For health: coming down harder than ever with a sore throat and a head cold makes me appreciate the good times even more.
For family: a recent bonding activity has been around the potter's wheel, reminding me of the verse in Isaiah: "We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." Those members who have attempted to make something resembling a pot have found out how difficult it can be!
Nevertheless, these same family members built an outdoor kiln on Thanksgiving day. They are not about to give up.
Another passage comes to mind as I watch the family potterying: "So I went down to the potter's house [the lower solarium in our case], and I saw him [or her] working at the wheel. But the pot he[she] was shaping from the clay was marred in his[her] hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him[or her]."
I am grateful that God will not give up on us either. His purpose for our lives will not be thwarted.
For friends: We have been so privileged this year to extend hospitality to old and new friends coming through. On Thanksgiving Day we were joined by two from India: Stefan Eicher and his 'adopted' brother Upendra Kumar (currently studying at Taylor University),
and an OM friend from way back, Jack Rendel. Another interesting connection is that Jack went to school with my cousins in Nigeria.
Chris Le Roux from South Africa, who was with us back in April-May to woo his lady friend, returned a couple weeks ago, living with us again but, of course spending Thanksgiving break with Rachael and family in Ohio.