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From the Editor -
Karen Treharne
The Joy of Family
Featured Article
It is a pleasure to welcome you to the "Joy of Family" department. As we get better acquainted through the months ahead, I look forward to sharing God's love of family with you. For this first edition, this column is devoting its space to God's most precious family gift...children.

familyThe World of Boys
by Karen Treharne

  "What are little boys made of?  Frogs and snails and puppy-dog tails."  It’s an old rhyme we learned as children, but boys are much more than this. I know because I was blessed with two.

Flying kites on high, tossed by the wind.  They scattered the birds around, laughing at the sight.

Blowing bubbles that captured the shimmering colors of the grass, the sky and the clover.  Laughing as those spheres of soap launched into flight.

Picking dandelion bouquets for me on lazy sunny days; taking longer because they stopped to send the seeds on wing when they blew a puff of air.
 
Questions of a Chatty Child
By Diane Exner

    When most people think of the word endurance, the things that come to mind are sweaty sports, tired tears or weary work. Usually the phrase, "to endure something," has a negative connotation. For example, having to endure a two-hour business meeting might not evoke a positive reaction. On the other hand, enduring a two-hour chat with a child might be an anticipated event.

  When my youngest stepson, Cody, was about seven, he started asking me serious questions like, "What is God like?" and "Where will we live when we get to heaven?" One question would lead to another, and soon he would be chattering on about what it was going to be like when Jesus comes back to take us all to heaven. I still smile when I reflect on his beautiful, searching heart.

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Finding joy in running all day, getting dirty, eating a Popsicle, or holding tight to a red balloon.

Summer days of baseball in the street or vacant lot, sliding into Home or stealing a base.

My favorite time, though, was wash day. I was forever treated to a new surprise as I searched their small pockets. Treasures like a broken glass to catch the sun; an old bent nail or a knotted piece of string; a flat white rock to skip across the waves; a grubby penny for a sweet; a stub of chalk, or perhaps even a caterpillar. Although I cringed and often shook my head, I knew that in each homely jewel my sons found delight and a little bit of magic.

So I fondly recall those daily routine times, longing to return for one more summer's day of watching them romp with glee or run with open arms to have me kiss away a hurt.  Watching them curiously discover the world – unhurried, unplanned.  Seeing their excitement at the smallest things; enjoying their freedom to dream and play.

And I thank God for the gift of His love that I have always seen reflected in my two boys.

  A Family Prayer:

Today may there be peace within our home.
May we trust our Father that we are exactly where we are meant to be.
May we not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May we use those gifts that we have received, and pass on the love that has been given us to bring honor to God.
May we be content knowing we are children of God and allow our soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and celebrate His passion for the family unit.

By Karen Treharne