Images of Gratitude

IMG_6148So, Thanks-Gratitude at Roy and Lynda Alexander’s Greenville home went off very well. Not being the host gave me more opportunity for grandparent time, and that is always a good thing.

It’s interesting how the epicenter of family has shifted now that we’re in North Carolina. Rebekah is the middle of five Alexander siblings. Roy lives in Greenville, Rachel has been in Virginia Beach forever, Joe has always been around Orlando, and Jesse calls Jacksonville home. So, when we moved from Tampa to Wake Forest, three out of five sibs still lived within two and a half hours drive – only now it’s a different three.

IMG_6178Consequently, Rachel and her husband Tom were there, along with two of their three children (plus one very significant other!); our wonderful daughter Naomi drove down from Richmond with Craig and the children; then Rebekah and I were thankful to bring my parents from next door. Lynda’s niece and great-niece rounded out the party.

I especially enjoy watching the great friendship between cousins, and how the people the cousins marry fit right in. You love our children, love our nieces and our nephews – and we will all love you fiercely (but make sure and love them well – fierceness can go both ways!).

I can’t wait for the next cousin wedding, so we can see all the young adults together; hint hint.

The first two photographs feature our daughter, Naomi, taking a selfie with Rachel’s son, Reed. First, the shooting of the image, and then the image itself.

It’s followed by a (most excellent) selection of the photographs from the day. If they tell any story at all, it’s the story of gratitude. It’s a story I am privileged to live every day.

In love, and because of love – DEREK

Click on any image to launch a slide show…





derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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