Fam-A-Lee Ak-Cept-Tunce

Families are so eclectic.  They can be anywhere from amazing and close to distant and difficult.  The family I grew up with can be classified as the latter.  I thought it was a good thing when I married into the opposite!  However, I find that with them, I am still on the outside.  When I first realized this I was pretty devastated because  I couldn’t understand why i went from being rejected by one family, right into another.  I have struggled with this our entire married life, which is close to 25 years now.  But something changed this year…something amazing.

I absolutely LOVE, and am so thankful for, my own immediate family!  We are as tight as tight can get and I never take that for granted.  In fact, it is something I have created intentionally.  I have been adamant that I would not let one single day pass without my husband and my children hearing the words “I Love You”.   They have come along on this and freely say those words to me and to each other and every time it’s like music to my soul.  Our house is warm, welcoming, full of God’s Love, and peaceful.  Well, most of the time!! LOL!!  Of course we are normal and can be moody and irritable and all that comes with being human, but the foundation we have is firm and stable.  I give full credit to God because from the first day that I accepted Jesus into my heart, He has been transforming me into the person that I am today.  Not perfect of course, but so much better than what I would have been without Him.

So Christmas was coming and the usual inner stress of being with the in-laws was coming upon me.  We have a ton of nieces and nephews and with them it’s easy.  I am the favorite aunt and I Love it!  Now, if only I could have this much favor with the adults!  The biggest problem is that there are a bunch of sisters and brothers and they are ridiculously tight!  When they are all together, no one else matters.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I don’t think this family has one mean bone in any of their bodies!   In fact, they are probably one of the kindest families you will ever meet!   But here in lies the problem…they are oblivious!  They have absolutely no idea that they are constantly leaving me out and making me feel like I don’t belong!  This, to me, is worse than if they were just outright mean!  At least then I would have a legitimate reason to be mad at them!  But nope, they’re not mean at all.   Just so close they don’t realize that there is no room for anyone else in their circle.  Every year I seem to get less and less hurt and try not to take their actions so personal.  This year something different happened.

I was listening to the radio while I was driving the other day and someone was telling a story about how this is their first Christmas without their loved one.  I turned it off before the story was told but the thought lingered with me.  I came to the realization that we cannot guarantee how many more times our family will be complete.  I am part of this family and without me, it wouldn’t be the same!  My nieces and nephews would miss me a ton because I am the only aunt who will sit on the floor with them and play games, braid their hair, polish their nails, and wrestle with them.  Even my in-laws, who don’t always like who I am, would miss me.  I do not fit in their ‘box’ but I am a vital part of the family.  This realization went even further when I began to imagine our get togethers without any one of THEM.  It simply wouldn’t be the same!  I was so thankful that The Lord used this time to teach me before our normal celebrations because I went into them with a whole new perspective.  Was it perfect?  No.  Was it all I would have like them to be?  No.  Did I feel included this year?  Nope, just the opposite.  But this time, the hurt didn’t go so deep because I knew in my heart and soul that my feelings and emotions are not what it’s all about.  It’s about accepting our family where they are and, instead of contributing to the problems, becoming a catalyst in changing them.  We are more effective tools in God’s Hands when we stop seeing things through our eyes and start looking with His eyes.  I was better equipped this year and hopefully from now on.  As long as I can stay at the foot of His Throne leaving my messy feelings with Him 🙂

Happy New Year and I pray God’s Blessings on everyone!!!

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