Monday, February 18, 2013

Family is Forever

We cannot destroy kindred: our chains stretch a little sometimes, but they never break. ~Marquise de Sévigné

Papaw and Kate
Yesterday, we celebrated Papaw's 60th birthday. For sixty years now he has walked this earth, leaving marks on the lives that surround him. My children know him as the man who blows up the air mattress so they can sleep over, and who sets up the colorful little table when it is time to dine. My children know him as the man who lets them style his snow white hair with ribbons, and bows, and anything else they can get their hands on. My children know him as the wrapper of Christmas presents, and the sender of Valentines, and the giver of birthday cards. My children love him, and my children love well. They love him because he is their Papaw. They love him because he is family.
I thank God for it every single day, for his beautiful creation of family. I am so thankful he did not leave us to navigate this dark world alone. Instead, he gave us others to walk with us. To cheer us on when we grow weary. To hold us up when it feels as though falling is all there is left to do. And when family fails? Because sin is all around, and sometimes families do fail, he sends others to stand in the gap. Everybody needs somebody.
Boss and I are blessed. In our immediate families we have four parents who still stand behind us. Or beside us. Or wherever we need them to stand in a particular season. We have brothers and sisters who make us laugh. We have aunts, and uncles, and some grand parents still on this earth who make our lives all the more rich. And we have four beautiful children. We count our children as our greatest blessings on this earth. And we have so many friends, countless brothers and sisters in Christ who fill in the gaps all around us.
Our families are not perfect. The family we have created together is not perfect. Our chains stretch more than a little. But even after all of these years our chains have never broken completely. Because family is family. You don't get to choose it. It chooses you. Family is opinionated. And family is messy. Family can be loud, though sometimes the silence during a stretch is louder. Family is colorful, and in your face, and sometimes you are begging them to just see your face. To hear you. To understand your heart. But family is also fun. And forgiving. And a soft place to land. A place to be the very real you and know that you are loved in spite of it all. Family is flawed, but family is forever.
Family, no matter what that looks like for each of us, is to be celebrated. So reach out your hands to the important people in your life. Grab on tightly. And though the seasons, and the years, and the sin will stretch you, never let go. Because family is a gift.

Cousin Claire and Kate

family turned friends


Cousin Madi and Emma

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