Last Friday night, David and I got to celebrate a major life event with our friends Tim and Karyn. Their twin daughters, Emily and Lizzy, were named princesses on their high school homecoming court. While that would be an honor for any high school senior, this family doubled the fun and claimed two of the four precious spots on the court. If that weren't exciting enough, Lizzy was crowned the homecoming queen!
We are all happy for Lizzy and Emily. All the cameras turned to the beautiful four young ladies in the middle of the footbal field on this very special night. That's a huge accomplishment! But we are just as ecstatic for Tim and Karyn. They are wonderful parents, and they should be proud of the great job they've done raising up these two lovely girls. They also have a son who is equally accomplished and who is off to college and another totally fun and talented younger daughter who happens to be the same age as our son Joshua.
We've shared life together with this family since our kids were toddlers and younger. That's when Tim became the associate pastor at our church. We connected right away, mostly due to the friends we already had in common, but we enjoyed their company so much that we decided to join up as a small group. With a handful of other young families of our church, we spent the next ten-plus years sharing our lives together.
With four children, theirs was one of the biggest families in our small group, if not within our church and, possibly, in Irvine. It was always borderline chaos at their home, but there was also always a sense of peace and love in their house, too. How they managed to raise up four athletic, intelligent, and talented children so successfully in their home, I will never fully know. My guess, though, is that they did a lot of things right as parents.
Okay, so they have a head start because Karyn is a clinical psychologist. I love talking to Karyn, because she always has so much wisdom. Tim, being a pastor, also has a heart of gold. Both of them poured their lives into these kids and encouraged each to pursue their talents and passion. Yes, it was crazy driving hither and yon to get their kids to their various activities, but somehow they managed, and managed well.
Obviously, they weren't simply going through the motions. They were present in each of their kids' lives, and that's the key to their connectedness. In that kind of a home environment, children can't help but thrive. All four of their kids embrace life fully, and it has been a joy to watch them all grow.
Most importantly, though, their faith is real. They have a genuine and honest faith in God that underscores everything in their lives. This is not a perfect family made up of perfect people; rather, they are real people living out true faith, trusting in a good and loving God. Life is not neat and tidy and explained away in simple theology, but there is nonetheless true love and peace that permeates their sometimes chaotic and messy lives. I love that about this family!
I've learned a lot just by observing them. How wonderful it is to see their lives now bearing such wonderful fruit. I could go on about how I hope my kids will enjoy great accomplishments half as exciting as theirs or wish that my family would be as connected as theirs. But for now, I'm just going to leave it at this:
Well done, Tim and Karyn! Well done.
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