So God Made a Family

August 7, 2015 | 20 comments

And on the 8th day, God looked down on the good earth he made and said, “I need people to love and care for each other.”

So, God made a family.

God said “I need a lot of somebodies to show the world what it means to weave hearts, to shape souls, and to stubbornly stick together when you’re tempted to give up.”

He needed whole units, each with a strong, beating heart. Strong enough to pray in the doctor’s waiting room, run on black coffee, jump into the fray, stand up for the underdog, … and to gather shoulder-to-shoulder, at the edge of the soccer field, the auditorium, the hospital bed, the communion rail.

So, God made a family.

He said he needed somebody with a sense of humor. Humor enough to tuck a kid in at 8:30 p.m., get her a drink at 8:32, do the re-tuck at 8:34, check for monsters in the closet at 8:53, and under the bed at 8:57, rub tiny circles into her skinny back at 9:20, and then drift off next to her in the middle of your prayers.

So God made a family.

He said, “I need somebody to hold babies, hold hands across busy streets, hold a kid’s hair when she’s bent over the toilet, hold down the bleachers, hold court around the kitchen table, hold vigil in the living room, hold out for miracles, and hold tight to each other and to the sacred truth.”

He needed people to offer grace when the loudest relatives come over for Thanksgiving dinner, when your mom sends a very long and incomprehensibly auto-corrected text message, and when the crazy uncle leaves embarrassing comments on all your Facebook statuses.

He needed people to prove that relationships can survive if all the hot water runs out, if someone ate the last PopTart, if she breathed his air, and if your brother crossed the imaginary line drawn on the back seat of the car.

God knew people would need somebody to tell you that you have spaghetti sauce on your chin, spinach in your teeth, Playdoh in your hair, or toilet paper stuck to your shoe.

He said the world needed safe places, in an unkind world, to unravel the knots … a place where people could break down and get built back up again, so they could head out into a dark world in need of more light.

So God made a family.

He said, “I need people who will keep on loving when the skin sags, and the muscles atrophy, and the heart weakens, and the last breaths leave the body, shallow.

I need people who will sing and cry,
and laugh and sigh …
and who will decide right then,
that death won’t have the last word,
and that life is still worth living right now,
and the world needs more babies,
and more crazy uncles,
and more Thanksgiving dinners,
and more moments when you curl up together under the same blanket,
after a long day,
and drift off to sleep,
while you’re thanking the good Lord that God made a family.

 

Today’s story inspired by Paul Harvey’s “When God Made a Farmer.” 

Your Turn: Tell me about your family!

by | August 7, 2015 | 20 comments

20 Comments

  1. Karen

    Oh, this post was so very good…thanking the good Lord that God did make a family…and that whether connected by blood or hearts, family is the root of love..deeply planted in the wellspring of God’s grace and nourished by the His Word and Spirit…

    This was my favorite part:

    “He said the world needed safe places, in an unkind world, to unravel the knots … a place where people could break down and get built back up again, so they could head out into a dark world in need of more light.”

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Karen! Have a lovely weekend.

      Reply
  2. Caryn Jenkins Christensen

    Oh yes, Yes, YES! Love got stuck in my throat reading this one Jennifer. As one who was raised in and out of foster homes, I dreamed and valued the *idea* of family…and prayed for a family. For people who would love and accept me and call me their own…So God gave me a family.
    As a teenager, He knew I needed more than a human family. I needed Christ and with the decision to invite Him into my heart came another family…the Church family.
    Then when I got married, I knew I wanted my own family, my own people…little humans of my own to “tuck into bed at 8:30, get drinks at 8:32, do the re-tuck at 8:34, check for monsters in the closet at 8:53, and under the bed at 8:57, rub tiny circles into her skinny back at 9:20, and then drift off next to her in the middle of your prayers.” So God gave me (us) a family.
    And now that they are grown young women, I pray that God enlarges our family in His perfect timing. Thank you for this. It was such a good reminder to me of just how much God loves us.
    What a holy privilege it is to belong to family. <3

    Reply
    • Nancy Ruegg

      Beautiful and heartwarming, Caryn. Loved reading your story!

      Reply
      • Caryn Jenkins Christensen

        Thank you Nancy!

        Reply
    • Leah Adams

      What a beautiful testimony of grace, Caryn.

      Reply
      • Caryn Jenkins Christensen

        I agree Leah ~ my story is really God’s story of His grace and faithfulness throughout my life. <3

        Reply
    • dukeslee

      It has been a great joy for me to hear your story in person, and I’m glad you’ve shared a bit of it here, Caryn. God expanded His love in your heart in tremendous ways. I so admire you, my friend.

      Reply
      • Caryn Jenkins Christensen

        And I you, JDL! <3

        Reply
  3. Cheryl Smith

    Awww…such a precious post, Jennifer! Loved seeing the great pictures of you and your sweet family. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Nancy Ruegg

    Jennifer, you have a God-given gift of dusting off the mundane and exposing the extraordinary! All of these moments you highlight, do indeed create the glorious, joyous wonder of family. Had I read this post two years ago, I would have cried for the sad fact our grown children lived so far away at the time, and we were missing many magical-though-mundane moments. But God engineered circumstances and now we live ten minutes away from one son and his family, and a little over an hour from another. The comfort and camaraderie, the frequent gatherings and laughter, the sharing of memories and making new ones, just breathing the same air fills my spirit with joy If only our daughter and her family could move here, life would be perfect!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      What a blessing, Nancy.

      Reply
  5. Diane Bailey

    thank you for the reminder of the great value of family. We do need more family on porch swings and uncles with funny stories and snuggles until slumber weights our eyes until morning.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I seriously want a porch swing. And rocking chairs. A whole line of them.

      Reply
      • Diane Bailey

        I told Doc last night I need a bigger porch so I could put a big swing in it.

        Reply
  6. Leah Adams

    Oh Jennifer, what beauty! I sit here with tears in my eyes, remembering what was in my family, and learning to walk in the new normal. Thank you for the reminder that family is not perfect, but it is our calling to love them as Jesus would love. Have a blessed Lord’s Day, friend.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Leah. I am so sorry for all that you’ve been through. Sending love.

      Reply
      • Leah Adams

        Thank you, Jennifer. Truly, I have learned the sustaining grace of Christ in this season that is just past. He is good! He is faithful! He is sweet! I am blessed!

        Reply
  7. Brenda

    So sweet. <3

    Reply

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