Monday, December 14, 2015

Greetings From Isaac Angell

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” Isaiah 52: 7-10

In these days of desperation and these nights of gloom, where is our hope? In the busyness of life and the chaos that ensues, where is our peace found? In the midst of daily pressures, where is our joy?

One of my favorite times of day is returning home from a full day of making vet calls. As I ascend our back steps and peer into our kitchen windows, I typically see my beautiful wife already sitting down with Isabella and Olivia down at the dinner table to see what she can entice them to consume. With a twist of a door knob, I am through the back door.

All at once so many emotions are mixed with one. These days, this time of day can be a long time in coming. Inevitably, the circumstances of the day have led all of our family to some variant of physical or emotional fatigue. For each of us it is different.

Olivia, now one and a half years old, is a bundle of energy, with a quick wit and a mischievous smile. Her love of life can quickly become an overindulgence in life which can lead to those times of day that seem best cured by a nap.

Our three year old, Isabella, has a platitude of contentment, and her observations of life are intriguing. Her intensity can be overwhelming, and often times, a new found element of complication.

Allie is amazing, balancing so many facets of life with such organization and skill. Her love seems boundless, yet to her, there are days she feels it runs dry.

For me, Isaac, my life is full and blessed. And yet, in the pressures of my profession and in the pursuit to keep a discipline to aspects of personal life, I too become far too inundated and consumed by people and cases to which I feel an obligation.

As I burst through the kitchen door, the aforementioned state for each one of us is real, yet for a brief second it seems all behind us. Fortunately, while very tangible, these moments in our lives may add definition, but they do not define us.

What elation my heart feels when Bella lights up and says, “Hi Pops” and Olivia adds banter to the excitement saying, “Me, mee, meee” wanting her greeting with a kiss. How the worries of the day often seem to wash away with a sweet kiss from my dear wife. How precious this life is.

For us, this year, the precious moments of life were abundant. This past winter we welcomed in the New Year with a vacation down to Florida where I had a chance to catch up on continuing education. On the last day of trip we made time to marvel at the beauty of the ocean. In an awe that only a child can have, as we walked up over the sand dune, and the view of the ocean came into Isabella’s view for the first time she blurted out, “Are we walking up into the sky?” Since our return, Bella has been faithfully packing her bags with regularity in anticipation of a return trip this coming year. This spring our family favorite was helping my brother and sister-in-law fence in a fifteen acre pasture on their newly acquired portion of Bentley Farm. How fun it is to get excited about working together as a family. A summer favorite for Allie and I was reliving the way our love began: milking cows. For a three month stint this summer, Allie’s and my day would begin at five am milking our cows that we moved to a back field during a time of transition. The joy it was to begin everyday with my lifelong girlfriend was phenomenal. As summer turned to fall, we said good-bye to our 97 year old cousin, Maryella, who lived with my parents for the past seven years and who had become a pillar of our everyday lives as she lived in the other half of our house. It was in her bedroom, a couple days before she died, that we found Isabella, with such a caring heart for Maryella, sitting in her sofa-like “princess chair” reading to her books in a ministry of love and presence. As the weather turned colder, Olivia often came running to me at chore time with her front pack yelling, “Me, mee, meee” wanting me to strap her on my front and zip her inside my jacket so that just her head was popping out. It was there that she got to be close to “Papa” and her world expanded to the great outdoors.

Yes, it was to human lives like these, frayed yet precious, that Jesus came and dwelt amongst. He came and offered us a different way of looking at life: that regardless of the circumstances, He shows us there is hope. A hope that is not transient, but eternal. A hope that offers us peace. Living in this hope and peace, there is so much joy. It is this palpable joy that so permeates my favorite time of day. It is not that we have created it, it is a Hope, Peace, and Joy, that was given to us and found in a stable a long time ago.

Merry Christmas, Isaac, Allie, Isabella, and Olivia Angell