New Year’s Eve – “a time for gathering stones…”


view from the deck

There’s a season for everything
    and a time for every matter under the heavens:
     a time for giving birth and a time for dying,
    a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted,
     a time for killing and a time for healing,
    a time for tearing down and a time for building up,
     a time for crying and a time for laughing,
    a time for mourning and a time for dancing,
     a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones… – Ecclesiastes 3

img_7121So this is where we will be watching the New Year come in. Oh. My. Goodness. What an amazing location. We’re overlooking a valley/gorge in northwestern South Carolina, in the mountains directly south from Hendersonville, NC.

We’re surrounded by Rebekah’s family, as four of the five siblings have made the effort to be together and simply hang out in this sprawling, spectacular, comfortable mountain home. Along with Rebekah, Rachel, Joe, and Jesse (and spouses), six of the ten cousins managed to make it, plus one fiance. So this certainly counts as an epic family gathering.

We’re taking it in turns preparing meals, there are ongoing games, there’s hiking and photography to be done, and then – most importantly – the constant hanging around the dining room table, talking, laughing, and sharing stories, sharing our lives.

img_7139Gatherings like this are all about the stories, about the celebration of life, and faith, and more. “There is a time for gathering stones…”

I could call this weekend, “Tales from the Great Adventure of our lives.” Maybe that will be the new title of this blog (I’m getting pushback on the “Thinkology” thing). But that’s for another day, sometime in the new year. For now, I’m heading back to the table so I don’t miss any more epic stories.

Stay tuned. There’s bound to be more. This life really is a Great Adventure – DEREK


Categories: Current News, Family, photogrpahy, relationships, Uncategorized

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8 replies

  1. Thinkology sounds like a board game for kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year to you and Rebekah. I hope Rebekah’s voice is ready for such gathering. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Derek, simply breathtaking. The amount of family all together for the week, not the mountains. (Just kidding.) I won’t say I am jealous of your time with family. I am not with mine for over four months now because of a mistake I made again. One I’ve made in the past again and again and again. So I have been estranged from my loved ones this holiday season. In fact, since August 23rd. I had the opportunity today, in church, on the FIRST DAY of a new year, to give a little testimony about my latest faux pas, and I was rather forthcoming. I asked for prayers. When I initially announced to the congregation that I have not had a drink, joint, line of coke or hit of crack since 2008, up went the applause. Please, I thought to myself, I only did this through the grace of the one true Higher Power, Jesus Christ. I have, unfortunately, stumbled 4 or 5 times since 2008 over oxycodone due to severe low back pain following a disabling injury. The rub lies with stealing pills from my mother when I could not get enough through legitimate means. This is NOT the first time I’ve done this to her, and she took rather stringent action this last time. I am currently four months clean from narcotic painkillers. So I waxed poetic, I shed a tear, and I raised a glass (of root beer!) to you and your family when I read your post. I have been vacillating between understanding my family’s decision and screaming, “Who do they think they are? Seventy times seven we are to forgive our brother if he sins against us.” “If any man stands before God in prayer and realizes he has unforgiveness in his heart against his brother, he is to go to his brother and make it right, then return to the Lord with his petition of prayer.” Well, you probably know the list of such admonishments in the Scriptures more that I. In any event, I cannot base my recovery on whether or not I am restored to fellowship with my mother and others. They have nothing to do with my recovery, nor do they have anything to do with my relationship with the Lord. I just have to do what is expected of me by God no matter what my family decides to do about me. So I am genuinely happy for your family gathering.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. My heart goes out to you. I pray that you have a regular accountability group you work with. The relationship with family is always complex, and you are right, your recovery is not dependent on a happy relationship with your family. Sometimes the long term costs of earlier failings are too much to bear, and it does’t seem fair… but your recovery and your walk with God must take priority. I will pray for you. I will also pray for your family. There is no formula that will make this right, only love and more love. God is faithful, and God is patient, and God is always for you.
      Peace – DEREK


  4. Derek,

    Your reply is very moving and raises a few very good points. I am particularly moved by your statement that, “Sometimes the long term costs of earlier failings are too much to bare…” I work regularly with NA and a sponsor, as well as my mentor from church, who agreed to be my accountability coach. Thanks for your prayers. I’ll take all I can get.

    God bless.




  1. let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice! | Tales from the Great Adventure

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