Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We Are Family

Boy how my thoughts and ideas have changed over my lifetime.
Changed over these past years, months, weeks.
Recently a friend of mine, who happens to be a pastor's wife, shared with me her thoughts on our family. After visiting us in the hospital with Justin she began to share with me how many families she has visited with in the hospital as well as around the dinner table.
"Your family knows how to love" she said "Even though you are all messed up and have hurt each other, you guys really not only love each other but really know how to make others feel loved."
Yes we are messed up, and of course my close friends happen to know all the details, so for her to say that meant a ton to our whole family.

I use to think that part of my children's success would be them moving out, getting a job and buying a house.

My thoughts on that have changed.
Having Vaughan and Sarah live with us has begun to change my thinking on communal living.
OK so I've always been a fan of communal living- a hippie compound has always sounded appealing to me- but over these past months I'm leaning more and more toward what I believe the Acts 2 church did, lived together.

If you want to learn to really love someone, to develop patience for another- live with them.
If you want to really know someone- share a kitchen with them.
Want to know how to pray for others- sit across a table with them daily.

Want to pray with someone on a regular basis- share a living room sofa with them.
When we are forced to do life with others it can truly become an amazing experience.

It has been really cool having Vaughan and Sarah live with us, not only have I gained a daughter but I know can borrow clothes and purses from someone, I can count on dinner being made when I'm not home and one day soon I will be able to count on waking each day to see my granddaughter. We can share prayer requests, frustrations, questions.

No- I'm not a fan of emeshed families but I'm not so sure any part of the "America Dream" is healthy or really lines up with God's Word.
Am I saying I want my kids to live with me forever, no; but in a way yes. If we can pool our resources to live and pool our time and efforts into living to further the Kingdom of Heaven then why not live across the hall from the people I love; and why does this current communial living have to stay the same, perhaps in the future the people who live across the hall will have different names but the togetherness of God's people will remain the same.

I see this "living" all around me actually. I have three friends, with children, who live with their parents- and no they are not jobless couch potatoes. I know students living with caring adults who are not their parents. I know friends who opened their basement to families in transition and then they themselves did some basement living as their life transitioned. I use to think negative things about these kind of living arrangements, but now I see the value in it.
The call to do it.

Family for us extends far beyond the blood that runs through our veins.
... is what we are. Made by a God who desires us to not only commune with Him but with each other.
To love one another faults and all, to care for each other even when we don't want to.
To do life together.
So I ask you, who are you doing life with?
and I challenge myself: does my home look and react, behave and love like Jesus would? Like I've been called to? Are we living to further the Kingdom or living to further ourselves?
Let's live! and live for Christ!


American in Bath said...

Thanks for this. I have at various points lived with friend's grandparents and their parents. I've lived with complete strangers in one room accommodation. I've lived with friends. I've had friend's of friends come and live with me.

Vanessa said...

Oh, Michelle! I love this post - your words and the sweet pictures intermingled with it.


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