Wednesday, November 21, 2012

giving thanks :: day 3 {the promise of family}

yesterday's post got a record number of hits over a 24 hour period.
whenever there is unusually high traffic on my blog i know that i must have said something that connected with a lot of people.  i love connecting with people, don't you?

in this case it was linda's story that made all those connections happen.  
based on the comments, FB posts, and emails i have received i would say that, in particular, it was the evidence of linda and robert's faith in God and his complete faithfulness to them that inspired so many people.  it was also the area of their lives in which they have wrestled with God that struck a cord with so many...

family

it's often at the top of our list when we give our thanks.
everybody has a family.  every family looks different.  
some family trees are complicated with many branches.  some appear pruned and healthy. 
sometimes family is big and loud and boisterous.  other times it is small and quiet and lonely.  
some families look exactly like you would expect.  others defy all expectations.  
some families fill one another with love and grace and laughter...others pile on the hurt or fear or guilt.  
family can be a beautiful representation of God's love in this world.  it can also paint big, dripping strokes of darkness on our hearts.  

what does family look like for you?
it's an important question for all of us to ask...no matter how easy or painful it may be to face the answers.

not one of us loves all of our family well all of the time...but most of us would like to.  grace goes a long way when it comes to family...extending it to them and accepting it for ourselves.  sometimes the slate just needs to be wiped clean.

every role in a family is important but there is one that perhaps feels the weight of relational pressure more than the rest...the role of mothers.

i feel that pressure now and have some understanding for the weight my own mother must have lived under all these years.  from the time that my brother and i were a dream in her heart to the experience of being a grandmother...and all the good, bad, and ugly in between.

mothers hold so much together and take on the burden when it all falls apart.

maybe you are a mother with a nest full.  maybe all of yours have taken flight.  or maybe you are a mother who, like linda, has only conceived your children in your heart and you have yet to see their faces.  God holds out promises for each of you.  

today i am thankful for God's promises to families...

for i will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground;
i will pour out my spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
they will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.

i will teach your children and they will enjoy great peace.

now the Lord was gracious to sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for sarah what he had promised.  sarah became pregnant and bore a son to abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised...

and the one linda has clung to all these years...
when a wife has no children, he blesses her with some, and she is happy.  shout praises to the Lord!

during this week of thanks may you find the treasures of family...even if you have to dig a little to uncover them.