Monday night I made an impromptu visit to the home of my parents' best friends. This couple have known me my entire life. I grew up in their home, playing in their yard, boating on their lake, laughing with their kids. This family IS my family.
As we laughed and shared together, my heart was filled in a way it hasn't been for a over a year.
What is it about family? Whoever those people are that we call "family"...
F - FUN - The family that laughs together loves each other. When my parents would get together with their two couple friends, the kids would have to go into the dining room and ask them to hold down their laughter so we could watch our movie. They laughed and laughed and fun was had by all.
A - ALWAYS THERE - Families are there for each other. To celebrate the good times, to grieve the bad times. This couple held us when Dad died, cooked for us, came to check on me while I've been cleaning out the farm, and will be there to help with the sale.
M - MAKING TIME - Families make time for each other. My parents played cards with their friends often. Celebrated birthdays, end-of-school days and other fun times by going out for a Coke or supper. They even hosted and were willing accomplices in a surprise anniversary party for my parents.
I - INSPIRATION - Families inspire one another. By providing examples of love, kindness, and friendship. By living those examples every day, by sharing them with others. The truth of the matter is that real inspiration is not found at stadium-filled worship events with polished speakers, it is found in the quiet moments of servant leadership.
L - LOYALTY - Families are loyal to each other. When their son got married two years ago, I told Hubby that we WOULD be at that wedding. He's not a fan of weddings and asked why I was making go to this particular one. I said, "Because I have known him longer than my own sister. He's my other brother. And there are pictures of us together in the tub as babies!" And, my friends, if there are baby-tub pictures, there is loyalty.
Y - YES - Families say "yes". They say yes to going to a movie, to come over for dinner, for their kids to spend the night, to be a pallbearer, to carry boxes. Even when it would be easier to say no, families say yes. Yes to blessing each other, yes to serving each other in love, and yes to all the things that make life worth living.
And that's what my "family" is to me!
(With special love and affection for Steve, Avis, Travis and Robyn...)