The Big Picture and the real message

“Life is – at its heart – full to overflowing with grace and goodness and light and love.”

– writer and grandaddy Derek Maul

This week’s Photo Friday selections cover so much love, beauty, enthusiasm, and fun. To be honest, at times it can be hard to keep up! However, as the Miami Campbells are already on the road and on their way to the Jersey Shore, I may have time this morning to actually write (but don’t count on too much – there is always the potential for drama from next door!).

I will start with the sparklers. I know it’s not quite 4th of July yet, but who can resist the combination of children and sparklers? David and Beks had never actually held a firework before, so it took a little convincing to persuade them it was one-hundred percent safe.

Things didn’t get off to the best start when – while Rebekah was looking for a candle to light – I suggested catching a firefly and “lighting the sparkler with its butt.” Beks tends to be a literalist, and she was deeply offended at my potential “animal abuse.” It took a while to persuade her I was only joking. “It’s NOT FUNNY Grandaddy,” she scolded me.

Random baby pics:

I have to tell you, Geoffrey and I bonded this week. He is such a snuggle-bunny; he loves for me to hold him until he relaxes completely and rests his head on chest.

I will admit that I probably picked Geoffrey up just about every time he was on the verge of crying, spoiling him relentlessly. But what is a grandaddy to do?

Rebekah and Derek: one couple; two children – two more when they married; four absolutely amazing grandchildren. Such a blessing.

Wake Forest:

Our daughter, Naomi, has loved Wake Forest since we first moved here in 2013. Her favorite restaurant is Over the Falls, and her new favorite place is Page 158 Books.

The children agree, and I can’t stress enough how pleased I am that the family reads, that they love books, that they love bookstores, and that they are already reading to their baby brother. The family that reads together succeeds together.

The Big Picture:

There are a few more photos in this collection, including Rebekah giving a ukulele lesson to Beks, and Geoffrey sleeping, and dinner together in the “new dining room.”

But the real message, the Big Picture for today, is that life (while often challenging, and difficult, and frustrating, and overwhelming) is at its heart full to overflowing with grace and goodness and light and love.

When we realize this, then we are in a better position to both enjoy it ourselves and offer the gift of believing to the world, a world in need of so much more in the way of hope and grace and mercy and light. – DEREK

Living Gratefully photography relationships The Grandaddy Letters

derekmaul View All →

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.

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