Saturday, June 18, 2005

A little bit about family

I don't often talk about my family. Mainly because if anyone wants to know where my walks fails with God fails the most, they can tell you. However, I do believe that my beautiful wife Christine and my two amazing boys Aidan and Aaron are the greatest earthly gift God has, or will, ever give to me.

But my family doesn't stop there. I have a mother. I also have two brothers and a sister, all married (adding in two sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law), and they have provided me with 7 great nieces and nephews. I also have a fantastic mother- and father-in-law, who have been there for us anytime we've ever needed them. I also have a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, neither of whom are married, but are very loving to Aidan and Aaron.

But my family doesn't end there. My Dad (now in Heaven with, I believe, my Mom), has two sister and a brother, adding 3 more aunts and uncles. They had, between them, 12 kids. One sadly passed away a few years ago, but I still have 11 living first cousins (all but one of them married) on my Dad's side. Between them, they have had 20 kids, so you can add in my second cousins. On my Mom's side, there's my aunt, who is my only living relative on Mom's side of the family, her husband and their two kids (first cousins). We even went so far to have a family genealogy done and the book is over 1000 pages of VERY small type. That's my family, too.

But my family doesn't end there. Christine and I have a number of close friends. Each of these people, and their families, mean a great deal to Christine and I and those relationships are familial to us.

But my family doesn't end there. My church has a weekly attendance across two services of about 350. Each of those people is a brother or sister of mine in the Lord.

But my family doesn't end there. My websphere has a number of people (some of whom I haven't even met) who I also consider brothers and sisters in the Lord and, while we may not worship/pray/evangelize in the same way, we all share a common heart for those around us who have not yet met God.

Quick math tells me that God has blessed me with a family of over 400 people that I can name. Each of them is different, each of them is special and each one of them means a great deal to me. I argue with them, I rejoice with them, I converse with them, I cry and laugh and celebrate and grieve and share every other emotion with them. I am blessed by every one of them. And how amazing is it to think that my family likely really numbers into the millions when you add in the consideration that we are ALL God's children.

Thank you God, for family. May you continue to bless me by making my family both bigger AND closer every day. Amen.


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