For the last few months my missionary family has been on what is called Stateside. The amount of time they have here is determined by several factors. Mostly having to do with the amount of time they have spent on the field. That they would be able to embrace the joys and delights of autumn and winter was an event I was keen to see.

Of course, my prayers were that we would have especially beautiful seasons of autumn and winter for their pleasure. I started praying this in the summer when they arrived. I figured I should start early because while autumn can be a beautiful season, we don’t always get the color we hope for. And though we had a record breaking snow last winter, who knew if we would get any at all this year. Snow and color are sporadic here.

Whether in answer to my prayers or not, autumn dressed out in splendid array. Throughout the campus where my son and his family live, this autumn season was explosions of red, yellow, orange, and brown. And for eyes that had been deprived of such glory, I’m sure it bordered on being overwhelming for them.

I watched them take walks on the trail near our house savoring the sounds of leaves crunching under their feet. Pumpkins and scarecrows dotted all about the house and yard. Using any excuse, they roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire pit. Drank coffee flavored with pumpkin spice creamer. Lingering by the fire, calming to the crackling of burning wood; quickened their senses. Senses that had been dulled from lack of stimulation. And Thanksgiving, the grand finale of the season, shared with family were moments of pure pleasure.

Then Christmas, a long anticipated reunion of our entire twenty member clan took place for the first time in eleven years. Though we exchanged gifts with all the laughter and thrills that goes with such fun, our sweetest gift was just being together in one place. We packed 20 people in our country home. Kids were sprawled throughout the house with the overflow bunking down on the front porch. Thanking God for blessing our gathering with balmy weather, making their sleeping quarters comfy. The pleasantly cool temperatures enhanced many an outdoor setting for their memory making.

And the icing on the cake came when my grandsons got to experience their very first snow. Their squeals of delight were deafening. Their dad, as big a kid as his sons, helped them build a ginormous snowman. Snow cream became a staple for the days they got to enjoy their winter wonderland.

,

Yes, their autumn and winter fun exceeded my expectations for them. Stateside is giving them all the joys of autumn, thanksgiving, Christmas, winter fun in the snow they have been missing out on. It’s really cool how when you are willing to make sacrifices to serve the LORD, He blesses you in such an abundance, you don’t feel as if you have missed out on anything.