As I sit here, on the last day of 2013, in the kitchen of Brian & Connie Carmony I am reminded of this quote from Susan B. Anthony:

Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.

The Carmony’s were once some of those “stray dogs” and now, in a sense, we are the strays. I sit here in this kitchen, in a transient state, no real home to go to, just places to stay—one has become semi-permanent. The Carmonys are family. So are the Conleys. Not of our “litter” but strays that ambled in and have, thank God, never left our lives. (When I first used this quote, Jason Conley, remarked something about coming in and rubbing his but on the carpet… sigh).

Oswald Chambers, in today’s entry in My Utmost for His Highest writes:

Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.

This year, 2013, has not been a good one for us and I am happy to see it go. I could think of “lost opportunities” and “broken and irreversible things,” but I choose to think of what I have and to “rest in the sweet embrace of Christ” and the warmth and love of family—this is the measure of my life.

Stray dogs are the best.