Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Blessing of Family and a Father's Prayers

A week or so ago we went on a mini vacation with some of our family. My brother-in-law was running a marathon at Disney World over the weekend and we all were able to go down there for a few days. My kids have never been, so we were really looking forward to it. I was a little nervous before we went, not sure about all day at a theme park with one baby who still takes 2 naps a day and one who needs one 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. The trip turned out GREAT even with missed naps! And really, the best part wasn’t so much the theme parks, although those were really fun. The best part was spending time and making memories with extended family. The only drawback was that Matt’s sister and her family weren’t there with us.

Here is my family at Epcot:

And here are 5 of our kids (one is on my back as I'm taking the picture) and 2 belonging to Matt's brother.

On this trip I was reminded again of how blessed I am with the family I married into. I will say that it's not 100% wonderful all the time and there have been a few rough patches here and there to work patch in particular was really hard, actually. BUT, all in all, I can say that from my personal view point, God has blessed me incredibly.
I grew up in a conservative Christian home (family devotions, certain standards for dress, music and more), had a big family and I was homeschooled some and went to a Christian school some. Growing up in my family, I don't recall a time of not knowing about Jesus' love and sacrifice for us. Those are all things that I wanted to carry with me into my own family. My husband grew up in a bit of a different background. Pretty much different in every area. Growing up, he wouldn't call his family a Christian family and he didn't know about Christ and what He did until his 20's. His family was smaller with him and two siblings, his parents divorced when he was in his early teens and he went to public schools.
Who would think that his family would be such a awesome blessing to me?! One that shows God holds all the strings in His hands and arranges even the smallest details. His mother and step-father have been absolutely supportive and encouraging about homeschooling, of our growing family and especially of teaching our children about God and His ways. My husband's sister ALSO had 6 kids (and counting?) and she's done a bit of homeschooling with them as well. My husband's brother and his wife will be homeschooling (their kids are preschool age right now), they would certianly like to have a larger family and they plan to be missionaries so there's definitely a Christ focus there. I am so blessed to be surrounded by people who understand where I'm coming from and have similar goals and values. It has made living our convictions so mcuh easier than it might be if his family thought we were just wierd, you know?
You know what I think? I think that the prayers that my Dad prayed for my future husband every night when I was growing up were answered in ways Dad couldn't imagine. ;o)

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