Christmas day 2015 has come and gone. It's midnight now here in Oceanside, CA and I'm sitting in the living room of the beach house our family rented for our reunion, watching and listening to the waves of the ocean. There's something soothing about watching and listening to the ocean waves. It helps me reflect on my thoughts from the day.
And so tonight..I'm reflecting on the "Family". It's such a broad subject but here's what I've been reflecting on during the holiday season where you spend a lot of time with family. So as much as I love starting new traditions during the holiday season, I'm realizing that I want my girls to have a solid understanding of what family is. Here are some of my reflections. Please note these are not observations of what is occurring in my family.
1. God orchestrated the family you are in. I know that sometimes it's not all hunky dorey amongst ALL family members ALL the time (and if it is, I'd love to know how your family does it!). Hurt feelings, opinions, criticisms, pessimism, judgements, drama, the list could go on and on about all the negative things that occur within a family unit. And this all happens because we're all human and it's just plain hard to always "get along" and be "peaceful". BUT...family is family and sometimes I just wish that the "truth" can be spoken in love and received with love so that we can live life together as a family that builds each other up and not puts each other down.
2. Expectations in a family can sometimes be helpful but also hurtful. Sometimes, it's great to have expectations or some people might say "hopes" for people in the family because you want the best for them or for them to reach their highest potential. But sometimes, these expectations can end up being hurtful when the person in the family doesn't live up to the expectations. I hope that instead of having expectations, we have a heart of grace and mercy for others in the family, building each other up with encouragement.
3. Give thanks for the people in your Family. I am very thankful for my family (this includes my own family, my immediate family, extended family, inlaw family, and extended inlaw family). I know that we are all not perfect human beings but these are the people who will always be a part of your life (whether you haven't spoken to them in awhile or seen them). Family is FAMILY...period. It is a blessing to be part of family.
4. My hopes for my own 2 girls and their understanding of what family is. This list is a work in progress but this is what I desire for my girls as of now...
- Instead of judgement and criticism, we extend grace to each other in any circumstance,
- We give thanks for each other.
- Family is your earthly foundation that God placed in your life. Appreciate the people in your family and love them.
- Speak truth to each other in love and mercy and receive the words with love.
- Family will always be there for you. Cheering you on, listening to you, and loving you.
- We build each other up with words of blessing and encouragement.