FAMILY (n): The group of individuals who live in my house, laugh and cry with and at me, and don't complain when I forget to apply makeup.
Some days I think this family thing couldn't be more ideal. I'll receive a peanut butter smelling neck hug from a princess pirate who wants to be close to her mom rather than in front of a screen. Or, I'll come home to find my boys have played "pick up the house for mom". Yes, it's actually happened. On those days, I think, I am so lucky to be going through this life with them.
It's hard. It's wonderful. It's relentless. It's fulfilling. It's the life I have chosen, but not exactly as I had imagined. And that's okay, because I could not have anticipated how much joy could come from seeing pure delight in the faces of my children. I had no way of knowing how much my heart could hurt when another human being was in pain. The highs of my mountaintops have astonished me and the lows have almost taken me out, but I press on. Both experiences together shape who I am today.
It's impossible to know all that tomorrow holds. Honestly, I think it's much more of an adventure if the route isn't exactly outlined for all to see. I know who I want to travel with and our destination for all eternity. In each moment between now and then, I get to choose how I see this unit called my family.
I choose to see them as a gift from my creator, who lives in the only perfect triune family. I decide to trust that the circumstances I find myself in are not by accident, but are being used for his glory and my ultimate good: making me more like him. Will I be happy about everything that goes on inside our four walls? Goodness no. It's still not okay to paint smiley faces on bedroom walls and carpet with black shoe polish. But down the road (years down the road) I can laugh and tell a few great stories.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it" ... God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:27-31a NIV
Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?
2 Samuel 7:18b NIV
He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. Acts 10:2 NIV
Thank you, wise Father, for choosing these four individuals to help shape me into a more compassionate, patient, loving woman. I trust that you will give me what I need in moments when I think I have failed miserably. You redeem brokenness and honor prayers from the lips of souls set on living for you. Amen.