We just got back from our annual family get together, dubbed "Family Fun Week." It is a special time we take, and one I traditionally look forward to.
Except, this year I approached it with some trepidation. Last year we had some tough conversations, a bit of a rough start, and then the week ended with tears. Not at all the way you want a family visit to go.
And yet, I'm guessing we've all been there.
As we grow up, out from under our parent's wings, our new, separate family units start our own patterns. We each establish things with our children that are different from how our parents did it, and different from each other. Those without kids suddenly find themselves somewhat assaulted by the noise and chaos of 7 happy cousins running around, and maybe a baby screaming in the background. That was my baby. Poor guy hates the car seat. We are different people and, getting together, those differences can be magnified. We look forward to visiting together, but also have our friends cover it in prayer.
For us, this year was so good!
We had a beautiful time celebrating my mom's birthday, and then many excellent conversations about walking with the Lord, as well as deep times of prayer. We made several puzzles and walked on the beach. I left feeling uplifted. Like I was glowing.
We had a similar situation a few weeks ago with another family member. Past visits had been strained and while, again, we looked forward to the visit, I wasn't sure how it would all go. It turned out to be a lovely time. Good, good conversation. Very uplifting. Times of prayer and mutual encouragement.
These visits have given me lots of hope for the future. It has encouraged me that, even when things have been strained, they don't have to stay there. That when you make time for others, it can lead to good things. There have been times with various family members where, emotionally, I want to just throw in the towel, but this reminds me why it's so good to keep going, to keep working at relationships and to push through the problems to get to something beautiful.
As we head into the holidays, I'll be praying for you as you spend extra time with family. With people who maybe make you a little bit crazy, but could add something wonderful if the Lord helps heal the things that are broken.
Hang in there friend! And may this season bring many good visits.
Until next time,