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Enjoying Life: 2002

Dear Family and Friends,

Do you enjoy life? I mean, really enjoy life? Joey does. Take for instance, eating—I’ve never seen, outside our children, anyone enjoy eating as much as he does. He fixes all his food to get just the right bite, then proceeds to eat with contentment and pure enjoyment. He enjoys the simple things.

Joey prayed for a running partner. God brought not just any runner but one who ran in the Olympics to work out with him. He will come home with the comment, “That was a good work-out.” (It’s beyond me how running your muscles to the point of pain then exhaustion can be good but I think that is part of his enjoying life.)

Joey John (11), Josiah (9), and Jonathan (7) have been playing flag football. Jonas (5) can’t play yet, but he helps during practice to fill in for those absent. They are all on the same team. Every Saturday, the intensity is high as we approach the game. Joey stands with the coach to help encourage the team. He has said, “It’s worse standing on the sidelines, than playing.” Enjoying life makes is hard to be an observer; it makes you be an active participator.

Sometimes when I am telling Joey something that I think is very important, he will just smile. I’ll tell him, “You aren’t even listening.” He’ll laugh and say, “I just enjoy being with you.” Now what important thing was I saying…?

Enjoying life… I guess that means that when the repairman comes to fix my dryer and I ask him, “Why did it blow a fuse so soon?” and he responds with, “It would probably help not to find screws, paper clips and rocks in the machine,” that I realize this world is not our stopping point, we are just passing through.

Enjoying life means being thankful that the fire ants were eaten by the chickens this year, but then so were the tomatoes.

Enjoying life…I was trying to eradicate the gophers in our garden, which have eaten 50-foot rows of beans in one weekend. I read that if you put Juicy Fruit Gum (they like that best) down their hole, they would eat it, and it would kill them. I had carefully instructed the boys that this was mole poison---DO NOT EAT IT. I did not want them pulling any half chewed stick of gum out of the ground to chew. Jacob (3) asked to put one down a hole. He exclaimed, “Smells like gum to me!” I repeated my admonition that this would kill moles. “I don’t want it to hurt you, so do not eat it.” Later in the year, someone gave us a few pieces of gum—not enough for all the boys. I, without thinking, grabbed a piece of Juicy Fruit to make everyone content. Jacob, with eyes as big as saucers, asked, “Mom, are you trying to kill me?” Enjoying the moment.

Enjoying life realizes the problems are there so we don’t get too comfortable with this life that we forget that we are moving on; that we become too content with the now and forget that the better is coming; that we take our eyes off the One Who helps us enjoy life both now and later.

Enjoying life…that’s what my boys did this summer. After years of fighting with their bike tires and the bull heads (which are like running over tacks), we purchased for all of them solid tires (they know us well at the bike shop). Now they can ride through the property flying over mounds, racing through the weeds, enjoying life. I spend my life in intercessory prayer for the bones and bruises that are crashed as they enjoy life.

The boys asked me to teach them to play chess. I went over the movement of the pieces once and thought that I would have to retell it all day. They didn’t ask again. Now after playing them, Joey will say, “It’s pretty bad when I’m excited when I win one game out of four when I’m playing an 11, 9, 7 and 5 year old!” Don’t ask me how my game was---I don’t play them anymore---it’s too discouraging! Joey enjoys his boys. You don’t have to remind this father to turn his heart homeward---it is there.

His attitude has influenced his boys. Our dairy cow had her calf. Josiah named the calf, “Norman.” When I call to the boys, “Chore Time!”, Josiah is quick to grab the milk pan to milk. What an example of just enjoying life; to love the job given for today. Josiah encourages me!

With the possibility of Joey’s army call imminent, I have examined life’s necessities. The simple things can bring such enjoyment---a good meal, health and ability, even glitches in our schedules to remind us of our home in heaven, but most of all our loved ones. My sister Sue has had a relapse of her leukemia requiring a bone marrow transplant. We await news to know whether any of the five sisters match hers and whether she is strong enough to accept it. Sophi, James, Jacob, Jonas and I will be heading back to Indy for a week leaving half my heart behind with Joey and the rest of the boys. Enjoying God in the midst of immense uncertainty can bring an indescribable peace even through the tears.

Enjoying life…that’s what Jesus came to bring us, life freed from sin, living abundantly for Him, looking forward to the future home He is preparing for those who have trusted in Him, where enjoying life won’t  be an effort; it will be the only existence. What a way to remember Christmas---a stepping-stone to heaven, when heaven met earth to bring enjoyment and purpose to life. May your Christmas be a time for you to meet with Jesus and enjoy life abundantly and full.



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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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