As I write this tonight, I am filled with gratitude, because both of our daughters are home with us. This is a rare occurrence since Kaia is a Family Practice MD in Alaska, and Annika is living in Switzerland where she attends graduate school. Over the past few years, we have been lucky if we see both of them more than once a year, and even more rarely, at the same time. So I am filled with gratitude that it has worked out to all be together for most of this week. Even in the midst of difficulties and health challenges, being together is a reminder that I am blessed. Having the opportunity to share experiences, hopes and plans face to face is a gift, reminding us that whatever else we have accomplished in life, these two wonderful young women are our most important contributions to the world.

On Saturday, Kaia will move on to Minneapolis for a visit to other family members before returning to a new job at the Regional Hospital in Bethel, AK, serving 60 Yupik villages spread out over an area nearly the size of Kansas. And on Monday, Annika will return to Geneva for her second year in the MA program in international relations and development. We will miss them, but are grateful for the technology that allows us to speak regularly face to face in a way that would have been impossible a generation ago.

God is love, and I can think of no greater illustration of this than the gift of relationship. It is not always given to us through our biological families, but it is clearly God’s intention that we share our lives with others and that we experience God’s love in a tangible way through human connection. It isn’t always easy, but when you experience it, it fills your heart.

Thank you Lord for the gift of families, both the ones we are given and the ones that we choose. Thank you for giving us tangible experiences of the love you have for us and the love you want for everyone. Help us to appreciate each other, whether we live in the same house, or thousands of miles away from each other. Help us to always communicate your unconditional love to each other. Amen.

Dave Erickson-Pearson

*Join us in praying the Daily Texts.

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