Feeling a Bit Behind?

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Feeling a bit behind—or a lot behind? I was feeling that way last December . . . and January . . . and March . . . and June. That’s why I did something I’d never done before in July.

Here’s my story of why. You see, to the best of my recollection, Ray and I have always sent out Christmas cards, but we simply couldn’t get it done last December. It kept nagging at me. I didn’t want to break our 46-year-old record. After a year like 2020, I wanted the people who only hear from us at Christmas to know we were still here. 🙂

That’s why I mailed out Christmas in July cards. It was fun to surprise people and the responses have been a blessing. The most recent response came from a man my dad grew up with. I didn’t know this man when I was growing up because he had moved away. However, I did know and admire his godly parents, Jesse and Eva Morris, who went to church with my family. I always knew them as Brother Jesse and Miss Eva.

God has continued to weave the Morris family’s story in and out of Ray’s and my life. We have been blessed to know four generations of Morrises.

Two of Brother Jesse and Miss Eva’s grandsons, Kelly and Howard Morris, were about my age. They would come to stay with their grandparents for a few days in the summers. When Ray and I moved to Oxford, Mississippi, Kelly and his wife Arlene were there for him to do graduate work. They became two of our closest friends.

In 1982 Ray interviewed for a position with a church in Kentucky. Brother Jesse and Miss Eva’s son Al was an elder in that church. Al and his wife Dorris hosted us and our two toddlers in their home. Though Ray didn’t end up going there to serve in that church, Al and Dorris became our friends.

Dorris passed away a couple of years ago. Yesterday Ray and I got a handwritten letter from Al in response to our Christmas in July greeting. Here is an excerpt:

My life in assisted living . . . is filled with daily blessings . . . Except for loss of hearing and increasing blindness, my health is good. Next month I’ll be ninety-four. My mother, Miss Eva, lived to be ninety-nine plus 9 months. . . My local church family . . . meets within sight of my residence. In July, Kelly and Arlene and my brother, Charles (Elihu), age 96, who lives with them, came for a 4-day visit. . . Meditation, prayer, and scripture and [the] constant presence of His Holy Spirit supply peace to my life. Do stay in touch. Love Never Fails. — Al

The reason you are homeschooling is to help and encourage your children to be able someday to write a letter like the one we received yesterday, to look back at a life lived for the glory of God, and to be at peace while continuing to live life well in old age.

God, You have taught me from my youth,
And I still declare Your wondrous deeds.
And even when I am old and gray, God, do not abandon me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to all who are to come.
Psalm 71:17-18

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