It seems as though it has been forever since I’ve been on a leisurely walk about Pollywog Creek at dawn. I’ve snatched smaller moments here and there for little snapshots of the life around me, but it has been days and days since there was absolutely nothing to limit my time in the morning.

Not that I am complaining. Life has been full of so many good things in recent days – birthdays and feasting and celebrating and worshipping and giving and receiving. Who has time for photography and leisurely walks alone when life is that rich? Not me.

December 26th is a date with great significance for the Hunter family. (Yes, I know that was yesterday.) It was thirty-three years ago on December 26, 1975, that Louis began his recovery from addiction to alcohol. By the grace of God and the strength of his character, Louis has remained sober for all thirty-three years – a day at a time.

It was on his one-year anniversary of sobriety on December 26, 1976, three months after our marriage in October, that Louis’s mother died rather unexpectedly of ovarian cancer. Not that dying of ovarian cancer is unexpected, it was the timing and the circumstances that were a bit of a shock. Christmas was a difficult time in our home for far too many years.

The sweetest December 26th of all was in 1992, when our precious Tabitha was born to Michael and Lizbeth. What joy! Tabitha is smart and beautiful and she loves God and continues to bring us much joy. Happy Sweet Sixteen, Tabitha – we love you BIGGIE bunches!

Poor Emily was sick, sick, sick this December 26th. Bless her heart, she had been looking forward to a day at the beach with friends for ages. She spent the day instead using up all the kleenex in the house and playing toddler golf with Gavin – who stayed with us so Nick and Kristin could assemble his new swing set. It was not the day she had anticipated.

Louis totally spoiled me this Christmas. I honestly didn’t want him to get me one single thing. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did sort of beg for the ESV Study Bible, but other than that I didn’t want a thing. He MADE me give him a list – and I’m embarrassed to say that he got me everything on that list. Everything. An ESV Study Bible (which I have already used and LOVE the additional free access to an online version), an iPod Nano with speakers (can you believe that I can hold my entire stereo with two fingers), and new fuzzy socks for wearing around the house.

I don’t know which of those gifts thrill me the most. The thing is I can use all three of them at the same time. How cool is that?

In my abundance of quiet time today I’ve been contemplating the new year that – should the Lord tarry – will be here in a flash. I turned back the pages of my journal to remember and to prayerfully consider the word or phrase that should be before me in the coming year. That’s when I read Beth Moore’s Anybody Game? (my answer was YES – I hope yours will be, too)and I knew exactly what I want to be doing in 2009: Taking every thought captive. Not sure how to illustrate that with a photo, but I’m confident that God will show me – He always does. Always.

What about you? What are you doing in these days between Christmas and the New Year and the very important NCAA National Championship Football Game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the FLORIDA GATORS? You are pulling for the Gators, right?

Photos: From my morning walk – a little green heron in a cypress tree by the pond and a collage of the ordinary that attracts my attention.

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