Joel took another day and went to his family church and talked with our niece who lives nearby, then biked 20 miles on his favorite trail, visited with another niece, seeing her new country acreage, and finished up by going for a swim in a nearby childhood lake. He had a great time reminiscing and enjoying nature at its best in MN.
Janis and Joel sharing memories
We were able to spend more time with our second oldest daughter and her family, getting plenty of hugs from their treasures. We then headed down to my nephew's wedding on Saturday near the Twin Cities. He and his (now) wife had an outdoor ceremony with the reception being held in a "barn" on the ceremony site. It was all very nice. We enjoyed gathering with so many of our extended family~~eating, talking, and dancing. We all stayed at the same hotel so we were able to get up and gather once again for breakfast!! The matriarch is my older sister who helped raise me. She is 81 and joined in all the festivities, although by Sunday morning she was ready for her sofa. High levels of pain along with last fall's stroke have made her more fragile than I care to admit. She has always been strong, opinionated (a political powerhouse) and loves her family with a passion. Hard to see her physically weak, but good to see her enjoying everyone so very much!
Nate and Livja
Sunday we went out to eat at Ruby Tuesday's (seriously, 5 times in one month!) with our second oldest daughter, her hubby, and the three treasures. Then we headed south to St. Peter MN where 4 of our children went to school at Gustavus Adolphus College (Lutheran). The two oldest graduated from there along with our DIL. One daughter went two years before transferring to another college when she married. Another son went for a year. Lots of memories!
After leaving there we went farther south to see my dad's grave and those of his parents, my paternal grandparents. My dad died in 1955 when I was 7. I pondered what life would have been like if his had not been cut short. Sad. Yet, nearly 60 years later I look back and rejoice in how God has guided my life and how blessed I am to be with Joel for so many years. God is good.
Looking at the past can be a blessing wrapped in joy or in sadness. God certainly works all things together for good.....and we are not to "live" there. The present is to be embraced. Seeing family and friends and soaking in the moments of hugs, tears, and laughter was great. Each day is a gift, right? Seeing the future in the eyes of our nephew and his bride filled us with hope. Their life together is just beginning, really. In all three we find God. Working out His best plan, letting us look back to remember his faithfulness, stand in the now with Jesus by our side, and take a peak at the future.
Lives in their final season, lives just beginning, lives in the here and now, lives with an earthly end so long ago. All linking up together. To everything there is a season.....