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Challenge: What Makes a Family?

I Love My Messy Family

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Today, I really need to say out loud and in print how much I love my messy family.

Last night my husband lined up all 5 of our kids in the kitchen. Then Mike pulled me into his arms and kissed me hard.

All the kids eeeewwed and said “Yuck!” and “Dad, gross!” and “Get a room!” - yet were secretly glad to see it. Our kids needed to see it because we have been fighting a lot lately.

Yes, sometimes your pastor and his wife fight because we are real people with a real marriage, and real people do that. It’s messy — it’s love, it’s anger and it’s forgiveness. It’s real.

For many years in our marriage Mike and I almost never argued — maybe 15 out of our 20 years — and I was proud of that fact.

Now I’m not so sure.

Our marriage was flat-lined, and a flat line is a dead line.

Now we are up and we are down sometimes, but we are truth-telling and so much closer than we’ve ever been. It’s scary, being this vulnerable with another person.

I wouldn’t trade it.

Oh, these amazing kids. Parenting my beyond-the-beyond children. I’ve accepted as reality things I never would have imagined possible, most of all this incredibly explicable joy of watching them become amazing people. So much sacrificial love, poured out of me and into me and through me.

Whatever the junky, awful, very, very difficult stuff you have going on in your family right now — let it be there. Choosing to love is not saying you think it’s right or agree with the behavior.

Simply say, I love you. I will embrace the mess as being part of this family, and for today, I will ask for forgiveness, I will forgive. I pray for God’s healing and grace, and I choose to love.

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