Wednesday, June 23, 2010

a family of 3

i really like symmetry & order. i guess that's one reason why the perfect little "american dream" family seems so ideal to me. you know, mom, dad, 2 kids, house and yard. a family of 4. it's the perfect number for families- 2 pairs. an even number for rides at six flags, no one rides alone. perfect for booth seating at restaurants. fills up a car nicely, 2 in front 2 in back, no one sits alone. even teams for games. i've always wanted two kids one day, for all of the above mentioned reasons. it just seems so perfect.

we've found a new hobby as a family- tennis. none of us are exceptionally good at it, i'm the worst by far, but it's something we can all do together and we enjoy. as we were playing tonight after church, the thought crossed my mind "man, this sure would be better with a 4th player." and then it hit me- i'm no longer part of the ideal "american dream" family of 4. for the vast majority of my life, i've been part of that magical family of 4. i have few memories of the 3 years when we were a family of 3 before jess came along. but now, we are again a family a 3. someone has to ride in the back of the car alone, someone sits alone on half the booth, we can't form even teams, we can't even play a doubles tennis match. it's recently hit me that families don't always come in 4's, they don't always include a mom and a dad, they aren't always orderly. in fact, sometimes they can be downright messy! i know (and love) some wonderful only children, from families of 3. i know several families of 5. i know several families with only one parent.

my family of 3 has been a little messy at times over the past 8 months. but- i've come to realize that we are no less of a family because there are now three of us instead of 4. the number has changed, the dynamic has changed, but the fact that we are a family has not. its taken some time for me and everyone else to readjust to being a family of 3. it hasn't been easy, it hasn't always been fun, it's even been painful at times. but when it's all said and done, we love each other, we care for each other deeply, and i am still able to say that i have the best family i could ever ask for.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

more than conquerors

we've had vbs this week at church, and the theme verse is romans 8:37. "in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." so many times in my life i am in situations or surrounded by circumstances that i feel i'll never be able to conqueror. to be honest, i'm there now. it's been 8 months since mom passed away. she has now been gone as long as she was sick. things have gotten better, but still- there are aspects of her absence that i feel i'll never be able to conquer. i miss her more now than i ever have, because i realize that she really is gone. i think about all the things i will do motherless-graduate college, get engaged, plan a wedding, get married, settle into a career, have children...and the longing and pain become so strong that it seems like more than i can conquer. no matter how many "good days" i have, reality is still reality- and its a sucky reality. i wonder if i will ever be able to go through my life and be truly happy without my mama. i wonder if my family will ever be as strong as we once were, or as happy. when the breakdowns come, they come with the overwhelming sense that things will never really be as good as they once were, that at some point everything is going to just come crashing down and completly fall apart. i'll always feel this pain, this void, this longing, this loss. but then, i'm reminded of god's promise that in him, we are more than conquerors. we're not only going to get by or manage, but we are going to be more than conquerors. it is when i begin to neglect my relationship with christ that i begin to feel like i'll always be a prisoner to my grief. however, his word assures me otherwise. thru him that loved us, him who created the universe, him who sent his only son- i can, and will, conquer. weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.