I just spent three days at a family reunion in Wyoming, with a house smooshed full with aunts and uncles and cousins. They cast anxious looks at me on occasion, wondering if their antics would end up in a blog post.
I feel like I need to write about them, just so their fears are rewarded.
First let me say that this year my daughter’s boyfriend went with us, and pulling in a new person made me consider what our family looks like to an outsider.
And oh my, how strange we are.
Someone thought it was a good idea to put exploding snappers under the toilet seat -my mother informed us. Perhaps someone got up and square danced with the little girls right out there in front of everybody at the parade –feet unable to be still when the fiddlers came by on their float. And I’m pretty sure my brother went looking for his dinner plate on three different occasions (once someone “accidentally” ate his food, and another time his full plate was discovered in the dishwasher.)
So much weirdness swimming in the same gene pool.
But there’s one thing we have going for us:
We love each other.
Twenty some people in a four-people house, and there was only one fight during the entire reunion –waged over a dish towel and who would dry. Aunty won.
Mixed in deep with all of our individual quirks is a love for Jesus that makes us grow reverently quiet when the blessing is said over a meal.
We sit close on the couch and share food and fetch stuff for each other.
We hug a lot.
We listen to each other, because most of us have an ache in the body or a pain in the heart of some sort.
We speak sadness because a few can’t attend the reunion, and we at least pull them into what we’re doing by saying their names often.
And ever so much laughter. All the time someone laughing, like a fountain of goodness playing in the background of everything we do.
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16 NIV)
I was talking to my sister-in-law at the end of the shindig late Thursday evening, and I was convinced she must think we’re all nuts (especially since I consider her the most gloriously normal and sane of the whole lot), but do you know what she said? She said she always considers herself rich and blessed to be a part of our loving family. She thanks God for us.
Here’s my conclusion:
- We’re all weird, at least a little bit.
- Love makes everything beautiful and sweet.
Are you filled up with the love of God, and does that love pour out onto your family with grace and goodness?