As I look back over this year I cannot help but smile at all the amazing little things that come together to make a beautiful life – perhaps not the vision of a “perfect” life some might imagine, but it is perfect to me. It is filled with people, all standing in line, waiting to use the bathroom… All exaggeration aside (and when I say “exaggeration”…), I find my life is filled with amazing people who make my life beautiful, without whom I could not count my life worth living.
… In the beginning, there was a girl with brown hair named Erica. She was sweet, and friendly, and she loved to dance. And God looked down and said, “It is not good for Erica to be alone.” And so he sent her a beautiful and bright-eyed little girl. (Erica had always wanted one of those – and she decided to name her Cheryl Spring.) She was wonderfully intelligent, a fast learner and cute as a button. And Erica thought that life was good, but God said, “It is not good for Erica and Cheryl to be alone.” And so He sent along a young adventurous man to join the little family. This young man (whose name was Shawn Lindsley) was brave, good hearted and true. (He also liked hot sauce; Erica had always wanted one of those, and so she decided to marry him.) Shawn always cared for his girls, he took them to the park, and never let any harm come to them. And they thought that life was good. And God said, “It is not good for Shawn and Erica and Cheryl to be alone.” So He sent along a baby boy, with a shining smile. This boy was a jolly soul; he loved to laugh and he loved to eat. (Erica had always wanted one of those, and she and Shawn decided to name him Christian Oliver.) And they all thought that life was good.
And God said, “It is not good for Shawn and Erica and Cheryl and Oliver to be alone.” And so He sent along a beautiful baby girl, with shining copper hair. She was a sweet, sweet child, with shining eyes and the cutest sense of humor. (Erica had always wanted one of those, and she and Shawn decided to name her Vanessa Faye.) And they all thought that life was good. And God said, “It is not good for Shawn and Erica and Cheryl and Oliver and Vanessa to be alone.” And so He sent along a beautiful baby girl, with searching eyes, and a lovely smile. She loved to laugh and loved being a princess. (Erica had always wanted one of those, and she and Shawn decided to name her Katherine Estel – this was the baby girl that climbed in the pot.) And they all thought that life was good.
And God said – to which Erica said, “Lord, do you think any more will fit?” – And God said, “It is not good for Shawn and Erica and Cheryl and Oliver and Vanessa and Katherine to be alone.” And he sent along a baby girl. She was very tiny (she could fit in your hand), black, and white, and furry all over. And when she ran, she looked like a fluffy roly-poly. And they all decided to name her Lucy. And God said, “It is not good for Shawn and Erica and Cheryl and Oliver and Vanessa and Katherine and Lucy to be alone.” And so he sent along a baby with big brown eyes – he was silky, soft and white. He loved to be carried, petted and pampered, but really he just loved everything. They all decided to name him Teddy. And God looked down, and saw all that He had made, and it was very good. And Erica looked round, and she knew it couldn’t have been better.
But of course, that cannot be the end, because somehow it turns out that one “ending” really ends up just being the beginning of something else. So while it may be the end of God building in our little family, it is only a beginning in each of your lives, where Dad and I get a minute to help prepare you for your lives, and everything that is yet to come for each one of you! And I am grateful for so many things…
First, I am so thankful to have a Father; Who loves me and cares for me so much He is willing to overlook my “crazy” and still loves me and moves forward with helping me to learn even when I try to get in the way. I love seeing how He has taken care of me throughout the years, kept me, and done all those “little” things for me, that in the end are really big.
I am grateful for Shawn, who was willing to listen to my “crazy” and journey through this life with me; who has put up with me over the years, and somehow still loves me. I am grateful for his love for each of you kids, and how he is constantly willing to put us all first, to care for us, protect us, feed us, and regale us with tales, riddles and poems! And I am so grateful that the Lord has kept him true, and I honor him so much for choosing to be a man of God and for continuing to love goodness, truth and beauty, and for sharing these things with us. Without him we would have no Tolkien, Kreeft, Lewis, Chesterton or MacDonald (among many others – Noel, Noel, Noel!). And even if we had stumbled upon them, I don’t know if we would have made any sense out of them without Shawn!
And I am so grateful that you are all a part of our family – it would not be the same without even one of you. It is amazing how the Lord creates the magic that is a family, a husband, a wife, a brother, and sisters (not that puppies aren’t magical, they’re just made of little magic is all).
My prayer this year is for all of you… May the Lord bless you, and keep you, and guide you through the journey of your life. May you walk hand in hand with your Father also, and may He fill your life with all the amazing little things that will come together to make your own unique and “perfect” life; a life that starts something like this:
In the Beginning…