Friday, September 3, 2010

Family: A Few Profiles of Appreciation

I come from a joyful, productive, and affectionate family. Each family member is uniquely interesting and valuable to our family dynamic. When I was younger, my Gramma and Granpa lived with us in the guest house out back. Soon after they died, both my sister and brother met their future spouses. With two new in-laws in 2006, our family was back to a grand total of seven! I believe it was part of our immediate family’s journey toward healing. The Lord was great to us with this sweet gift... not a gift of replacement, but one of extra love all the same.

My dad, John, is wise and practical. He feels at ease and in high spirits while out in nature. One of his distinctive strengths is appreciating quiet moments. Daddy is a great gardener and a life-long birder. I am so grateful for the work he does and I think he’s blessed my generation in more ways that he realizes just by being hospitable to friends throughout my growing up years.

My mom, Margaret, is pretty and lives a servant’s life. I like it when she makes herself laugh. She is a gracious hostess, a fun mom, and an incredible teacher. Her love for the disabled is contagious and God has definitely used that love to encourage the kingdom. Mom is particularly good at treating each of her kids equally and I so appreciate her daily, understanding hugs.

My older sister Laura and I like to call each other sissy. Laura is a faithful wife, a compassionate Christian, and a gifted empathizer. Whenever something really bad happens to me, she is usually the first person I call, mostly because she’s so good a responding to hard things. She has a great way of helping people, including me, cope with stress and handle their “moment” of life. My sissy is great at having fun too. This is an understatement, but I am so grateful she appreciates and values me for who I am.

I’ve known my brother-in-law, Oliver, since I was twelve and am blessed to have a close relationship with him. He is a tender-hearted care taker. Family is extremely important to him, which was an eye-opening blessing when he married into ours. Oliver is quite personal and good at listening to others. I’m so grateful Laura and Oliver’s home is a safe haven for me.

My older brother, Aaron, is a godly man. He really loves Jesus and desires to serve Him with his life. The way he fathers his baby boy is loyal, sweet, and fun. Aaron loves his wife in an incredible way and offers me sound advice. It has been positively interesting getting to know each other again in this new phase of life.

When I first met Alisa, my sister-in-law, my word for her was “fun”. She quite seriously embodied it when I was a young junior higher. Alisa is still very fun, but I’ve been able to understand even more aspects of her character as I’ve continued living life with her. Alisa is a tender mom and values hospitality and stewardship. She is skilled at managing time and loves her family so well.

Levi, my sweet nephew is a bubbly guy. I can not wait to see how his personality develops and I (even more!) can’t wait to hear the funny things he’s bound to say. The other day, I sat him on the ground, got down on my tummy, and we just smiled at each other… for a good minute or two. This simple moment filled me with so much joy.

Lord, thank you for my family...for allowing me to grow up around people who love you.

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