Thursday, July 09, 2009

So Tell Me About Yours

It's a bit misleading: the photo, in the last post, with "Family" staring out at you, and me talking about "throw it away, throw it away". I wasn't alluding to throwing away your family- but there are times when I've wanted to run away from them. From my family. The one I grew up in- not the one I have now.

The family I have now is of my own choosing, for the most part. There's my husband, Bill, and my two kids, and our dog, Harry- otherwise known as Harry Berry, Boo Bear, or just Boo. This is my family. And while God picked out the two kids He gave us, I am in complete agreement with Him that these are the two children I would most want to have out of the heavenly pickings that I suppose there were.

But the family I grew up in- well, I had nothing to do with selecting them. And they would say amen to that too. We're a motley bunch. There's five of us kids- now grown adults with kids of our own, except for my one bachelor brother who, I doubt, will ever marry and have kids. His choosin', you know. One of us is a strong choleric leader, one is a quiet gardener, one is bossy and loyal, one is tender and opinionated, and one is helpful and needy of attention.

The older I get, the more I don't really get along with them that well; we don't see eye to eye on things. But I see, now, why this is so: it's because I'm still changing and they've changed and we keep forgetting that fact. We keep wanting to see each other as we once knew each other, instead of getting used to learning who each other is becoming.

Sometimes it's a bit lonely being surrounded by people who supposedly know you, and at the same time, don't know you. With the exception of one brother, we all live within five miles of each other. But we're not the Brady Bunch or Little House on the Prairie.

I loved those T.V. shows when I was little. I have always loved the Ideal: the idea of an Ideal Family, an Ideal life. There seemed to be no end of families I knew that were ideal or almost perfect. Or so I thought. Then as the years passed, the idea of the Ideal got tarnished, thank God.

I think one reason why people tend to confide in me about their sorrows or struggles or strained homelife is that I don't ever get surprised at what can go wrong in a family. I'm not surprised, very often, at what can go wrong in any enterprise, any group or church or unit of people. If there's a bunch of people, there will be a bunch of opinions, ideas, and varying expressions of thought.

Expect variety and expect the unexpected when it comes to family life. Forget the idea of there being a black sheep in every family; cause most likely there'll also be a polka dotted one too. Sometimes I'm the rebel in my family and sometimes I'm the peace maker. And sometimes I forget who I am, when I'm with them, and sometimes I remember who I am because of being with them.

One thing I'll always be is a part of them. That's because it was God's choosing- many years ago- and lately He keeps telling me it's time that it was my choosing as well.


Kimberly Hurd Horst said...

As and adopted daughter and as a mother who wanted to adopt a child as well, the idea of choosing family warms my heart! I love that God adopts us too as part of his family!

Beth said...

For the past year ( longer too) I have really been struggling with family issues...I love and adore "my" family...but that extended family..oy vay...You make good points about family relating as if you were in the past...makes sense. I have spent the past year making life okay...God has been nudging me to interact more but I just am afraid!

LAUREN at Faith Fuel said...

That's a beautiful word- "adopted"!
To be chosen and wanted...well, it doesn't get better than that!

I love your little "oy vay"! Hang in there with interacting with family. Sometimes they surprise a good way!