One of my favorite shows right now is the popular TV hit, “This Is Us.” I love it because it shows the good, the bad, ugly and authentic snapshots of family.
It is inevitable that at some point during each episode I will have a personal moment where the tears flow (not stream but flow) down my face. The transparent and raw emotions experienced within the various family dynamics hit me to the core. Yet the more I watch this show, the more real it becomes to me that no matter the dynamics or situations, “it is what it is” and the family we see is what they have chosen to make of all life has dealt them.
I consider my own personal family dynamics in my home. My dream was to be married at a young age and have children immediately. My “plan” was to then adopt after having a couple of biological children and then spend my years on the mission field. I was 37 years old when I got married and my bonus daughter made me an instant mom and within one year of trying to learn the ropes of this parenting thing, she was out the door and off to college. In one year I was a newlywed, step-mom, a daughter in law and experiencing love from a set of parents who were still married to one another, saw my mom transition to heaven and then looked up at my husband realizing we were empty nesters, all in one year. Nothing happened according to what I had planned but everything according to His plan.
You see, we as a society can spend so much energy on perfectly planning the details of our lives and if we’re not careful, we will find ourselves in a state of disappointment and frustration when “life” happens instead of our plans. But then you have the incredible opportunity to look up and see who is by your side and choose to honor the gift in what is your family. For me that includes biological family, my incredible family by marriage and then the family that the heart chose and not DNA. I realize there are good, bad and yes some ugly parts that we have gone through but THIS IS US and for every person that makes “us” complete is a treasured piece of my life that makes it so beautiful.
This Christmas, celebrate those in your life who make up your “Us” and don’t focus on what doesn’t matter but rather who matters.
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