In Gratitude and Love: a few thoughts and images to wrap up 2013

It's tough to take a baby-holding self-portrait. But this one captured the important aspect of the shot.
It’s tough to take a baby-holding self-portrait. But this one captured the important aspect of the shot.

Happy last day of 2013! Wow, that was some year, huh? The photo-book I created for Rebekah was titled, “The Epic Summer of 2013;” but that doesn’t even begin to explain the adventures, the complexities, the joys, the new life, and the growth that defined so much of our experience.

This blog completed the year with 1,119 signed-up followers, and with over 67,000 views in 2013.

If you want to read (and view) my 2013 pictorial overview, check “Derek & Rebekah’s annual Christmas letter” by clicking HERE.

Otherwise, there’s more than enough to talk about just for today!

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, my true-love gave to me: This morning I’ve been reviewing the cache of Christmas photos on my iPhone. I found 7 previously overlooked gems that will help me with today’s post.

Rather than paste them all into the text, they’re presented in a gallery below my sign-off. First, here are a few words to set the context.

BLESSINGS ABOUND! I guess we were spoiled this year. Andrew and Alicia (Drewski and Alishka) came home for Thanksgiving; then Naomi, Craig, David and Beks drove home for Christmas, along with my parents.

But Rebekah and I needed this, we really did.

Sure this move has been exactly right for us. The assurance that, even in our late fifties, we have faith, life, hope, energy, creativity, promise and purpose enough to share with a new faith community. These first four months have been nothing but encouragement and confirmation.

But it was still a hugely difficult decision to make, and our hearts were – in many ways – rent asunder in the process.

So to be able to celebrate ThanksGratitude and then Christmas, with our family trekking  all the way to Wake Forest to warm up our home and to meet our new faith community, well, it has been exactly what we needed.

We are so grateful, and so blessed.

my favorite self-portrait of 2013
my favorite self-portrait of 2013

Please enjoy the following seven images from the past few days, and join with me in a prayer of gratitude, both for the year that has been and all the possibilities wrapped into the gift of 2014.

This is our prayer; and this is our benediction: “In the name of the Great God who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)

Click on each photograph for a short description…

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