humbled by love on the sixth day of Christmas (if I didn’t love others, I would BE nothing)

Rebekah and Derek (two) plus the children (four) equals six! Photo by Naomi Campbell

If we really were getting multiple gifts to correspond with each day of Christmas (like “three french hens,” or “two turtle doves,” or “six geese a laying”), then today’s the day I’d have to pass on anything more, because Rebekah and I already have the number six covered, and then some.

How appropriate that our wonderful daughter would send this photograph my way, just when I was thinking about the six of us, and how cool that we could spend some time together over Christmas.

Make no mistake, love is hard. Sometimes love is so difficult that being a family can be one of the most stressful challenges that we face. But the rewards of hanging in there, and of holding together, and of loving with the Jesus kind of love, are without equal in this life.

So Rebekah and I stand in awe, sometimes, and in humble gratitude for where we all are today. To be honest, the joy simply overwhelms me, and I don’t really have the words.

Paul had some pretty good words about this, and I think they are right on when it comes to what I’m thinking about for today:

If I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. – 1 Corinthians 13 (NLT)

IMG_6935Today’s number is six. Rebekah and Derek, plus Andrew and Alicia, plus Naomi and Craig. The number may be six, but the reason is love – DEREK

PS. Here’s another number – three. That would be me, plus the grands!

Christmas Family Live Like You Mean It photography

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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