My wife: Beautiful, honorable, compassionate, smart, and loving. She is a truly amazing human being and an amazing wife. I am undoubtedly a better man because of her. I am braver, more thoughtful, more compassionate, capable of greater deeds of humanity, because of her. Through her I have learned what intimacy means, I have come to believe that it is possible to be both known and loved.
Lorien: Leader in our family and among her peers, competent, kind, conscientious and spiritual. Brilliant and diligent, capable of practically anything she desires. Speaks my language of wordplay and finds the physical palindromic nature of a kayak as interesting as I do.
Lee: A beautiful young lady with a twinkle of mischief and whimsy always just under the surface. She is secure enough for silliness. Sometime she is the only one to genuinely laugh at my jokes, or at least fake it better. She feels deeply and lives sincerely. She loves fiercely and lets go only with difficulty.
Joshua: Capable of bringing great joy to many people through God given talents. A fierce work ethic equal to the talent. A poet’s sensitivity to the world. A desire for goodness almost too much to bear. Loyalty to friends and family deeper than he admits.
Joseph: Smooth talk from a sincere heart. Confidence and composure beyond his years. A keen sense of right and wrong, increasingly tempered by grace and compassion. Dedication to duty, a desire to please. Amiable company with a comic sense of humor, instinctual and pleasing.
Jubilation: A brain like a steel trap hidden behind a veneer of inattention. Our observant scientist, most likely to build his own computer in our family.
Josiah: Sweet and affectionate, with a large desire to please. Protector of his sister, sometimes cuter than should be possible, brave and charming. Hard working and loyal.
Lidya: Witty, engaging, affectionate, and energetic. Strong and brave, willing to attach when others have abandoned.
My Mother: Strong and compassionate. Faithfully she sends every one of my children a birthday card or email without fail on time. Willing to develop new skills, like email, in order to keep up with her family. I would not be who I am without her. I learned service, honor, strength, perseverance, and dedication from her.
My Brother Andrew: “let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching orfaultfinding, and it will be given him.” James 1:5. I know of no one who exemplifies this kind of generosity better than my brother Andrew.
My Brother Kevin: One of my best friends, he exemplifies qualities of honest investigation, transparency, intelligence, and Grace, which I admire.
Friends, like the Johnsons, who invited my whole family to Thanksgiving dinner (no small feat!) or the Lifesingers who have continued to show that their love for me was not dependent upon my being their pastor, or numerous others who faithfully express love and concern in numerous ways.
These are just a few of my favorite people and only some of my favorite things about them. In a time when I am newly recognizing the value of money and financial security, I am also praying that I never forget how much greater the value of the people in my life.
Thanksgiving is a time to remember the true measure of our wealth. Today, I am a wealthy man.