|There's so many of us now it's hard to get everyone in the photo...|
Maybe it's true what they say about time.
That it goes faster the older you get. That one day, like today on Christmas Eve 2017, you wonder how you got here so fast.
A hundred yesterdays, a thousand actually, have passed .
What happened to summer? Let alone fall.
In a few days the calendar turns again. And in a year from now I imagine that once again I'll wonder what happened to the time.
I imagine I'll ask Julie where the days went and how the kids got so big and wasn't it just yesterday we wondered what it would be like to have kids who are in college and married.
And wasn't it just yesterday we'd wonder how crazy it must be to think about holding a sweet little grandchild.
Those yesterdays are here. What seemed to be so distant, so crazy to think about, wasn't so crazy after all.
Those little kids are in college and married and working and buying houses and having babies and doing all those things that I think makes time speed up.
When the older ones come home and all 14 kids are here together with two daughters-in-law and one grandson and we're trying to fit around the dinner table it's big kid, little kid, grown kid, little kid, big kid, grown kid and so on to try and fit everyone in.
It's kind of impossible.
But as we're all laughing to the point of tears and passing food the wrong way and spilling seafood chowder. We laugh some more at what the little kids have been saying lately and laugh about the legendary stories about the crazy things the older kids used to do ... and then we laugh some more ...
It's these moments right here that for a brief moment time stops.
And I think to myself that these are the best days of my life. Not yesterday or maybe tomorrow, but right here.
I look around and all our kids are together again.
No one's off at work or away at college or living somewhere so far away.
They're all right here, sitting with us at the dinner table.
Love is the sound of raucous laughter.
Love is the amazing family stories that everyone's heard but still make us all howl.
Love is baby James' big, toothless grins that make everyone else coo.
It's selflessness and caring and compassion and forgiveness and easy apologies, all the things that can be so rare in this world.
It's joy and laughter-induced hiccups and big hello and goodbye hugs.
It's a collective faith in Christ and knowing that hard days and good days may be His equal portions, but His love for us transcends the darkest nights.
I think to myself how amazingly blessed I am. God pours out His grace and mercy and love on me in abundance.
A man for whom, however briefly, time does stop.
And I make this memory: We're crammed around the dinner table, all my kids, my beautiful wife next to me, and we're all roaring, some of us wiping our eyes we're laughing so hard.
It's a moment I'll carry in my memory forever. That picture is ingrained in my mind, never to fade.
So yes, actually, time does stand still.
Every once in a while it stands still for me.
Merry Christmas. God bless you all.