Monday, May 24, 2010

Family, Take 2

One thing I have been learning a lot about is family.
Nikki coming home, Zach graduating, Alyssa & Chad, spending time with the Muellers.
All examples of family. People growing up, and moving out. People coming home to a reunion of sorts. The shocked faces from the surprise return. The avoidance of the subject, because he's growing up and we really are sad about it. The dynamics of a family not my own.

Each member of a family is different. While one likes photography, another likes to play the guitar. While one child wants to adopt, the other wants to birth their own. While one enjoys cleanliness, another enjoys simple chaos. It amazes me how so many different people can come from two. Not only their looks, but their hearts, souls, and personalities.

Recently I was asked a question about how, as a teenage girl, a mother could maintain a close relationship with her. Me being a selfish human being, my first reaction was probably something along the lines of, "Let me do whatever I want, when I want". But really? Is that the way my Mom and I have the relationship we do? Absolutely not. The reason my Mom and I are close as we are, is because she stood up to me, and was MY MOM. She didn't sit back, and try to be my friend. She said no when I wanted her to say yes. She always got to know families before I stayed at some random person's home. She always held me when I cried, and held me even when the first thing I wanted to do was hit her. My Mom is honestly my best friend. And that's because she followed Christ through her decisions. She listened to His voice, and stood up and did something about it. THAT, to me, is the best example of a Mother.

Nikki just came home. We spent her first night here in the ER until 5:30 in the morning. Sitting with her, I saw a something I don't see very often in her. Vulnerability. Nikki is one of those people that is continually going out and helping someone else. Others always come before herself. And that night, I saw my sister. Kinda weak, extremely exhausted, but she was Nikki. We sat in her room together, and figured she hadn't slept in 45 hours. It was hilarious, the jokes she was cracking, and the noises that came from her in her attempt to laugh, but was too tired and sick. We sat and remembered all the good times we had together. We sat and remembered the days before she left. I've missed my Nikki more than you can imagine, and it feels so good to continue moving in a rhythm we haven't known since we were little kids.

Zach is graduating. And he has a girlfriend. Zach is going to be in high-school. He is growing up into such a gentleman, and it's rocking my world. I've never seen a boy so tender and sweet. And yet, if someone gets in the way of his sister's happiness, he is prepared to use his ninja master skills to secretly kill them off. I see more love in that boy's eyes than anywhere else. He is filled to the brim with overflowing love for each person he comes in contact with.

Alyssa is an old married lady. And yet she still has me over for sleepovers, The Office marathons, and the occasional Sonic cherry limeade and Goodwill trips. Her passion for life is moving me to learn more about myself. It's good to know that even though she's grown-up she's still my big sister.

I have been spending a lot of time with the Muellers. It's so cool, to see another family in action. To see the love in all of their eyes for each other, and to see the occasional annoyance at one another. I'm learning so much about Chris and his family and it makes me happy to know someone. I feel like I already love them as my own family, watching movies all the time, going to dinner, hiking crazy mountains. It feels good to see the love from an outside perspective.

Along with all of this, I have a friend with a very good example of a broken family. Divorced parents, and the unwillingness to take a look at their daughter. She's suffering from it, I can tell. And it breaks my heart. She doesn't know the love of a God-healed family. She doesn't know the overflowing richness of a whole family.

God is teaching me that it's okay to be a family.
Family consists of love and hate, tears and smiles, hugs and punches, and so many more emotions. But above all else, there is love.
The tears of a Mother realizing her babies are growing up, and living a life for Christ. The smile of a father after hearing about his daughter's most recent date, most recent volleyball game, and his son's most recent WoW raid. The laughter of a family, healed only by God's forgiveness.
I love that I have been blessed with my family. I love that I have an Earthly Father that I can compare God's love to.

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