So we just got back from our pilgrimage to the land of corn and family and – with regard to certain precious and unnamed individuals – corny family. I’ve returned home tired from a lot of travel but overwhelmed with gratitude for a weekend that more than anything else, reminds me how blessed I am to have married into this rich and wonderful legacy. I could write a lot of stories, but I decided to mostly let Tess do the storytelling through her lens.
See the looks of excitement in our eyes as we head off to Sternfest 09? That’s because this is not the return trip where excitement had been replaced by exhaustion which was exacerbated by the fact that a fight totally broke out on our plane and people were kicked off…and it wasn’t us. But only because we were too tired for anything but verbal sparring.
This is why we came. It’s the family of Paul & Eleanor Stern minus four who had to stay behind in Africa. You know why those kids are in Africa? Because Paul and Eleanor birthed a love for that continent in the hearts of every one of their children. Without Steve’s family, I would still be stuck in the days of praying, “please don’t send me to Africa” and can I just say that nothing good can come from that kind of prayer? So, here you see 45 people who live and breathe kingdom purpose because of the way that two people have lived and loved. Other than these people and many churches and about a million people in Africa (especially 40 children who have a home in the orphanage that they built), Paul and Eleanor haven’t done that much with their lives.
Tori and her granddad. A picture that I will treasure til the day I die and in fact, am trying to outsmart the system so I can take it with me to heaven.
Lincoln knows that sometimes you just gotta dance.
What’d I tell you? The dancing cannot be stopped. 14 happily married couples in the Stern family and no divorce. I almost didn’t include that information because I was afraid it would make people in other families feel bad. That’s certainly not my intent. My intent is to boast in God’s faithfulness and one family’s determination to stick out the tough times.
The girl behind the camera, finally gets caught in front of one.
Coffee Stern. One of my favorite family members.
The amount of musical gifting embedded in this family is mind-boggling to me. It all started with Eleanor and an accordion.
Ditto the amount of cute babies (hi Jaden!) But that has nothing to do with Eleanor’s accordion.
Two extraordinary couples…just on different phases of their journey. Incidentally, this is another picture I’m going to smuggle into eternity.
“Your name, O Lord, endures forever; Your fame, O Lord, is known to every generation.” Psalm 135:13
A small bit of encouragement: if your family didn’t hand you a memorial like this one, fear not. Abraham built from nothing, so can you. If your family did give you a baton worth running with, then for goodness sake get up and moving. Eternity awaits.