I'm reminded of God's grace and goodness this week.
Mom and Dad were in Chicago only for a couple of days, but on Sunday we were finally able to be all together as a family out at Tyler and Lara's. And it's just a reminder of how God has sustained us and brought us to where we are today.
After a quick photo out in the snow (with the help of a tripod!), we warmed up with coffee - an important staple to the Patty family now that both Tyler and Caleb have (and still do) work in the coffee world. I honestly never thought I would like black coffee, but they've convinced me! I've been taught that good coffee depends a lot on the quality of beans and roasting, but mostly on the person who makes it! I really had no idea about anything coffee-related before I came to Chicago, and still don't know very much, but it's fun learning.
Caleb went out to shovel snow on the driveway, partially because he actually loves that, but also because he's just great. Meanwhile, much catching up was needed. E-mails, phones, iMessage and FaceTime are great, but there's nothing like being together in person. The last time we had been all together was at Caleb and Haley's wedding! That hardly counts though because there was much else to do then besides just sit and talk, of course.
I value family time like this so much more now that these gatherings come more seldom. Us siblings have Patty parties, but it was all the more special having Mom and Dad there.
I said at the beginning that this reminds me of God's grace, because I see how He has led and protected our family through the years. Being with my family is a safe place, and I know that's not a given. So I thank the Lord for blessing us with trials and bonding that grew us closer together. Life is not perfect, but the Lord still gives good gifts to His people, like He did this afternoon.
What a wonderful Sunday.