We're back! We got back around 9 pm last night from a great trip to Tennessee. The impetus for the trip was the celebration of Joel's parents golden anniversary. Their request for a celebration was simply to have all their children and grandchildren around them for a week of vacation. As the family is spread from the Near East to South Carolina to Tenneessee to Oregon, this gathering was no easy feat! Seventeen of us gathered in the Great Smoky Mountains to reconnect with one another.
It was wonderful, in particular, to see Emily Anne and Will get to know and play with their cousins and aunts and uncles who live so far from us but are close in our hearts.
Here Emily Anne and Will are playing with their cousin Aiden. Aiden and Will are only a few months apart in age.
Here are the three older cousins each holding a younger cousin above their heads. If you enlarge the picture, you can see the delight in the little ones' faces!
This time together showed me that no matter how far-flung we may be, when we come together, the miles melt away. Our spiritual family, too, is connected by bonds that hold us together despite our physical distance and differences (Ephesians 3:15).