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Thinking About Family

Last month, I talked about the end of the Romanov dynasty. If you missed it, you may find the newsletter here. At the Mercy of the Sea is now in the hands of my editor! I am hoping to get it out before Christmas.

In other news, I attended the Arizona Families for Home Education conference in Phoenix in July for the first time. It was wonderful to meet many of the attendees. We discussed everything from teaching history and literature to students, the importance of stories in learning, and what life was like in the 17th century to the challenges of the publishing business in 2022. Many thanks to those who stopped by to talk and to those who purchased one or more of my books. I am always grateful for the opportunity to connect with new readers!

As I begin planning my next book, I have been reminded of the importance of family. My family experienced a personal tragedy in July with the passing of my brother, and it has left us all devastated. In our sorrow we have come together to uphold and comfort one another. Yet, we couldn’t do it without God’s help.

Researching my family genealogy and discovering the fascinating stories of my ancestors over the past three decades is what first inspired me to start writing. It is often tempting to think that our situation, our trials, our tragedies are worse now than for those of the past. However, in studying history, I find these presumptions to be untrue. Our technology has certainly changed, and our collective knowledge has increased dramatically too, but who we are as people, our struggles and sorrows, our hopes and dreams have remained the same through the centuries.

People from across the world and down through the ages all want basically the same thing, a good life for ourselves and our children. Sometimes that means braving the dangers of sailing across the ocean or heading over land to an unfamiliar destination. It could mean taking sides in conflicts for independence or civil wars. It might mean standing up for the rights of others or giving the ultimate sacrifice to protect the rights of our own. It might mean working long hours to support our families or to provide greater opportunities to our children than what we had. And through all the struggles, our ancestors had to cope with loss of homelands, persecution, warfare, uncertainty, and the loss of loved ones. In fact, I would argue that they were, perhaps, more familiar with death than we are today.

The struggles may be different because of technology, medical knowledge, and other factors, and yet they are also the same. It is humanity’s lot to struggle, but without struggle we are not made stronger. There is no love without hurt and loss. Without hope, there is no reason to live. Without family there is only loneliness. Without faith there is only emptiness. And so, we continue the journey doing the best that we can with the help of our faith and from those we love.

Take care, and I will reach out again in September.

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