Thursday, October 30, 2014

Being a Family Is...Part 3

Part 3 of my series on what I believe it means to be a family. You can read Part 1, and Part 2 here.

Being a Family Is...Crying.
From tears of joy, to tears of deep sadness. One of the most precious and treasured things about a family is being able to share life's deepest joys, and life's most tragic sorrows together. I believe this is one of the key reasons that God created the structure of the family, because He wanted families to be able to support each other.

Crying together is something my  family has done many, many, many times before. Everyone from my Dad down to my littlest sister. It could be something more trivial like that end scene in Toy Story 3 (get's me every time), or it could be all of us asking God why our life is so hard.

When I say crying, I do not mean it is always literal tears, obviously, some of us are better criers than others. But everyone has cried at some time, and often we are all crying on the inside, we just show it in different ways.Throughout the years I can remember a multitude of experiences in which one, a few, or all of us were down and needed the comfort, support, and love of the others to get us through that moment. We haven't done it perfectly by any stretch of the imagination, but we have done it.

This is an incredibly beautiful part of families, one of my favorite parts actually, and most definitely something that I do not take for granted. I am so grateful that God put me in a family where we can feel things together.
we can feel things together...
I treasure the moments when we shared tears of sorrow, and I always love the moments where we share joy. I look forward to many more in the future, and I hope that they are shared with my favorite people in the whole world.

Being a Family Is...Learning.
Some families are better at this than others, but regardless, if you are in a family, especially one who cares about important things, then you will be learning, constantly.

I am homeschooled, so my home is also my school. But learning is more than 2+2 is 4, and i before e, except after c (yeah, it still doesn't make sense to me either). Learning is about growing, it's about becoming a bigger, better person, and it's about learning how to relate with and connect to people.

One the ways my family is great about learning is that we talk, a LOT! I believe I have mentioned this fact before, but really, we talk a lot. For as long as I can remember I have been having questions and asking them. And my parents have done a really great job of talking them out with me. Through years of doing this I have learned how to ask a question, wrestle with it in my mind and heart, pray about it, and find an answer.

This covers a multitude of subjects. I love to talk about theology and politics with my dad. We have great conversations that make me literally feel like I am on cloud nine. My brain feels like it is on fire, and I get so excited. Call me a nerd, but it's true.
I also love learning practical things from my dad. For years I have watched him build things, fix houses, drive cars, etc. I have learned so much from my dad. Even just watching how he goes about learning something new has taught me much. Before the days of the Internet being everything, if my dad wanted to learn how to do something, he bought a book. Now, he will research something online until he feels confident he can do it.

From my mom I have learned a lot about the Bible, and about people. She and I have spent hours upon hours talking over things in the past, present, and future. She is the first person I run to in order to hash out something in my own mind. When I ingest something really hardy, I usually seek her out to use as a sounding board while I reiterate what I just learned. She is my confidant in so many things. And I have learned SO much from her.

I have learned much from my siblings as well. Often they teach me things unconsciously, just by being themselves I learn a truth about life. Amazing how that works. And because I am older than all but one of them, I have had the supreme joy and privilege of being able to share my fraction of life experience with them in the hopes that they might grow and learn as well.

This past June I was blessed with the opportunity to attend Worldview Academy. It was a phenomenal experience that I will never forget. I had my concerns before I went that maybe it would be too much for me, that I hadn't read enough of the recommended books or maybe some of the concepts would go right over my head. I couldn't have been more wrong. I was over-prepared for Worldview. Half of the content I knew already from having been exposed to it at home, and the other half I was able to take in and digest because of the exceptional training I have already had at home. I came home and told Mom and Dad just how great of a job they have done.

We as a family analyze everything, delve into everything, and talk about everything. I have learned so much, and I have grown to love learning greatly.

Little girl learning -  We.Analyze.Everything.