I love my Faulkner side of the family... We don't get together nearly as much as we should. Sadly, I usually only see my brothers a couple times a year... but one of those get-togethers is ALWAYS the Faulkner Family Fun Fest. I wish I could remember when it started. It's been close to 15 years. It's always in December, usually the closest weekend to Christmas, and it's always at my house. As is customary, as soon as everyone arrives, they start trying to leave. No one ever intends on having much fun at the Fun Fest, but we always do. We surprise ourselves every year. This year's edition was a bit tricky in the smaller house, but we made it work. As usual, the food was good but the company was even better. We even made an attempt at a live video feed (fail) but we were successful at sharing the event via FaceTime with family in Utah and Washington. I am beyond blessed with this crazy family, but as I sit and reminisce on the events of the day, I am struck by the fact that quite a few of my friends are facing personal tragedy during this holiday season. I have friends that are facing recent family deaths, hospitalizations for life threatening illness as well as terminal illness diagnosis. These events are tragic any time of the year, but with our heightened emotions of the holidays, it is especially sad. And so I find myself counting my blessings even more so than usual. This truly has been a wonderful season for us and I am so grateful for the grace in 2012.
And so we pray with petitions and thanksgiving.