Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

“If we discovered that we had only five minutes left to say all we wanted to say, every telephone would be occupied by people calling other people to stammer that ‘they loved them.’”

Christopher Morley

This morning’s coffee was fairly ordinary—a dark roast favorite. Not the flavored kind I occasionally enjoy, and the aroma of which Lynda loves as it fills the kitchen with the scents of vanilla, hazelnut or southern pecan fragrances—“fru-fru” coffee my nephew calls them.

But this morning the coffee, although good, was fairly ordinary.

But there was nothing ordinary about the mug into which the coffee was poured.

It’s one of the many mugs I have been given and collected through the years reminding me of the people I love—with their picture emblazoned on the side. I have mugs graced with our elder granddaughter, Hannah’s name, and some with her picture, some with younger granddaughter, Ellie’s name, and of course some with her picture as well. There are a number with our children’s whole family on them, ones with pictures of both of our two granddaughters together, and individually with us, and of course mugs containing pictures of our Godchildren.

Yesterday’s mug selection contained a picture of Hannah, smiling wistfully, and taken during one of her many visits to our home. Today’s mug boasts a picture of Ellie, laughing heartily at dinner one evening during a family trip to Sea Island, Georgia. Looking at her picture on the mug, I just couldn’t help but begin to smile, then laugh out loud myself, and want to grab her up in my arms to hold forever.

Sadly, the times pictured never seem to go on forever, but happily the memories remain. Memories made during times with those we love and for whom we would move heaven and earth to help, protect, encourage and be with. Memories made that fill page-after-page of the journey of our lives. Memories which are forever imprinted on our hearts and lives, and which have made an eternal difference in our lives and the lives of those we love.

To be completely honest, though, there are also some moments of regret, marked with some blank pages on the journey. Regrets made in those moments missed while chasing worldly things less important, and which experience should have taught—wouldn’t last. But fortunately for me, for us, and for those family and friends we love—those pages have become fewer and fewer with each passing year.

Today is the second Monday in God’s gift to all of us of a brand new year—2018.

I wonder what we will find and figure out to do this year to fill all the pages of its days. I wonder how many pictures we will record of times with those we love—while we still have the time to make them. I wonder if the pages of this year will reflect the eternal significance of the times with those we love, or will they be filled with the temporal successes and stuff of a society calling us to achievement, image, and the accumulation of things—all at the expense of those we love.

The key to unlock either result is in our hands. When we look back at day-after-day of the journey of this year, what will we see filling all the pages of its days?

Will we see eternal moments and memories with those people and times most important? Or we will see blank pages of regrets left there while we chased after the things that didn’t matter, won’t last, and won’t go with us into eternity?

I wonder which journey we will pursue in 2018.

I wonder what the pages will look like.

Will our journey in 2018 be one filled full of pages of the memories we will make, or will it be one full of blank pages from the regrets we left behind?

Just something for each of us to think about today, and every day as we begin to fill the pages of this brand new year together.

Let’s see, I wonder which mug I’ll select tomorrow—perhaps the one with the picture of Hannah reading to Ellie Kate on her second birthday.

In His Name—Scott