Saturday, April 14, 2012

Family



Every now and then I have these random thoughts and they seem to stew in my mind for days.  I find the blog is a great outlet for me to put down what I'm thinking --even though it may not make any sense!

Lately, I've been thinking about family and what it means to be a part of a family.  Over the last number of years I've had to re-evaluate my traditional view of family.  When you hear the word family most everyone automatically thinks of the physical family that you were born into, you know--your dad, mom brothers, sisters, grandparents, etc.  When I hear the word family now, I of course think of my husband, my kids and my parents and so on, but I have also been able to add to that list.  I now think of my church family, my close friends and my sisters and brothers in Christ as part of my family as well.

There have been times over the last 8 years when we have not been physically close our our immediate family.  It was hard to be away from them but I believe that most of my growing and maturing happened when I was apart.  I had to re-evaluate my family - and create a new "family" of friends and church members.  If anyone knows my family (and I mean not just my parents and siblings - this goes to grandparents and cousins and aunts & uncles) they know that we are very close.  I mean we have birthday parties for the birthday person who isn't even there! We are pretty crazy but that is what makes it so awesome.  And while we were away, I did miss out on a lot but it also taught me to appreciate the times that we do have together.  I now recognize that not everyone has this great luxury of having family members in the same town and so close together.  I have learned not to take these times of togetherness for granted.

This is what has made me reach out and cling to new family members. No they aren't related to me by blood, but they relate to me.  The Bible constantly talks about brothers and sisters and not just biologically but as brothers & sisters in Christ.  There are other passages where Jesus talks about how the people gathered  around him are his mother, his brothers and his sisters and they aren't even related to him!  And I think that's what makes relationships so amazing and so unique.

What I love so much about my family (parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles & aunts, cousins) is that they have accepted me for who I am.  And this is the way that I believe everyone is treated.  My grandparents have been a great example to me on what it means to love your family.  I think overtime and experiences they've come to learn this and they practice it so well.  Each person in our family is so unique and so different but they love each and every one of us the same.   Some of us are crazy, some of us are quiet and shy, some of us are outgoing and like to have good time, some of us have chosen to follow God and others have not but they love us the same, they pray for us, all of us.  There are no expectations in our family-- no one has be to be a certain way to be accepted- we just are.  And by no means are we perfect, we make mistakes, but love is always there.

And this is what I am striving to look for in a church family and relationships. I believe we have been led by the Holy Spirit to family that I love.  We are all so different and so unique.  Every member has different abilities and different talents but there is always love and open arms.  A love for one another.  And again we aren't perfect, we make mistakes. Those experiences and mistakes will help us grow.  My family is not just my biological family, its a family of friends, a church body and brothers & sisters in Christ.  What an awesome blessing!

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