Having a most wonderful Richards family time, with Abel just returned from Vietnam, Danika staying with us and little Elliot at his all-time almost-two most adorable cuteness.
It may easily be the most enjoyable since . . .
Time and the Lord have certainly brought us a great ways in terms of healing.
Still, there are those faithful reminders.
Carissa enduring a high-pain day with her Mast Cell Activation Disease; the brutal by-product of the trauma of her little brother's death.
And that ever-present ache like a moon-sized crater on our hearts.
Our very togetherness places the boldest accent on his absence.
The unspoken murmur on continuous loop from somewhere deep down: "he should be here."
And the silent prayer.
I love them so much; please, Lord, don't allow another of these to be taken.
And right with that, the confidence in His tender mercies (Psalm 103:13) and the self-awareness that we dare not cleave too tightly to "things on earth" (Colossians 3:1-4; Hebrews 10:34).
Like David's mighty man, Eleazer, whose fingers had to be pried from the hilt of his sword after a day's battle.
Always, always, may it be with me:
"Nevertheless, Father; not my will, but thine be done."