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Tie a Bow Around Christmas and 2021. Greet 2022 With Hope.

Christmas 2021 is now in our memory books. We spent time with friends. We saw shows and watched grandkids in church musicals. We shopped. We baked. We decorated the house. We waited for our turn for a family gathering.

Then our most favorite people in the whole world started pouring through the front door, smiling, hugging, and looking for good food and presents.

We were thrilled to find a time when all TWENTY-FOUR of us could be in the same place at the same time. P.S. We've gone from 23 to 24 because our oldest granddaughter Allie brought her fiance Zechariah Freeborn. Their wedding is planned for February 5.

Then, they drove back down the driveway, and the massive cleanup and restoration of order began. Along with putting away the ornaments and the tree, comes the realization that it is time to put away 2021. Much of it was as challenging and frustrating as 2020, but there were signs of improvement. Now we face the unknowns of 2022 with a little trepidation but also with a large sense of optimism and hope for what is ahead and confidence that God will be with us every step of the way.

Every year, at least since my teen years, I have ended the year by reflecting on the events of the past year and starting a list of ways to improve or goals for the coming year. I shared similar thoughts with you last year, but I want to repeat some and point you to some articles that go into more detail. I believe we all desire to be more likeable to others. Isn't that, after all, one of the very best ways to build a relationship that leads to a gospel conversation?

Check out these articles for some great ideas.

"You Won't Make Everyone Happy. Be Kind Anyway" A blog post by Danny Franks, who is married to my cousin Merriem.

I believe all of these suggested habits are based on sound biblical instruction for godly living. Don't you agree that people who are the best advertisements for Christ and Christianity are likeable and kind? I want to be a better advertisement in 2022. How about you?

Happy New Year!

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