This time of year most of us are very blessed to spend a lot of time with our families. Sometimes this is the only time of year we get to see some of them. It is always one of my favorite things about the holiday season. I love hanging out with my parents and siblings and in-laws.
One thing I have learned in my experience and conversations with others is no family is perfect. I would venture to guess that behind every Norman Rockwell painted smile there are a few snickers, giggles, questionable glares and possibly even tears. Likely on the bottom of the perfectly-browned, perfectly-seasoned, perfectly-shiny, perfectly-PAINTED turkey there is a real turkey that is a little too dry and maybe slightly burned, that came out of an oven that is perfectly covered in the caked on messy juices from a day of cooking. The oven you look at and think “I really need to clean that sometime.”
I think it is easy to look at other people’s life, or Christmas card photo, and think, “Wow, they have the perfect family. They have no idea what goes on in my house at Christmas. I’m so glad she won’t be looking in my oven.”
One of my favorite blogs is written by one of the families we served on an Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat this year. I aspire to have a blog that is so cleverly witty, thought-provoking, inspiring, and informational. (For now, I will just reference such an amazing blog).
It is called “Mostly Sweet. Families are like fudge…mostly sweet with a few nuts.”
At Inheritance of Hope we are a big family. Like all families, we are not perfect. Like all families, we have goof-ups, heartaches, laughter, fears, pain, tight bonds, loyalty…
I remember talking to Rachel and Jason Greenwalt last January at their Legacy Retreat and they said, “We really didn’t know what to expect on this trip and we have to admit we were a little skeptical. We are not very conventional people and we were concerned people might judge us or try to fit us in their mold. We were so amazed at how it was not like that at all. We felt so much connected to the others. It was really like a great big family reunion.”
We laugh together, cry together, remember together and comfort one another. This year we have lost many members of our family and it is difficult. In fact, Rachel just passed away last week. As I think of and pray for her husband and two young daughters as well as the many other members of our IOH family, I am so thankful that we have each other.
I am so thankful we can lean on each other, cry together, encourage one another and look forward to life. We miss those we have lost and we anticipate those we have not yet met.
Inheritance of Hope has brought us all together in a most amazing fudge…mostly sweet with a few nuts.