. . . that family is important. Parents, children, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws all shape our lives directly and indirectly. We belong to each other—and we need each other.
Thirty-four years ago my husband and I spoke our vows surrounded by flowers and a community of family and friends. In time three wonderful daughters entered our household. Two young men have also joined the Phillips family in recent years. And a year ago last November we welcomed an adorable grandbaby named Ty. When my parents join us, we have ten around the table (plus Eva, the dog!). I savor the times when we’re “all together.”
Different personalities, skill sets, opinions, political views, preferences, tastes, incomes, spending habits, etc. . . . I love it that we’re a diverse unit—often reflected in our conversations over coffee and dessert. Sometimes we laugh with (and at) each other; it just can’t be helped!
What makes a family work? How can we nurture a feeling of belonging in the midst of diversity?
Three words come to mind. I think about them often and hope and pray they will consistently characterize our family:
Grace Acceptance Respect
I want our home to be a safe place for every family member when they walk through the door. No one is exempt from making mistakes; we all need grace. We may not all agree, but we still need to feel accepted. We hold to a variety of values and beliefs, yet we all need to sense respect. It all works for the best when each of us gives grace, acceptance, and respect in the same way we would like to receive it.
It seems to me . . . that family is important. My husband and I are blessed. Our “kids” (all seven of them now) mean everything to us. Our family’s storyline isn’t perfect but, near or far, we belong to each other. Isn’t that what family is about?