Today, I watched our daughters decorate our Christmas tree. I heard some of the younger ones downstairs playing on their computer. Some of the boys were playing with their brother's dog, Carlito. Our son "C" and his girlfriend "R", dropped in from Charlotte this morning for a surprise visit - at 6:00am! They brought one his dogs with them. Carlito is a beautiful grey pit bull terrier.
This literally brought me to tears. These sights and sounds are blessings straight from our Lord. The sound of a happy and peaceful family. I want to say we're "functional", because everybody always describes their family as "dysfunctional". Pam and I love and respect each other and the kids. We're not perfect and we're definitely not wealthy (by American standards). We have a home chocked full of LOVE and we are all continually working on being a whole together Johnson Family.
Satan continually attacks the family because it is at the root of what God wants for His children. We fight and pray against him as he tries to attack our family at every turn. We have to take into account all the stressers in our lives and pray for wisdom and peace above all things.
One day, Pam and I were doing one of those couples workshops and took this little stress assessment. According to that assessment, we were prime candidates for divorce and/or suicide. In the past 12 years, we've both lost spouses, we moved 7 times, we lost multiple jobs, we gained 7 children and took on a lot debt in the process. I find it amazing...I don't feel like suicidal and I wouldn't trade this woman in for anyone on this planet. Ok, maybe Halle Berry. LOL
What I do feel is hope. Hope in the sense that I know the word of the Lord and He promises to be with us and to never leave us, no matter how it "feels". He is there when we have to make decisions. He's there when we don't know where the money is going to come from. He's there when our children need us and we're mere mortals with limited wisdom and resources. He will always be here. This I know.