Family At The Beach

 I love my family. I love, more than anything in the world, to be with my family. It’s true. I love my mom and dad a lot. I love to be near them. I love to talk my mom’s ear off.  She never stops listening (she’s probably gotten pretty good at appearing attentive over the last 38 years). I love to watch my dad just go with the flow and grab a kid and enjoy them for a few minutes. I love that he just goes for life. He asks good questions and loves to eat sweets.

 I love my siblings. We had a rough childhood. It was broken up with all the things that break families up. We worked hard, all of us, with the prayers and help of a large supportive community, to rise out of the heap of brokenness and thrive. We haven’t perfected it, but we are all thriving. And I think what I mean by that is we LOVE life. We love what we are doing – raising families, loving people, loving God, being adventurous, and always learning. I’d say that’s what we are all doing. Fighting back a fear of settling.

So, I love them because I know where we were and where we have come and they laugh at me and think I’m pretty silly and awesome and strong and I think the same about them. And we are all very different, which is fun. For example. My family has 53 chickens and three pigs. My sister and her family have a Chic-fil-a. My brother doesn’t eat meat and his wife, Maria is a vegan.

Together, we have 11 children between the ages of 18 and six months. Because we live in three towns miles apart and have this small army of munckins, we don’t see each other much.
My mom and dad decided to fix that and rented a beach house for a week. We were all together – total overlap was short – but we were there.

Well, we all have one thing in common. Never sitting still – ever.

At the beach. In the sand. In the water. In the back yard playing soccer. Swimming. Looking for shark’s teeth. Riding waves. Playing games. Riding bikes. Running. Doing yoga. Card tricks. Shell phones. Running. Riding bikes. Swimming. Playing soccer. Eating. Never stopping. Always moving. I think a few naps did happen, but only after miles and miles on the bike or hours in the water.

 We did stop for devotions every morning. We talked about reaching out of focusing on ourselves and seeing WHAT ELSE WE CAN DO??? To serve. To love.  To participate in this life fully.

I don’t have a great set of pictures, because I was always moving. The ones I do have are of the flash of a second when we sat still, and they are still pretty wiggly!

I cried when we left. For an entire morning. I think George was slightly concerned. I know that I am so very blessed. I think why I love them so much is because once upon a time, we were taking some hard hits. Now, we tell stories about those years and see the goodness and the life that came from them. And I’m thankful to my family for not giving up on me when, I’m sure, it would have been a lot easier than loving me.



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