I realize that not everyone comes from a great family situation. I am blessed to be part of a family that truly loves one another. No, we don’t always agree with each other. Yes, there are times we may not even LIKE each other very much. However, through thick and thin, we are a family that LOVES each other dearly.
The family, in Appalachian culture, is the hub of society. It’s weird like that. Kind of like how God designed it to be…well, anyway, family is more than a Mom & Dad and their kids. It’s grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and more. Adopted, married into, or stays taken in, we are family.
We will fight fiercely among ourselves, and even more fiercely for each other. We laugh, we love, we get loud. We cry, we support, we lean on each other. We believe in Jesus the Christ as the glue to hold us all together, and we believe that together we are going to be just fine no matter what life may throw at us.
As the family continues to grow and spread around the country (literally), our times together are more rare and frankly usually revolve around a funeral. When Peggy’s Unce Tom passed a way recently, Peggy & I saw family members we hadn’t seen in several years. Our son Ian, his wife McKayla and our grandson Landon made the 13 hour drive from Arkansas just to be with family. Mind=blown. Heart=full.
Now, again, we are not perfect people. We fuss more than we should. We talk about each other in ways that we would not tolerate an “outsider” to do. Sometimes, we know that a “little dab will do you” in time spent with family members. However, when all is said and done, we are family, and we know that togetherness is great medicine for what ails you.
I am grateful to be part of this family. It is a privilege I do not take for granted. My only prayer is that my kids and grandkids will know the joy (and other stuff) that goes with being a close-knit bunch. So much more difficult to do with us living in different towns and states, but so important to me. I praise God for FaceTime, but I praise Him even more for Face-to-Face time. I pray for more of that. Please pray that with and for me. Please pray that for my family.
Do not take family for granted. We are not promised our next breath. Make the most of every opportunity. Let your family members know how much you love them always. Make Jesus the center of your family. He IS the glue that holds a family tougher. As such, family is how you survive the trials of this world. Family is how you learn to get along even when you cannot agree. Family is the group that has your back. Family is God’s design for people, because God knows that we are better together.
Just some random thoughts as I reflect on a weekend with extended family, and prepare to fly back “home.” I love and miss these guys and gals when we are separated by miles. I feel closer to them than ever when we are together, no matter the circumstances.