celebrating our season of joy and promise

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For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven… God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart… Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11

IMG_1238This morning’s post is another one of those “deep gratitude” testimonies to life, and how the simple fact of our children’s happiness can be the most beautiful of good gifts.

Rebekah and I are doubly blessed by the fact that both Andrew and Naomi are sharing their lives with exactly the right person – God far-and-beyond exceeded our hopes and dreams when he sent along Craig, and then Alicia. In consequence, we now have four good, loving, kind, generous, talented, faith-filled children who bring us so much joy.

ANNIVERSARY: Yesterday evening was the second anniversary of the epic July 2013 Michigan celebration of Andrew and Alicia’s beautiful wedding (read “Shine Like Stars in the Universe“). So Rebekah and I took them out to Farm Table in Wake Forest, one of our favorite local eateries, for a truly local food experience.

IMG_1231-001Farm Table was the perfect venue for several reasons. First, Andrew and Alicia are bona-fide foodies (not pretend, poseur, or wannabe foodies, but real, international, they-could-write-a-book gourmet-savants). Then, Farm Table is set up on the principle of utilizing locally sourced foods. It’s not just low impact on the environment, but a commitment to actually represent the goodness of the local region. It’s the same idea that drives the “agriturismo” industry in Italy.

“An agriturismo,” Andrew writes in the worth-following PashbyMaul Adventures travel blog, “delivers meals and beverages mainly consisting of their own products and products from other farms in the area, no other experience can be as authentically local.”

Monday evening’s menu was exceptional. We started with oven-baked flatbread “for the table.” It featured garlic puree, roasted fig, country ham, goat cheese, arugula, and local honey. Absolutely amazing.

Forbidden Rice
Forbidden Rice

For the entrée, Alicia ordered grouper, Andrew had the seared scallops, Rebekah chose grilled pork chops, I enjoyed the Forbidden Rice, with seared scallops and shrimp. The desert was scrumptious, and the coffee excellent.

Our one disappointment, and something that runs counter to the advertised ethos of Farm Table, was the lack of any North Carolina wine on the menu. I understand that there’s not a lot to cheer about in the local wine industry, but I feel there should be a selection on hand nonetheless.

SEASONS: It was a good evening, and what we celebrated above all else was the fact of committed love in the context of family. And we can’t do that without expressing our love of and our gratitude for the grace and goodness of God.

Happy Anniversary!
Happy Anniversary!

There are seasons in all of our lives: seasons of struggle, and seasons of joy; seasons of disappointment, and seasons of fulfillment; seasons of turmoil, and seasons of peace; seasons of tears, and seasons of laughter; seasons of loss, and seasons of discovery; seasons of toil, and seasons of harvest. For this family, this is a season of joy, fulfillment, peace, laughter, discovery, and harvest; this is a season of plenty.

All I can do is to be grateful – DEREK

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