The Family

Around here, the holidays are a big deal.  The season brings amazing busyness and wonderful connectedness with so many people in ministry, in family and so many circles of friends.  It’s absolutely exhausting, and yet it is wonderful all at the same time.  I can’t help but reflect on what the end to the year brought with it.

Our family is big to start with.  But this year we were blessed to add to our ten kids, one daughter-in-law, a granddaughter a few extra’s like a fiance’ and a girlfriend and a “friend”.   My husband and I woke up on Christmas Day in the only place of peace in our home, our bedroom, and look at each other and said, “Here we go!”   Fifteen people to wake up to beside ourselves and a tree of blessings and loads of love to go around.

As I looked around, and I watched my man embrace the job he loves and is so serious and passionate about, the passing out of the gifts, I couldn’t help but notice this year everything has changed.  With the additional newcomers to the family this year, I don’t think I expected it to be the same ‘ole thing.  But it was different in an amazing way.

In our family we always save every gift for Christmas.  So you get your socks and underwear and your everything….and it seems like alot all at once.  So it’s always big.  But it’s usually gifts from “Dad and Mom”.  This year I noticed a whole other process had  begun to take place.  Everybody was into the ‘giving’ part!  They were so excited to give to one another!  They’ve caught on to the excitement of finding something that will float the other person’s boat.  Or the one little item they knew you needed.  It was precious.   And it was a blast!  No doubt it is alot of work, and I can’t imagine how these kids will keep it up as the family continues to grow, but for this year, to watch the giving hearts of everyone toward each other made it amazingly special.  I can honestly say that the whole group, even the new ones, showed a genuine love for everyone, as a whole, not as a part, not as a faction of what can seem like an impenetrable clan.  They all loved all.  It was so beautiful to watch.

And while we never set out to have this big family, nor did we even make plans for what it should look like, this year, it looked fabulous!   I pray it always does!  I pray they always get along, I pray their spouses always get along, and I pray they love each other with an amazing heart-gifting love.  There’s only one thing we pray for more than that.  Truly.

I’m sure it’s hard to make your way into what seems like a fortress of people when you’re new.  But if you ask those here, they’ll tell you they understand one thing about this crew.  Aside from loving each other, we care about one thing and one thing only.  We just want you to love Jesus, all for yourself, because that is the gift that knows no season, knows no one particular family, and knows no boundary.  We will love you and welcome you no matter what, but you will never receive a gift like the one  you have knowing Jesus.   The biggest family you will ever become a part of…..   The best gift you will ever get…  The greatest sense of belonging….   And your hope for years to come.