better than christmas

we celebrated my dad's birthday at my parents' house this weekend.  it was the first time all six of us (plus james and bethany's fiancee) were together since christmas.

actually, our time together was so much better than christmas.  the dark cloud of cancer loomed large in december.

but now, the clouds are lifting.

image source

we enjoyed leisurely, elegant meals at home, drank wine, let the baby entertain us, heard sarah groves and the international justice mission at church, watched ridonkulous youtube videos, and laughed til it hurt.

i love my perfectly imperfect family. 
"'For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.  As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.  I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.  I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.  I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD.  I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.  (Ezekiel 34:11-16)
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