We've had a buggar of a last month--to say the least.
But as i sit here, sweaty from walk running on the treadmill, i think about the many gifts that we have been given and it leaves me breathless in a whole other way.
I'll be honest, i have always loathed the term "church family". Its just really bugged me because i don't agree with it. We are placed in a family by God. Specifically. For a reason. And i never liked that term because i felt like it took away from our real families. And i think its a bit of a way out for people. They have a church family who loves and meets all their needs so they don't have to work on the dysfunction in their own. (don't be mad--its just my opinion...and i have been know to be wrong....but on a very rare occasion.:)
Because we all have "dysfunction" somewhere, right?
But i have always believed that our families are where we should put the most effort in. We should give the most. Love the most. Support the most. And sacrifice the most. Even when it makes us uncomfortable.
I consider myself a "real idealist" I realistically believe that things can be ideal. If we just try. If a situation is ugly (and believe me, i have alot of those) lets not give up. Or assume things can't get better. I get frustrated because we are all human and capable of making an effort. If we just stopped thinking about ourselves for one second and thought about others, things would get real ideal, real quick.
I have a great family. I have siblings that i care about nephews and nieces that i adore and parents that are amazing. No matter where any of them fail--i love them. Because they are my family and i keep believing that some day, it will all work out!! I believe it.
But as i have grown up, i've realized the enormity of awesome friends that i have too. This past month, i have seen the true love of Christ shine through so many unexpected people.
We have received a amazingly generous gift from some great new friends we've made this year.
We have been able to get groceries at Target thanks to a friend who loves even from many states away.
We got a gift that bought Jeromy's new tools for a job from a particular tall friend of mine.
I "get" to run in a race because two of my confidants stepped up and secretly helped.
My hair is no longer the color of strawberry shortcake due to the kindness of my beautiful friend.
We put gas in our tank thanks to a super special friend that i never thought i would even have.
I got a scrapbook with friends(or more like read People magazine) because i have a friend/teammate who is so loving and generous.
Because my "muddy" is perfect and improving, she gave the thoughtful gift of a gift card--good anywhere.
Because someone likes to mess with me they gave anonymously! I will find you :) But i thank you. Humbly.
The amount of men that have stepped up and even cared that Jeromy lost his job has literally shocked me. The phone calls, the concern, the kind words. All things we are blown away by and completely undeserving of.
I have friends that i trust, that i love, that i rely on, that i laugh with, that encourage me, that support me, that i deeply care for, that are always by my side, that are faithful, loyal, and perfect. This is actually a "learned" behavior for me. It wasn't easy. It took some effort. I had a few hiccups. I felt reclusive at times. I backed away. But when i finally let these people love me and loved them in return?? To be able to be completely honest with someone and know they will still love you? It a feeling that i can't even describe. Its like soaring on a cloud through a rainbow while the sun is shining on you and in one hand you have a YUM cupcake and the other hand is high fiving Jimmy Fallon.. (See, only a true friend would even understand the value of that sentence)
We feel so richly blessed that we want to give away all we have to make others feel the same. The lessons we are learning through this hard time are priceless. People actually took our pain and made it theres. How do you repay that? How do you thank a person who reveals God to you--time and time again? How do you say something that is even worthy of their time?
I just don't know.
But i can tell you this. Like a portrait of a mother hen who protects her chicks under her wing--consider yourselves all resting safely under my wing. For life. You are my people. And i will always be here to stand up for you, protect you, and defend you.
Now--If i were to read this blog of someone else's, i would say "They got more then they deserve, Geez"
And if you are thinking the same, then you are correct. We are unworthy of the friends who we take up company with.
So undeserving. And yet so thankful for. Our hearts are overflowing with the love we feel. (and a bit stressed with the amount of thank you notes that i have to get out!)
So what i'm saying is, I guess if i had to describe my "family"--The list of names would go far beyond blood.