Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Man I love my family!  As I reflect back on this past year, I am so grateful for my family!  My husband and my children.  And let's not forget my grandchildren.  I couldn't go through each day without them in my life.  My home is a bit crazy right now with eight of us living under one roof.  But I wouldn't trade the experience and fun that we have been having.  My little two year old grandson that lives with us has been my little rock that has pulled me through many days when I really didn't want to get through.  There is nothing quite as melting as a little one putting their tiny little arms around your neck and saying "I lub you".

I really have been blessed with some great family.  But isn't that what life is for?  I can't imagine life without them, yet as I look around me, I am shocked at how many people don't have what I have.  I see people who have never been married or had children, who are alone.  I see marriages and families falling apart through abuse, divorce, anger.  I watch people that I have known and loved for years, struggling with depression and other emotional challenges.  I know families that have been literally been separated by small acts or words, that have caused them to not speak for years.  I see children who are crying out for someone to just love them.  I see teenagers who have never been taught and are struggling to create a life for themselves without good examples to lead the way.  I see teenage mothers, thinking that they can raise a child alone in this world, and every corner they go around they get beat down.  I see homeless people, who were once successful and had someone to love them, but have had unfortunate circumstances that have caused their lives to change drastically.  AND MY HEART HURTS!

On the flip side of that............
I see people that are alone, volunteering their spare time to serve others and create lasting friendships.  I see families and marriages that have gone through serious heartache, that are determined that no matter what happened, they will forgive and move forward because "families are forever".  I see people who have grown up in abusive environments, making the decision to break the cycle and be a better person, then going on the help others in the same situation.  I see people struggling with depression who fight it every day, who can see that if they can just make it through one day at a time, it will be okay.  Then I see these same people who also share their stories with others, in order to maybe help someone else from going through the same things.  I see families sitting down to discuss how they can keep their family from ever going through some of these things.  Counseling with each other and talking things through.  I see teenagers who see a better life and future than the dish they were handed, and are working so hard against all odds to make the necessary changes to be good.  I see single moms, struggling day to day to give their children a good life, despite all odds, going back to school, and doing whatever it takes to offer more.  I watch homeless people, who find a cause, a reason, to change, because somebody took the time to love them.  They get their lives back through struggle, with the determination to never go back.  I watch mothers and fathers pray day and night to keep their families from falling prey to the world.  AND MY HEART FINDS JOY!

Everyone one of the examples of what I see, I really have witnessed.  And so much more.  The world is a really crazy place!  Long gone are the days where families were the most important thing in the world.  There are those of us who still believe that, and I am certainly one of them.  But the world fights us on every aspect of this.

So if you fall into one of the first categories that I mentioned, my heart goes out to you, and I say to you, be strong and make this year the year that you will turn your circumstances around, whatever that may take.

If you fall into the second list, I applaud you!  But I still say, be strong.  Don't let your guard down for one minute.  Keep your defenses up at all times and be ready to fight for what you believe in. 

I love my family!  I love my friends!  I love my life!  Is it perfect?  No, far from it.  We struggle from day to day, just like everyone else.  But we have the knowledge that "families are forever", and we will fight for that. 


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