Next week at this time our family will be in Indiana with my parents to celebrate Christmas.  We’ll get some time with Brad’s sister, Julie and her family too since they live in the area.  The day after Christmas we will head to Michigan to be with Brad’s family.

As the time draws closer for us to leave, I find myself growing in excitement. I am ready for a piece of my mom’s fruitcake (she makes good fruitcake), and leisurely breakfasts that extend through the morning.  I am also hoping for some snow, but not on the days we travel, of course.

It dawned on me recently that outside of a trip to upstate New York for a cross country meet, and for two trips to the city over Thanksgiving Break I haven’t been off Long Island since we moved the end of July.  It certainly marks the longest time I have ever been on an island!

My “time-to-take-a-trip” gauge has been rattling for the past week, letting me know I am ready for another car trip.  This will be the first time we have driven “home” from New York, and I am looking forward to seeing new countryside, and also a somewhat shorter car ride.  Instead of seventeen hours in the car we only have thirteen—barring traffic, snow storms, or other surprises!

I also feel fortunate to be excited about seeing family.  For good or bad, families can create a host of emotions inside a person.  One minute everyone can be getting along and enjoying themselves, and the next minute the room isn’t nearly big enough to contain the tension or personalities present.  I’m sure there are times when we are all glad that some distance separates us from one another. Yet in spite of frustrations or disappointments, I love the members of my extended family, and am grateful for what they bring into my life.  I look forward to shared meals together, laughing together, playing games, and just being with one another—even when we drive each other crazy.

May this Christmas season be one filled with the love of Christ, as well as reminders of God’s grace to us in creating families in the first place.

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