Keeping up with my theme of “Thankful til Thanksgiving”, I realized I was running out of days, and was still thankful for so many things yet to be mentioned. So I’m combining two, that after thinking about it, share many of the same qualities!
Parents: They get you out of bed before you want to, they make you eat healthy, they don’t let you stay out too late, you get punished if you party too hard, you have to watch your language around them, and they force you to clean.
Kids…. Pretty much the same thing. Granted the ‘forcing/punishing’ isn’t direct…. but I dare you to try and eat a bowl of ice cream for dinner in front of them, while attempting to push broccoli at them… not gonna happen. Better yet, try hanging at a club till 2am, like the old days, then wake up at 5:30 to someone that wants to play, and won’t be quiet until you do…. then we can talk about punishment.
While they can both be difficult to handle at times, my definition of love would not be nearly as multi-faceted with out them. I would never have truly understood the meaning of sacrificial love without having my own children, and although I was rebellious to it at the time, my parents tough love, taught me discipline, independence, financial acumen, and respect.
My boys, with their unassuming charm, infectious smiles, belly laughs, and sweet hearts bring more joy to my life than I thought possible. Their never ending questions, whines, and complete and total lack of understanding as to the wake they leave in their path also test my patience and sanity in unimaginable ways. Those two factors strike a delicate daily balance, that together, have taught me that grace truly is anew every day, that we can forgive way more than seventy times seven, and has shown me what unconditional love truly looks like. Being a parent revolutionized my understanding of God’s love.
Family is where lessons are lived out. In some cases they can take decades to understand, but it is the one community of people that you are tied to for your entire life. Whether its seeking/giving grace or mercy, forgiveness, self control, patience, kindness, service, letting go of the need for acceptance, and learning to find freedom in your own life, the family dynamic seems to be where much of it is played out. I love my family, immediate, and extended so very much, and am so thankful for the growth I see in my own life as result of their influence on it.