Things I Love about My Family

6:43 AM

Or, the *real* reasons that I am the way I am...

As I think back over my childhood and now that I am into young adulthood, I've started to understand more about how I got here. Why I cherish some things and why I despise others. Some are so second-nature to me that I'm stunned to hear it is no longer normal.

Eating "supper" (Texas talk) together as a family. There was no regular dinner hour in my house. Alot of it depended on the season. The Dad's business determined that in the summer, he'd be working long hours. But it all evened out, because he was home during the winter. But whether my daddy was home late or not, we ate together as a family. If he came home way after suppertime, usually we'd sit and talk to him while he ate. During the majority of the week, we ate together as a family. At the kitchen table. No TV on. No music. No distractions. Just supper together. This continues to this day.

Being homeschooled. We were homeschooled in the sense that we spent the majority of our waking hours together. When we did schoolwork, it was usually around the big kitchen table. Sure, it was distracting on the (rare) days when The Sis, The Other Bro and I couldn't stop laughing. But generally speaking, we were alot more dedicated to our schoolwork just by sitting around that table with each other. And did better work because of the accountability of The Mom sitting right there with us. And we are much closer to one another. (Disclaimer: I am not stating that I will definitely homeschool my children. I reserve the right to discuss and decide all life decisions with my future husband. Just a little FYI.)

My mom stayed at home. She did work part-time through the years in various jobs. Usually we would go with her to sit quietly in the store, while she fitted brides in their lovely bridal gowns or made alterations at a ladies' clothing store. Or we'd be playing in the yard while some customer came with a project for her to do. But that was never her focus or her identity. She was a wife and homeschooling mom. She loved us kids, always cared for us, disciplined us and trained us. She pushed me out of my shell of shyness, encouraged me in music, let me cook all the time, made me go outside when my nose was stuck in a book, monitored my Internet time, constantly sacrificed her desires for me, planned more surprise birthday parties for me than I can remember, helped with the youth group through all my years there, cried when I moved out, didn't cry when I moved back in, gave her honest opinion of my clothes & their modesty factor, and a million other things. Without being home, she couldn't have done half of those things for me. Or, at least it would've been ALOT harder for her. Her "mothering" duties weren't something she planned (at least, I don't think so), but they happened and profoundly affected the course of my life. I can safely say that I am the way I am because of what my mom did and didn't do. She's an awesome mom, and I want to be just like her when I grow up. :)

My daddy was there. Like really THERE. Involved. He was the one that I have always gone to for advice, wisdom, counsel. He had the final say in the family about everything. "Well, I'm gonna go tell Dad!" was our little-kid final stick-out-your-tongue-cuz-I-got-the-last word phrase. He is the provider that worked like crazy to take care of us, and yet still had time & energy to horse around with us after getting home from work.

The family who plays/works/remodels/vacations/laughs/hikes/prays, etc. together, stays together. This is probably the biggest reason why my family is so close. We just spent tons and tons and tons of time together. Like the five-week-long trip that we took out west when I was 13. Everybody said, "Oh, I just couldn't stand to be with my family that long! Didn't you like, want to kill each other?" Umm, NO. We did everything from family demolition ("don't worry, Dad! We can mud it! -The Little Bro) to family bike rides. I don't remember our family time ever being scheduled, like a weekly family night or anything like that. It just happened.

TV was minimal, and sometimes non-existent. Which is the reason that to this day, I hate the "background noise" of television when no one is watching it. I still feel lazy when watching TV on a weeknight, which is a good thing. There's very few things as unprofitable as television... and don't even get me started on cable or satellite. There's very few shows that are "pure" or "excellent" or "of good report," that I'm glad we don't have satellite. TV is like the vortex that easily sucks me in. Gotta fight it!

We went to church any time the doors were open. And sometimes, we opened the doors. :) There was no excuse good enough to miss church. Sports activities, jobs--pretty much everything else stopped when it was time for church. And not just Sunday either! Any day of church-any youth event-anything! This is how I learned faithfulness.

These are some things that I really appreciate about my family and how I was raised. Don't get the wrong idea, though. My family isn't perfect, and none of this would've happened except by the grace of God. These are simply some things that have greatly influenced me in Godliness.

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