About eight years ago, Anna, then eight, got the bright idea of creating a newsletter for friends and relatives. Melissa and I lit up—Just think, all that good schooling in creative writing, artwork, layout, grammar, and spelling wrapped up in a real, live connection to people we knew and loved!
We encouraged and helped—and started making the North Star Journal a regular assignment. Anna (and brothers and sisters who were drafted to join the editorial staff) soon found that execution of a good idea takes a whole lot of hard work. And sometimes it isn't quite as fun as it was at first: Anna claims she learned to whistle while sitting in front of the computer monitor with a bad case of writer's block . . .
We don't have a regular publication schedule—the North Star Journal is an "occasional" update containing snippets of this and that about our family from the children's perspective. But beyond the latest on our pets and pet projects, our hope is that this window on our family will open windows for our readers on the character of God. After all, we're a work in progress and He is the Workman. If you can look past our personal anomalies and our published mistakes, perhaps you'll catch a glimpse of God at work through the events of our lives—and remember that He is at work in your life, too.
Leftovers are a tradition to rival the Thanksgiving feast and family gathering. Just how many turkey sandwiches and iterations of turkey soup can the family take? It’s a testimony to our abundance; in many ways we have more than we know what to do with. We enjoy remnants of the feast gone by (at least for the first meal or two) and savor the memories.
I’m still chewing on giving thanks.
My father-in-law surprised the family yesterday by asking for a summary of our year. I anticipated the need to identify something for which I was particularly grateful. But a summary of our year? How to collect the highs and lows of 365 days of experience into one statement. To complicate matters, lows seem to dominate our landscape lately . . .
Her sister wove a garland to crown the princess and evening light gilded her hair. There’s something special about being eight. It doesn’t hurt to be the youngest, thoughtfully gifted by all your older siblings. No one minds being a beneficent sovereign, even for a day. And, as my dad used to tell me, “You’ll never be eight again.”
I remember my excitement at dipping into the double digits—the day separating nine-year-olds from ten-year-olds is a monumental wall. But quietly, amid smears of frosting and piles of wrapping paper and happy singing, I crossed an invisible line. I could never be nine again . . . then ten . . . then forty.
My eight-year-old can’t feel the acceleration yet. One of my earliest memories revolves around my mother making me wait—for an everlasting five minutes. And every parent has heard some variation on the theme “Are we there yet?” called from the back seat of the car. We are born into a world locked in time, and every step is measured by its pendulum. We who are older catch a glimpse of our reflection and wonder how the person who looks back could be the twenty-one-year-old that we were just yesterday. The accumulation of years and experiences and sorrows and joys press us, unrelentingly, to a run. As it turns out, not much separates eight from eighty—or nine from ninety. From my vantage point, I’m looking at sixty, even seventy, and thinking it doesn’t look that old anymore . . .