I think it’s easy to take your family for granted. You live your day-to-day life, battling housework, schoolwork, sibling fights, etc. just to get through the day most of the time.
Don’t get me wrong – I feel the love for each member of my family each and every day. And I express it daily as well.
But I think it’s easy to take my family – as a whole group, a unit – for granted. Our family dynamics are easy to complain about and wish for change. It’s simple to desire a better relationship between sisters or more obedience from the kids or being able to go to dinner together and not want to run out of the restaurant screaming within 10 minutes.
Last week, Adam and I vacationed in Virginia Beach with the kids and the majority of my mother-in-law’s extended family. All 5 sisters, their kids, and their kids, totaling 49 adults and kids. Our personal beach house slept nine.
Being with that many people, for a whole week, is tough. All families work differently. Different bedtimes, different eating schedules, different ways of handling differences. Even in our house of nine, our ways of parenting, or working together as a family unit, were drastically different at times. Not always bad, or wrong. But very different.
Some days were easy, laid back and even celebratory.
Other days, you had no idea what was coming up from behind.
I became acutely aware, very early on in the week, that I needed to confirm: Who my family was as a whole unit. How Adam and I parent. How we work hard to make the best choices for our children. How we all love each other in so many ways. How important it is for our family’s actions to glorify God. And just as important, how it’s necessary that we practice forgiveness and grace during the times our actions (or others’) don’t glorify God.
What I realized mid-week is that I am so thankful not just for my husband and children as individuals, but for our family as a unit. For how we roll. Of course, it could be better some days. But it sure could be worse, too.
So I left Virginia Beach with a renewed sense of validation. That while I make mistakes in raising my kids, I’m making some really great choices as well. My girls may fight and have their own issues, but don’t we all? If we work together as a family, with one goal at heart, all of us making smart choices for our family as a whole, with Adam and I raising children who love God and who will become selfless more and more as they get older, that’s what matters. And I’m good with all of that.