Give thanks - 30 days of gratitude...
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Philippians 1: 3
I cannot move on from my family-themed posts without mentioning my beloved siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins! As is probably true of most people, at least in the United States, we have had varying degrees of interaction and relationship throughout my years of life.
I am thankful for the siblings God gave me. I am the baby of the family (they were nearly 7 and 9 1/2 when I was born) and I know they both probably got tired of me wanting to be their age when I was young. I thought that they and their friends "hung the moon." They both have taught me lessons in my life that are invaluable. I have had periods of closeness with each of them and periods of separation and near estrangement with both. I pray we keep those hard times behind us and stay close to each other!
Growing up, I had an aunt and uncle in Alabama who were like second parents to me. That was especially meaningful after my daddy's death; my biggest fear for several years was that my mama would die also. It brought me great comfort to know that my aunt and uncle were willing and ready to take me as one of their own if the need should arise. Their children were like my brothers and sisters growing up. We played, sang, and dreamed together whenever we got to spend time with one another. In a way, they were better than siblings because we didn't have any rivalry between us - just pure fun and joy during our time together. I also was fairly close with cousins in middle Tennessee as a child. God blessed me richly when He gave me cousins!
In adulthood, I grew closer to my other aunts, uncles, and cousins. They have all been close to my heart and have seen me through some rough times, some happy times, and I feel blessed to have them in my life.
The most meaningful thing to me about my relationship with most of my extended family is that we share our faith in the Creator. At the reunions we have had over our adult years, worship of the Lord has been an integral part of our time together. Those times have been a rich, meaningful time of devotion. The history we share and sense of belonging with and to one another I think must be a foreshadowing of our worship around the throne when we have all passed into eternal life. I praise God and feel so grateful for this family with which He blessed me.