"Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching." Proverbs 1:8
Today I am thinking of my family. Not everyone is as lucky as I to have such an amazing family. Growing up I learned just how important family was at a very early age. We were always tightly connected with our extended relatives. Whether they lived near or far, I knew my family and appreciated them for exactly who they were. We spent holidays together, went on weekend trips to my grandfathers cabin together, celebrated together, etc. I remember our "family time" to be so fun. Even when there was drama, I loved being around my family. No matter how complicated or crazy things got or still get with my family I will always look at them as my people ... my family. We share a history and are connected and when it comes down to it, that means something.
My immediate family was equally amazing and had a huge impact on who I am today. As a child and teenager I fought with my parents so much. Since I had terrible grades and was interested in being a social butterfly more than anything else I was hardly ever in agreement with my parents and I felt that they were very hard me. I was grounded more then any kid that I knew, I just couldn't get it right. I'm sure that as much as I thought I was being treated utterly unfairly, my parents were dealing with their own struggle of trying to figure out how to parent/manage me. I'm sure there were times that they probably thought I was a lost cause.
Once I got through high school (which was a miracle in and of itself) and lived through a couple crazy early adult years, I came to appreciate my parents so much more. I actually liked spending time with them and couldn't get enough of their advice. I became so interested in who I was and where I came from. I wanted to know how my parents became who they are today. I would call my Dad at work and ask the most random questions about his past, his likes and dislikes, among other random stuff. I inquired and listened to my Mom's stories about growing up and what her life was like before she met my Dad. I began to see them as more then just parents, but as real people with real stories. I wanted to know EVERYTHING about everything because I didn't want the day to come where they were gone and I had questions that I couldn't get answered. I wanted to be able to pass their stories down so that my kids and grandkids could know these extraordinary people who raised me.
Now that I have my own children I understand why my parents were so hard on me. This world is a scary place and I want to protect and prepare my children as much as I can, just like my parents wanted to protect and prepare me. I understand the importance of instilling strong values and character. I know that being a parent means more then just being the person who physically takes care of their children, but rather never giving up, constantly working hard so that your children can be the best that they are capable of being and being there no matter what.
My parents gave me the greatest gift they could have ever given me by raising me in a Christian home and pushing me to constantly pursue a life with Christ. They taught me how to live, how to lead, how to love, how to handle crisis and so much more. I have the deepest appeciation and respect for both of my parents and I only hope to someday have their wisdom to pass on to my children. I am so incredibly blessed! I love my family from the depths of my heart and couldn't imagine a life without any of them. Our history is rich, our relationhips are strong and we represnt everything that a family can be.
Who do you come from? What have you learned from your family? What can you still learn from them? What can you do for them? How can you use your experiences and lessons from your family to help others? I challenge you to take a look at your family and dig deeper. Christ blesses beyond measure through our families!
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