We’re still in the spirit of Epiphany around here. When you’ve got a good thing going, why stop it? Not only that, but we’re preparing to celebrate Christmas. Christmas? you say. That’s right, Christmas. We haven’t “really” celebrated Christmas yet because we’ve been awaiting Matt’s return. Oh, we had a little something on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but nothing like the way we’ll celebrate when we’re all together!

So, basically, we’re backing up the calendar and re-creating the past three weeks of joy, anticipation, and excitement. We’re going to again wait at the manger for the Baby Jesus, listen once more to the tidings given to the shepherds, marvel anew at the Christmas tree, re-arrange the Nativity figures, bake another batch of gingerbread, and re-consider the journey of the Three Wise Guys.

You mean the Three Kings, you say? Nope. Not at the Fenelon Clan Abode! Here we have the Three Wise Guys: Matthew, Luke, and John. Did you notice the pic above? It’s the pic we used as our Christmas card this year. Look closer, though. That’s not sand, it’s gypsum. Pure white gypsum left over from a pre-historic sea. The dunes are so numerous and so brilliant that the astronauts can see them from outer space! Look even closer. Those three figures aren’t the Magi, they’re our three rambunctious sons. Our daughter snapped the shot while we were at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico this past March – just before Matt was deployed. We’d gone down to have some “quality time” together and make some memories that we could keep in our hearts while we were separated this past year. It sure was quality time, and we have the fabulous memories to prove it!

Those memories have indeed carried us through the past many months, assuring us that distance can’t even put a ding in our closeness as Clan. Within the next few days, the Three Wise Guys will be reunited and it will be like Epiphany all over again! They won’t be trekking over miles of gypsum dunes, but rather they’ll be trekking throughout our house, up and down the stairs, in and out the doors, and likely all over the city of Milwaukee.

Of course, we won’t forget about the Three Wise Men. We’ll be thinking about their journey in search of the place where the Star has come to rest, of their wonder and awe upon discovering the Messiah, of their detemination in following the path God set before them. And, we’ll be praying for the same awe and wonder, the same determination as we strive to follow the path God has laid before us for the time to come.
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