Traditionally, Rebekah and I try to get together with her siblings to celebrate the launch of every New Year. Consequently, we motored down to Jacksonville, Florida, where we converged on her brother Jesse’s house for feasting and gifting.
We were a little short on siblings this time around, but it was good to see her brothers Jesse and Joe, along with Heather, Cheryl, and all their children (plus cousin Ruth who drove down from Georgia). We missed Rachel and Tom from Virginia Beach by a few hours, then our daughter Naomi and her family arrived from Richmond just after Rebekah and I headed on to Tampa.
JOY! Regardless of who shows up, and when, there’s always a lot of joy when the Alexander siblings converge. Naomi was the only representative from the first five cousins (29-34), but we were privileged to see the entire set of younger cousins, now ranging from 13-21.
Coming, going, hanging around, or just passing through, we all understand how critically important it is that we be deliberate and openhearted when it comes to keeping this family connected.
The same is true of all our interpersonal connections. May this new year, 2016, be one where we all learn to more fully appreciate the gift of relationships, to love one another without reservation, and to be more generous with the gift of our time and our intention.
Peace – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), 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.