7,000 hits is here! As is customary here at A Little Bit of All of It, we have a guest writer since we have hit another 1,000 hits. I think you are really going to enjoy our guest writer this time! Let me introduce you to Cindy Winter-Hartley. She is a proud wife of nearly 24 years and the mother of three sons. Nathan is almost 21 and attends the United States Military Academy, Aaron is 16 and has a servant’s heart for the Lord. Isaac is an athletic eighth grader and the family “ginger.” She blogs at My Awesome Olive Shoots. Be sure to check out her blog for some inspirational stuff!
Before you do one more thing today, I want to encourage you to ponder this question. What makes your family unique?
Throughout the day, whether you are changing a diaper, emptying the dishwasher, (yuck!); whether you are in a carpool or gathering a few moments of quiet in a bubble bath (wouldn’t that be nice?), devote this day to searching the qualities which make your family special.
To get you started, here are a few ideas. Are there physical features common to your family? Do you have a special ethnic heritage? What are some special skills or weird talents you share? How about foods you all like or hate? Notice things you do together, the overall personality of your family – once you begin to do this, soon you will see a family identity. This is the beginning of cultivating a rich sense of oneness in your family.
We began to create a family identity when our children were young. When our boys had high-pitched voices and no facial hair, nearly every day, we gathered around the table and sang a silly song about our family. We even had a family cheer which they all loved to do together. Sometimes we would place a globe on the table and say to them, “Do you realize that there are only five Winter-Hartley’s in the world???” Their chests would puff with pride as we would remind them how special it was to be a member of our family.
Think of your own family. Doesn’t it just humble you to pieces when you think that God, in all His wisdom, divinely choose YOU to be the parent of your child? I could still cry when I attempt to take in the privilege the Lord has given me to be the mother of my three sons. Despite all my flaws and issues which the Lord is perfectly aware of, despite my husband’s imperfections which pale in comparison to mine, the two of us were chosen to be our sons’ parents! Wow! He could have placed those babies anywhere in the world and the Lord decided to grace us with the honor of being called Mom and Dad to three splendid yet very human children! We truly have a reason to celebrate being a family and so do you.
Lest you think we encouraged our sons to be conceited, let me explain what we consistently told and remind them. Our family is no better than anyone else’s. We don’t act stuck up but we do stick together. We call our family a five-piece puzzle. The puzzle isn’t complete without each of us because we can depend on each other. Now our sons are young men. They have matured, they shave, they have big muscles and they are all taller than me. But guess what? When our oldest son comes home from college, I can still hear him tell his 14 year old brother “good night, I love you!” as Isaac drifts off to sleep. Our 16 year old middle son Aaron will be talking on his cell phone with a friend and without a hint of embarrassment tell Isaac the same thing each night. That’s the power of family identity.
One day our boys will forge out and make families of their own, I can’t wait to hear their family cheers and see their families blossom. Though our children are older, still the concept of family identity holds a prominent place in our lives.
It’s all too common to hear about the dissolution of family and personally, I want nothing to do with that notion. Neither should you. Your family is unique and wonderful, today is the day to embrace that.