“Why do I like it? You made it.”

We recently did a family tie-dye project. My kids had made me a shirt a few months ago. I wanted more gear.

I asked my daughter, “You know why I like this stuff?”

“Because it’s art?” she said.

“Yes, that,” I replied, “Also, every thing we made, there’s not another one like it in the world.”

“But you know what else?” I asked.

“What?” she said.

“I like it because you made it.”

A Grammar for Forgiveness

My kids had a fight back in December.

Molly did not hear the exchange. She only knew that feelings had been hurt.

“Work it out,” she said.

Later, we found a letter exchange.

A great start. Here’s the reply:

Where did my children learn this grammar, this way of negotiating hurt feelings and pain? Where did they learn how to seek, grant, and extend forgiveness?

Home, sure. But anything we’ve passed on at home we learned first from Christianity.

Joy says she is sorry. She admits to having done wrong. She names the transgression. She asks for forgiveness. She expresses love.

David, likewise, admits an error. He says he is sorry. He grants forgiveness. He asks for forgiveness. He expresses love.

Colossians 3:13 says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

The grammar of forgiveness is learned.

Once learned, it must be practiced.

When practiced, it is wise to remember the grounds for forgiveness, the work of Jesus himself.

An Expression of Christian Hope

Children when you come to my silent grave to see where your lifeless mother was laid,
remember how I loved you and how I worked and labored and patiently waited on you.
But remember this grave can’t always hold this lifeless body of your mother, but when Christ, who is my life shall appear, that this lifeless mother, the body of mine, shall appear with Him in glory.

Children, my labor of works and patience of love, I leave with you.
Be at peace among yourselves.
Behold the love of Jesus.

This is the grave marker of Dora L. Keith, born October 5, 1871, and died February 16, 1917. She is buried in the Round Grove Cemetery, Dublin, Texas.

Dora Keith was my great-great-grandmother. She died when my great-grandmother, Nellie Hazzard, the youngest of her eight children, was six years old.

Dora Keith knew she was dying. She wrote this letter while living, addressing her children. Her convictions fortified her in the face of death. Her hope was in Christ. Her final exhortation, “Behold the love of Jesus,” are words of deep wisdom. To know of and about Jesus is one thing, and a good thing, at that, but to behold him and his love has the power to transform us.

This memorial now stands as a testimony to me, her great-great-grandson over a century later. It also stands as a testimony to you. Above, we read an allusion to Colossians 3:4, which in the King James Version says, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” She clung to hope in the resurrection. I do, too.

LEGOs: Custom Builds by the Kids

These are from Valentine’s Day 2019, the gifts our kids made for Molly and I, which was way better than anything they could’ve purchased at a store. Molly was given the heart, and I was given the three-headed dragon.

I took pictures to preserve the memory, to document the ways my children use their imagination and make stuff.

Simple stuff. But cool stuff. You might notice the LEGO spacemen. My parents hung on to my LEGOs from when I was a kid. Now, my kids make stuff with those same LEGOs.