Folks often try to put labels on family. What it means? Where it goes? What it stands for? I think we can initially define it as a group of people connected by common bloodlines. Or relatives. Those in relationship. But as is the case in my family, a blended family is not unusual. Where children might have non-biological parents. (Or conversely, parents who have children “they were not directly involved with” biologically”.)
Now in my case that initially was a tad challenging. Children did not want to give up “my dad” or “my mom” to a newly found and revealed sibling. And yes, it was painful on a level or two. Then somewhere down the road your children start getting married and you as a parent are no longer the center of any world, it seems. You learn and encourage your children to make decisions for their new family unit…as painful as it might be or seem.
I am not always the best, but I can say yesterday was pretty awesome as 5 children caught up with one another and 7 children learned that their world has cousins! And one toy may need to be shared 7 ways!
I recognize I am very fortunate to have the family I have. It was not always looking like a win, but fortunately “first quarters” can be turned over by subsequent “quarters”. And all the family will tell you I am a great cheerleader for family!
How does it work? This is from one of the recent transitions in our family. (One of my in-love’s)…”Thank you Dad for showing me the importance of intentional living and making the time to pray for, support and love myself and my family consistently and passionately.”
Yet if you were to think I have it all together, you would be very much mistaken. Some times I have been too blunt, too short or too much! And I have missed it.
Yet my desire is to love like the Father. To love like God. This morning, I posted some lyrics from Hillsong.
“And Lord I’ve come to know
The weaknesses I see in me
Will be stripped away
By the power of Your love”
[tweetthis]Love is the answer. His love. Pulsing, pounding, sometimes thundering through us.[/tweetthis]
In one conversation with a person I can usually see the constraints, the bondage, someone has placed or allowed to be placed over them. Love shatters the bonds. But one must allow love to love.
So add in my church family and I feel we are about to overcome the world! Why? Because love is far reaching. Stretching out to the farthest reaches of isolation. Touching lives through love. I am so amazed at the love of the Father through His people and the people being touched. Transformed.
Our love and the love of others is transforming our families, our communities and the region.
Folks can read this and say “that is amazing. That is great. But what about me?” The older I get the more I know what I am sharing is true. It has the capability to appear in other lives, other places. But decisions often have to be made. To forgive, to forget, to embrace the hard to embrace. I was one of those. I will never forget the person who some 20 years ago described me as a porcupine. Unable to be loved or to be lovable. A “leave me alone” kind of guy. I grew up in an atmosphere of “never cry, never let your guard down”. I was and perhaps still am hard to “engage” with. (She even went further and described me as a “spiky chestnut” never letting people get to the “fruit of my being”.)
I think I passed some of that along, even in my Christianity, to my children. I have heard a number of people say this recently. “I do not like people in my business.” “I want to be independent.” I probably have said those things. But true independence comes from reliance on God. It comes from an understanding of His purpose in your life. The difficulty is His purpose for you is “part and parcel” with His body. You know, those spiny “little hedgehogs” who have the potential to hurt… and often do! If people are our business and our only business, sooner or later someone will be in “our business”!
But just as His powerful love can leave one changed, transformed. So can His love moving through you.
I feel like there is much more to say on this, but for today, I simply leave this here with you.
God is powerfully in love with you. And His love is tangible. Far reaching. Deliberate.
As He is and does, so do I desire to be.