When Teresa and I first moved to Winter Haven in 1985, we were just getting started with a family. We were married in December 1981, and our lives were graced with little Thomas Alan Negley in January 1985. It was in Winter Haven that we began moving through the accumulation phase of life (we added Stewart Galen, who was born at the Regency in March of 1988), and establishing some of the traditions that we have built upon for the past three plus decades. One of these traditions centers on the angel on the top of our Christmas tree.
As I mentioned, our early years in Winter Haven dealt with the expanding possessions of a growing family, and a growing circle of Christian friends. Two of the dear people we met here were Dr. Robert and Ruth McLeod. At that time in their married life (60 plus years), the McLeods were “de-accumulating”, and as one Christmas approached, in a visit to their home, they asked if we would like the angel from the top of their Christmas tree. We were thrilled to have this “beautiful little lady” move from their home to ours.
For about thirty years, the McLeod’s angel has watched the Negley family Christmas celebration from her perch atop our tree. And, every year, as we watch the angel watching us, we think about the McLeods; their faithful witness, their warmth and wit, and their wonderful example of a pastor and wife serving Christ with joy.
Wonderful God, as Christmases come and go we are reminded of those people who have graced our lives and we thank you for them In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.