In the general busy-ness of the season, I find that I have neglected to mention to you all that two of our progeny - 2F and 4M - will be flying off tomorrow morning to spend Christmas with friends in the UK - London, Glasgow and Belfast. This is the second time in the last three Christmases that they'll have been off-continent. And, more to the point (at least where Jen and I, and the rest of the family are concerned), apart from us.
Of course, we wish them Godspeed, and joyous times with their friends. Their friends are our friends, too. One is a young woman who has shared many a meal with us around our table (and with whom we saw Paul McCartney last summer), who is spending a year in London doing missionary work. Another is a young man from Glasgow who spent a year-and-a-half in Our Town (and who dearly wanted to see Sir Paul with us, but he got terribly sick the day of the concert; so 4M ended up using his ticket) doing the same thing, and became a close family friend while he was here (at his 'going-home party', one of the kids pasted his face onto a Harry Potter life-size 'cutout', and it has stayed in our dining room for the entire four months since he left). 2F and 4M will carry our greetings, and our love, with them.
2F is actually looking into returning to Europe as a 'missionary' in her own right, and part of the purpose of her trip is to make connections in that regard. Which thought makes us immensely proud of her, and a little bit sad, to think that she could be so far away from us, for an extended (and possibly indefinite) period of time. But those things will happen, when one undertakes to live radically for something (Someone) bigger than one's own preferences and comfort. So you could pray for 2F, that God will give her clear discernment, and open or close the appropriate doors in her path. And for both of them, that He will 'guard their going-out and their coming-in', and return them safely to the bosom of their family. . .
Could I also solicit your prayers for an immensely perplexing situation in which Jen and I find ourselves? Without going into detail, I'll just say that two friends of ours are caught in a massive, emotional breach of their relationship. We are trying hard, 'insofar as it depends on us', to be at peace with both of them, but it's not easy. Pray that we can maintain friendship with both of them, and that the breach between them can be healed.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus. . .