The most unexpected thing has happened this holiday season. It has without question been the most difficult season our family has experienced; and yet it has been the most blessed. Instead of buying gifts for the children, we did two things for them. First we gave them a set amount of money to use to buy gifts for their siblings—they drew names. After that we gave them a certificate for $50 to spend on themselves. On Friday the children did their online research to determine how to best spend their money. The Saturday following Christmas, we headed to the store to get their gifts. It went great. We were so proud of how seriously they took the task to heart and how well—for the most part—their decisions were. It really was exciting to see. This was the first part of what was unexpected about this Christmas season. The second part was a little more sobering. It occurred to me that our children were being placed into a position to make decisions that adults would have to make. I never had to make such decisions about life at the age of 10 or 12 or 14 years old. It caused me to wonder why. It is our conviction that as a follower of Christ that nothing in your life happens without the consent of the Father. Someone once expressed it as being Father Filtered. Since that is our conviction, the question that ran through my mind was to what extent are these children—I certainly do not believe that this is an isolated situation unique to our children—are going through this. As I pondered this question, I was also looking at current news events around the globe. Gas prices continue to fall globally while terror threats and attacks continue to rise. The global community continues to be in chaos while uncertainty shows no signs of letting up. The thought then occurred to me—and I stress that it was a thought. What if your children—and the other families around the world like them—are being prepared for a coming calamity that will have worldwide consequences? What if these children are actually being prepared as well as positioned by the Father to help other’s their age whose families suddenly find themselves in a place of unexpected uncertainty? There is a strange sense of comfort in this thought. I know that we have consistently endeavored to show our children that the situation we are in will not defeat us. Each time that we have needed something positive to happen, it has. We have been quick to give our God credit. It yet remains as to how it will work out—but it will work out for God’s glory as well as our good. Positive things are in motion; testimonies are yet to be told. Happy New Year; whatever it may bring.