Tuesday, January 22, 2013

We're All In This Together

When our children were only 5,8 and 9 years old, and we were pastoring our first church, the church acquired their first parsonage. It was a 16x72 trailer which they placed on a roughly cleared piece of land next to the church. The forest was directly behind the lot and because of that there was no room for a back yard for the kids to play.

 Wanting to make the best of a difficult situation I bought them each a small hand saw and we went into the forest and started clearing brush and cutting off limbs of some of the larger trees. We built a platform between three trees which were growing close together so they could have a tree house and the kids were happy with that but like most parents we wanted to do more for our children. At that time it seemed that every family had a trampoline and our kids wanted one too but with our finances that was just impossible. So we did the next best thing: we made one.

Living in a fishing community, I called a supply store and was able to buy 150 feet of fishing net. We tied the corners to four of the largest trees in the yard and laced rope through the sides for support. The whole thing was suspended six feet off the ground so in order to get inside of the 'trampoline' Brad and I had to pull down the sides and allow the kids to tumble in, I was next and Brad got in last. The five of us bounced together and laughed and had a wonderful topsy turvy time. Going to the 'trampoline' was a daily occurrence and became one of our favourite memories.

When we were in the trampoline we were all in it together. When you're in a family it's important that you can say 'we're all in this together'. So many times families become fractured, hurt feelings prevail and no one wants to make the first move. It's not important whose fault it was or who was right or wrong. It doesn't matter how much time has passed or how difficult it might be to take that first step. What does matter is that you are a FAMILY and you are all in this together.

Families are important to God. He instituted the first family when He told Adam and Eve in Genesis chapter 1 verse 28 to go forth and multiply. All through the Word of God He tells us that children are a blessing. We know that God loves families. A family should be a safe haven for its members, a place where grace is shown to all, a place where grudges are not held and each day is a clean slate with new possibilities.

Does that sound far fetched or impossible to attain? Does it sound like a dream but not likely to happen in the light of day? Well, it is if people aren't willing to try or choose to make a difference. Your family is one of God's blessings to you. 'Family' includes all members, that means in-laws too. Once someone marries into a family they should have all the benefits of being in that family. They have the protection, the love, the care, the respect and the grace which all members should have.

Our family has grown since those days in the 'trampoline'. We've added two daughters-in-law and we have been blessed. Our new daughters are now part of the Pass family and with that comes love and forgiveness and grace and blessing which have been a part of our family since it began. These things are a choice. We choose to let hurt feelings go, we choose to forgive, we choose to love, we choose to give fresh starts and begin again. Why? Because, we're all in this together.

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