This weekend marks the first in about a month that we haven’t had visitors! We absolutely LOVE having people to visit – reminders of home, of familiar, of family. It’s also nice to have time to just be our own little family for a little while too, something we’re still trying to figure out how to do. I think being a family takes practice. It’s easy to take family for granted. We often act like, since it’s not something we choose (well, except for the whole marriage thing, but as far as who our children, parents, siblings, etc. are…) and since it’s something that becomes so comfortable (as in marriage) , we don’t have to work at it. We forget to be intentional. Here’s to choosing to learn how to be a family, in all it’s different forms.
The other day I was thinking about all of those things that I grew up doing – normal, every day things that each family does differently. And then I was thinking about how Caleb and I do those things now, how we figure them out as our branch of the family tree continues to grow. For example, Caleb’s family keeps keys, etc. on the counter right next to the door. My mom always kept them in her purse. We keep them in a medicine cabinet next to our front closet. There are those things that both of our families did the same, like creamy peanut butter, that we don’t do – we’re obsessed with chunky (as in, spoonfuls – on a daily basis – I think Corban is made out of chunky peanut butter). We both grew up with big family gatherings, complete with lots of food,and now we are excited to be able to host our own. It’s such an interesting part of life, the melding of two families, each one of us bringing different ways of doing things to the table and then figuring out what it looks like for us. It’s also a joy seeing it personified in Corban.
All of this to say, we’re learning how important it is to work on becoming a family, one rooted in the grace of Jesus. Being in ministry as a family is a brilliant exercise in this. Seeing Corban lighten people’s load just by making them smile, learning to set boundaries and make time for our marriage and our family, watching those who lead us, going on a week-long trip with high school students, walking through pain with others, all of these things have challenged us and helped us to define what kind of family we want to be. Hospitable, full of grace, a warm place to stay, a place for people to enter in and just be, willing to be challenged, continually growing, and most of all, loving each other and those around us selflessly. We’re so far from it, as we find ourselves saying “I am sorry for being so selfish” on a daily basis, but we believe Jesus when He said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
Also, we’re not eating sugar for the time being, and I miss chocolate.