I’m the third oldest of eight children. Back at home there was always someone to fight or to love.
One time during devotions after supper, I was up to no good. While remaining as quiet as could be, I was instigating a fight with a younger sibling. Jannie, my oldest sister noticed this and corrected me with a clear facial expression. You know how that goes when you aren’t allowed to talk. Lips, eyebrows and any other moveable feature on your face can be used to communicate silently, yet very clearly!
I understood her completely– I was in the wrong. But she’s my sister and for that very reason had nothing to say about me. So I tried to communicate that back to her. Ready to widen my eyes, straighten my lips, maybe even mouth some words, for sure shake my head, I was ready to show her.
But guess this, she knew what I was up to and totally ignored me. Just when I was so eager to show her my non compliance, she knew exactly how to shut me down.
I needed my sister to show me how to keep the peace.
Once I moved to Canada I needed different help. Yes, as Dutch people we are all about fashion, but here in the Canadian winters, protection is better than fashion. I had a co-worker who wrapped my scarf around my neck for me. She also drove me to work many times during the early mornings when it was too cold to bike.
You might think that some things you have done solely by yourself, but even the man who sailed around the world by himself did not do it alone. He had people preparing the boat for him, others to cheer him on, yet others to help in other ways. We all need people in every stage of life, where ever we are. It’s the people who understand that from dependent we move to independent, and then to interdependent who go far.
Of course, now years later, my sister and I phone each other regularly and understand each other completely, being able to lift each other up. I love big families and am grateful for the loving home my parents created for us. Alone is just not doable for me. Even in the way we are created we just do better when reaching out to the person beside us.
Breaking bread together is so good, because of its last word.
Who will you reach out to today?
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Families come in all shapes and sizes, some we are born into, and some people become our family members because of our relationship with them. But the best part is … Family… the people who cherish your soul.
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