I’ve been wondering how best to close out this most interesting year. I really can’t do much better than a “shout-out” to the amazing gifts of love, hope, peace and joy that have defined 2019 in so many ways.
- Not so much that this year has been in any way easy but that the Love of God is such a constant, comforting, and pervasive truth.
- Hope because we live – daily – into the sure promise who is Jesus.
- The quality of Peace that is redemptive and empowering because it begins with assurance and moves forward into the practice of mercy and grace.
- Joy that literally changes the people and the events around us because it cannot help but spill over.
A little R&R:
So Rebekah and I drove down into Florida for a little New Year’s R&R. We’re here to visit family, yes, but also to take a deep breath, hang out with each other, and catch up on some sleep.
I’m also editing a few of the pictures that I didn’t get a chance to look at over Christmas. There are a handfull that tell such important stories all by themselves they need some time and attention apart from the all the others. It’s a strong way to close out the story that has been 2019.
photo credit Naomi Campbell
First, this absolute gem from Christmas morning. The juxtaposition of great-grandparents and great-grandchildren is rich. Like the best photos, it’s not posed. Write your own caption.
Next, Christmas Eve with Rebekah holding our newest grandchild, “Mr. T.”. The expressions tell the story. Beks, Rebekah, Andrew, and Alicia all captivated by the cuteness. This is family. This photograph is all that is good about life in one small, fraction-of-a-second view.
Third (above), the image of Rebekah playing with all three of our grandchildren. A photograph is best when it captures something that is already happening, without interruption.
Finally, this version of the family portrait. It’s a “Look what we did” exclamation point!! Forty years of love and faithfulness distilled into a single frame to capture us, two children that became four, and our three grandchildren.
We pray that love, hope, peace, and joy will be your constant companion in 2020. In love, and because of love – 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.