I Blog For Books

20 January 2009

Within the Family

Big or small, we all have families. These families may be a 'nuclear' family, an adoptive family, a blended family, or a one-of-a-kind family. My family, bless them, have been and will continue to be a source of material! (written 20 Sep 07)

Three days from now, Sunday, September 23, our family will have our annual reunion. I don't have the exact details with me, but this get-together started more than fifty years ago as a birthday celebration for my maternal great-grandparents. Granny and Grandpa Hall, otherwise known as Marietta and Jesse, had ten children. By today's standards, that's a huge family! Start counting how many of us have come from those ten ... well, I lose count pretty much after our 'immediate' family. Grandmother and Granddaddy had eight children. Mama is the fourth oldest, and the second girl. I have two siblings, an older brother, and a younger sister. I have three children, two daughters and one son, and one granddaughter. When you consider our family, we're a pretty good-sized bunch! Just the "Woodrow and Joyce" bunch numbers are in the double digits (maybe even triple), especially when you add in the stepchildren, grandchildren, and in laws! The eight children born to Woodrow in turn produced a total of 21 grandchildren. Some of those grandchildren have grandchildren of their own! No wonder I can't keep count of how many family members are attached to granddaddy's nine siblings!

Family to me, and for this I feel very blessed, has always been a retreat. Family is the one place that I know I can go and not be judged, but loved simply for who I am. Flaws, foibles, quirks, my family knows them and loves me just the same. We are quite spread out these days, and that just allows us to have a "home" in more than one place. On Sunday, most of us will come together to visit, fellowship, and eat! We will reminisce of past meetings, plan future ones (always late September), and take pictures. In my 43 years, I probably have missed less than 10 reunions. It is something that I look forward to.

Planning for Sunday's reunion reminds me of my family in heaven. Grandmother and Granddaddy both will be watching us, as will Granny and Grandpa Hall, and Granddaddy's brothers and sisters that have gone on. The only surviving sibling is Aunt Katie, Granddaddy's baby sister. I'm sure they will be talking about us as we get together! They know we'll be remembering them.

When we accept Jesus as our savior, our family expands by leaps and bounds. We become one family of believers, led by our father God. God gives us mothers and fathers here on earth, but He is our heavenly father. Do you feel alone? No need to. Just turn to Jesus and ask Him into your life. Your family has just grown by numbers too big for me to count! As a new (or renewed) believer, your family is a big help. Go to them with your questions, ask them to pray with you (and for you). Call on God together! I feel a renewed spirit within me these days, and a flame that is slowly gaining in strength. Every day that I express myself through this outlet, I am growing in my walk with God. By calling on my 'family' to help me, we will all grow.

God, thank you for the earthly family that you blessed me with. Thank you for making us close and loving, and for the way that we provide a haven for one another. Thank you for sending Jesus to us, and for taking me in to your heavenly family. Knowing that I have a home here is a comfort, but knowing that I have an eternal home waiting for me with you is a blessing that none can match. May I be a torch along the path home to help guide others. Use me as you see necessary to make that happen.

"Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." ~Matthew 28:18-20 NIV

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