Anji is getting better, day-by-day. She's still struggling with her energy level and the leftover pain and effects of the surgery. The good news is that she's been given a pretty clean bill of health as a result of all of the testing she endured. Her heart is good (in more ways than one, my friends) and her big issue now is acid reflux or at least what seems to be symptomatic of acid reflux. The bad news is that she doesn't feel a whole lot better. I guess that's a bit difficult to explain. We anticipated a significant change after the surgery based upon the doctor's feedback, but have yet to see Anji experience it. We continue to covet your prayer for a full recovery.
Our home is coming together slowly but surely. The garage now actually houses both the van and the multitude of boxes that we have yet to unpack. With the weather turning cold, I sometimes pull the van out of the garage and let the boys ride their tricycles and bikes as a diversion from the general hooliganism that ensues when four boys have spent just a bit too much time inside. The house is certainly large enough to accommodate their playtime needs, but the volume level and intensity level often increases to a point where neither Anji nor I can tolerate another moment. We still have very little furniture and no window coverings to speak of, so the reverberation of joyous screaming often becomes difficult to bear.
I have established a home office once again. I reside in the "upper room" (a.k.a., the "bonus room") and for the most part find it a workable situation. The door at the bottom of the stairs does not lock, giving Jack and Asa in particular the feeling that they have free access to come upstairs and play or ask questions or generally disrupt my workday. It is, however, far better than driving into an office where I would only hear the sound of the heating and air conditioning running. Life is good and I am blessed to be able to do what I do how I have chose to do it. My new boss is exceptionally helpful and I am beginning to become busy. For a while, I was stricken by the lack of activity. I know that probably sounds strange to some of you, but having come from a position where telephone calls and emails poured in like Niagara Falls on a daily basis, it is rather shocking to have one or two calls and maybe five or ten emails a day. I'm sure it will change as it always seems to do.
The Lord blessed us for our Thanksgiving holiday and we are looking forward to the upcoming holidays. For those of you who do not know it, today is Saint Nicholas Day. We have taken this holiday and made it a special "kick-off" for our Christmas season. Tonight, Anji will make a Mediterranean meal and I will read a story or two from the great saint's life. His story, while embellished over the years, is one of faithfulness to God and to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Saint Nicholas lost his parents to the plague when he was young, spent his youth under the tutelage of a faithful uncle, became the Bishop of Myra as a young man, provided for the poor and destitute from his own means, and was imprisoned and persecuted severely for his faith by the Roman Empire. Upon his release from prison, he continued his faithful service and even counseled the great Byzantine Emperor Constantine during his reign. With the Christmas season becoming so commercial and selfish, we are joyful to move our focus to one who was, in essence, an example of true religion in practice. We humbly pray that you too might have such a focus during this time of year. Certainly Christmas is not simply about a baby in a manger, but rather about the coming of an all-conquering Savior and glorious King!
All of that said, I wanted to share with you my prayer from Thanksgiving Day. In the past, I've "winged it" when praying, but this year I wanted to purposefully remember certain things as we came before our Lord with thankfulness:
Lord, this year we have been blessed by your gracious hand in ways too numerous to count."Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." (Psalm 100:4-5)
This meal set before us upon the table represents only a small measure of your richness and provision.
We are humbled as a family and as part of this nation which was established under your rule and by your hand.
For your gifts are many and your mercy is great.
Let us never forget that all good things come through you.
Now, as we begin our feast, may your holy spirit come among us and call into remembrance those who have gone before us into glory, those who are fighting for freedom and justice in foreign lands, and those who are waiting upon their return.
We join together in this prayer with your church across our nation and thank you, humbly asking for your continued blessing and guidance in the years ahead.
We thank you for your greatest gift, Jesus, and pray in his holy name.
We wish you a thankful and joyous season dear friends and family.