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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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What is family?

I consider this to be a serous forum with knowledgeable people so I feel comfortable asking a personal question on here. On that note I don’t mean to display my personal life on this forum ether but sometimes it’s good to hear a public opinion to understand real life situations to better myself. So please serous posts only and if you’re offended or feel that your need to cute me down or insult me I will ignore your post.

My inner family of four lived a 20 year military life, we lived every where. My mother was native to Milwaukee, WI and my father Columbus, OH. After my fathers 20 years of service in the military he retired and we moved to Milwaukee, WI. My mother has family here with 7 other bothers and sisters with there sons and daughters in which are my uncles, aunts and cousins. Growing up my inner family was alone, we only saw the big-family once maybe twice a year on Christmas or Thanksgiving. We had each other, we had our own thing hundreds and at one time thousands of miles away.

My question is…what is family (the big family)? Are you there for each other? Do you only see each other once a year? Twice? Three times a year? Only on holidays? Help each other on cars? Help watch the kids?

I’ve been living in Milwaukee now for 10 years with my mothers side of the big-family. If I where to pick one word to describe this family it would be “Drama”. Fighting over the dumbest **** and not talking to each other for a year because of it. We only see each other during holidays so 3-4 times a year or so unless there is a graduation, wedding or funeral. For the first 15 years of my life it was just the inner family with no “Drama” and now…it’s just unreal. I don’t want to go into detail of what the childish things are but they are pretty bad. Some other words to describe this family are selfish, dishonest, controlling, greedy and cowardly. Is this normal? Do families fight all the time? We’re not killing or smashing each other if that’s what you’re thinking. After the past ten years my parents would be happier living in another state living alone again, just having each other. I’ve been thinking about living in another state too, possibly moving to Texas or Arizona, who knows.

I know there is a few of you who are going to say, “Well at least you have a family”

Do you want them? Seriously you can have them! Lol!

What would you do? Throw in the towel? Say good bye and live in peace or try and work things out with your big-family? When I was with my inner family for the first 15 I was happy and so where my parents. Let me know what you think, is your big-family as bad as mine? How do you deal? Advice? Suggestions?

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 11:28 PM
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you think thats bad.. try being cuban lol. best thing i can say bro is get away. become one of the 3-4 times a year people. i just moved into my own apt about 40 minutes away from my family (dk how long this'll last) but itll get you away fromt he drama. yea your gonna hear about it.. youll get the "i still dont understand why you left us" line for a few months but it gives you a chance to live your own life with out being badgered with everyone else's problmes wether they come to you with them or not it still sounds like you get an rear full of them. just leave. like i said theyll bug you for a while.. but theyll get over it..

every family has theyre own prospective on how a family "should be". my family is just here for the holiday parties,graduations,etc etc. it just depends on how they feel about being around one-another. theres always going to be something different about someone every time you see them and how a family should be also depends on the little things like that. how well you can cope with eachother. who likes who. who has what memories. if you have parents that grew up in close vacenity(spelling?) to eachother then theyre going to tend to be a more active family.. if they grew up as you did being alone and seldom visited and then rushed into the heart of the family it will stir things up a bit. it more or less depends on how the previous generation(your parents, unles ands cousins of the same age etc.) were raised.. if they were raised far apart then when they get the sense of fredom of having theyre own family they also have a longing to be with theye original family so you move.. but find things may not work as planned.. it all depends on mutual feelings towards eachother, and how you see the rest of the family perspectively.. i hope that helps ya man..

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 11:34 PM
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lol...damn ox..you just decribed my family....we all basically live right around the corner from each other....small town, small area...ill die around these people...hehe....well man, nothing is perfect...i mean, would you really want it perfect anyway?....that would be boring as hell and there would be no growing from it....like a relationship between a guy and girl....you need drama or conflict....just not too much of it..its one of the ways how we learn about each other....although too much of anything (good or bad) isnt really healthy.....kinna like the chinese yin and yang...you cant have the good without the bad...or the dark without the night...you need both for harmony....so if ur having some occasional conflict...consider it a good thing...everyone around you will grow and learn from it.....its all good man, stick close to ur family...they are all you really got in the end....i know from experience.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 11:40 PM
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i love my family but i can not live with them. in jr high i left my moms house moved in with my father got in lots of trouble and partied a lot. in hs i physically fought my father had been kicked out. on my moms side my uncle took everything of my granpas after he passed and screwed everyone on the will and took all of the priceless stuff and pawned it for money for his tweeker Gf. i use to fight all the time growing up its how i learned how to deal with it. Then i got charged with a DV a few years back and had to take 2 years of classes and impact panels, probation....after making some changes in my life ive become way closer to my family but i still cant live with them but of course im on my own so i dont have to

In my opinion there is no such thing as a normal family. Normal dosen't exist

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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In my opinion there is no such thing as a normal family. Normal dosen't exist
That's a good opinion.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 12:40 AM
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...in my opinion there is no such thing as a normal family. Normal dosen't exist.....
I think your family is "normal". This is the way with families. The old italian saying, "Don't ever go against the family", well it was the Godfather but close enough. I have 20 aunts and uncles, half live in Alabama, and half in Illinois. Both have the same drama. But I love them all and when the drama isnt getting in the way, they are a blast to be around. I feel for you, but buck up, you are just normal like the rest of us. Its the ones with no family drama who are "weird". Just think how bored you would be if you didnt have drama to deal with. LOL

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 06:07 AM
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Your family is normal I went almost 2 years without talking to anybody in my family because of something that happened and I regret that I missed out on alot of things. Any time we have a family function my wife and I always ask what kind of drama will unfold. My dad went many years without talking to one of his brothers over something stupid and when my uncle died I really think that my dad had regretted that. Sometimes as adults I think we act like children and instead of putting differences aside we get stubborn and just get mad. I do know after listening to my stepson who really likes my brothers and sisters it seems like he suffered too and that is really not fair to any child. My wife and I always said my brother that moved to Nevada 2,600 miles away was the smartest but I have learned to put my differences aside and what ever happens, happens. You do have a normal family, my wife and I have also discussed moving out of state and some day we may still do that, but for now I will enjoy the times I have with my family and put all differences aside for me and my family.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 07:07 AM
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Dolly Parton wrote a song that describes Family. Here are the lyrics.

WHEN IT’S FAMILY
By Dolly Parton & Carl Perkins

When it's family, you forgive them for they know not what they do,
When it's family you accept them ‘cause you have no choice but to.
When it's family, they're a mirror of the worst and best in you, and they always put you to the test and you always try to do your best and just pray for God to do the rest, when it's family.
Some are preachers, some are gay, some are addicts, drunks and strays, but not a one is turned away when it's family.
Some are lucky, others ain't, some are fighters, others faint, winners, losers, sinners, saints, it's all family.
And when it's family you trust them and your heart's an open door, when its family, you tolerate what you'd kill others for.
When it's family you love and hate and take, then give some more.
Somehow you justify mistakes, try to find some better way to solve the problems day to day, in the family.
You take the trouble as it comes and love them more than anyone, good or bad or indifferent, it's still family.
You choose your lovers, you pick your friends, not the family that you're in - Nah they'll be with you ‘till the end, 'cause it's family.
And when it’s family, you forgive them for they know not what they do, when it's family, they're a mirror of the worst and best in you,
When it's family, let me be all that I should be, to my family.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 08:06 AM
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My family was like Ox's: military, moving all over the place, so my immediate family was just Mom, Dad, older brother, and myself. My mom’s family is in IL/IN and a farming/country background while my Dad’s family is from NJ (Philly area) and a city background. They split up (thank goodness) and went their separate ways when I was in Jr. High.

So I’ve never really had a close family and consider myself a serious loner.

But one thing that I have learned over the years is that "family" doesn't mean jack.

If you don't like someone because they are jerks, drug addicts, thieves, etc. you don't have to (and shouldn't) associate with them just because they are "family". Forgiving "family" for crap they pull, just because "they are family" is, in my opinion, doing nothing but enabling/endorsing their abhorrent behavior. “Family” is not a substitution for what is right and what is wrong”.

But just my opinions.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 08:10 AM
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It's time to move to Texas. The Houston chapter will help ya find a house and a job.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 08:15 AM
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And yeah family can act like some triflin' a** bi**es sometimes. My Grandma's 90th birthday is coming up and one part of the family didn't like the location my dad had picked out to have dinner at because it was too far from their house (in Michigan). I'll be hard tempted not to say to them "hello I came over 1,200 miles for this dinner, what's a half hour?"
But that's just people being people, and at the end of the day it's nice to know that you have family out there, faults and all.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 08:20 AM
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And yeah family can act like some triflin' a** bi**es sometimes. My Grandma's 90th birthday is coming up and one part of the family didn't like the location my dad had picked out to have dinner at because it was too far from their house (in Michigan). I'll be hard tempted not to say to them "hello I came over 1,200 miles for this dinner, what's a half hour?"
But that's just people being people, and at the end of the day it's nice to know that you have family out there, faults and all.
I live 30 miles from my family in CT and they think they are traveling half way around the world when I invite them over for something. Some of them are also jealous so that does not help but my wife and I bust our a**es for what we have. It seems like there is always something to complain about and someone always does.

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 08:43 AM
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You nailed it on the head. That is family. You just have to deal with it. Me and my dad haven't talked since December 10, 2007. Why? I haven't got any idea. I can call him but he can never call me. I know my phone works both ways. He is missing out on his grand children. My mom can't talk to me enough. We email constantly and talk on the phone like 2 times a week. She live 1000 miles away. My dad 30 minutes. Now my wifes side is a soap opera. People do stupid things is all I can say.

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 08:50 AM
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Heh, I can kinda relate. I come from a very small family that I really don’t know that well. On my mom's side I have grandparents, one aunt, one uncle and no cousins. On my dad's side I have 2 (maybe 3) 2nd cousins that I think I met once when I was a kid. I was born and raised in South Florida and they are all in MD/DC/VA/WV. Growing up I would see them sporadically, maybe once every year or two, so I never really got to know them. Now my parents don’t even live down here anymore, they are in WV!

I met my current GF almost 2 years ago, who comes from a HUGE family who are all really close. I only talk to my parents maybe once a week, and she’s on the phone with 7th and 8th cousins twice removed once a day! The sheer number of them boggles my mind, plus the fact that they are all so close just over whelms me. Keeping in touch with all of them would be a hassle to me, although I'd probably have a different mindset if I had grown up with all those people. I never realized how much I appreciate quiet until I got in a room with only a fraction of her family!

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It's time to move to Texas. The Houston chapter will help ya find a house and a job.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 10:00 AM
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I'm an a-hole, and everybody knows it. Mostly because I don't hesitate to disagree with people just because they share some genes with me. My extended family is very closeminded and uninformed... Some of them are just downright unintelligent.

The people >>I<< consider "Family" are those who would go out of their way to look out for me, and I would go out of my way to look out for them. I consider some of my friends "Family" because of this as well.

In my extended family of about 40 people, there are only 7 people I would count as "Family".

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 01:20 PM
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Family, like grade school, puts you to together with people you would otherwise be pointing out in a police lineup.

I have been writing a story about my family over on another board...I may post it in here, if there is enough interest. However, I am unaware of the level of decency standards on this board, as some of it is quite....graphic, so I hesitate to post it....
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 02:06 PM
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I have a very big family as well...... But know drama... We all love and care about each other very much. Guess that may be a sourthern thing. Because all my family live in NC. I for one am the first to move away to Philly here pay is much better than down south, My daughter is in Atlanta GA married to a Air traffic Controler and my son is in the Army as a BlackHawk Pilot I and my daughter go home to NC about once a month to keep in touch with our Family, And my son does when he is on leave, I guess that we are a lucky bunch to all get along

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 02:35 PM
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I see my extended family a few times a year. the only immediate family I have is my mother and my dog. But to be perfectly honest, I feel as though my friends are my family. Not those whom I have known for a few months or so, but friends I have had for years. I know I can trust them and we get over the petty bull**** if it arises.




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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 02:59 PM
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Our big-family doesn’t really fight, but we just seem to do our own things and just meet at holidays and stuff. Just seems to be conflict of interests and in some cases values...

I never create or like drama so if that was my situation id just get out of there lol. I truly can’t stand stupid drama that seems to rule people’s lives and if it was ever passed onto me I wouldn’t take it.

I personally would do what I want to do, if I had the opportunity and wanted to move to another state id do it! If someone can’t respect what you want to do then tough s#*t! ...imo...

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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 05:21 AM
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My family is strange...my mom and dad are both from Michigan, and come from really strange (screwed up) families...they both left in 1977, got married, moved to California...

My sister always had a big problem with my parents, to her, everything they did was selfish, irrisponsible, she thinks they didn't care about us. They did the best they could...mistakes where made...they probably shouldn't be married, and probably shouldn't have had kids, at least with one another, but what's done is done...

Myself on the other hand, I always had fun with my parents, I only had a couple years where I thought they where "bad people" and most of that, was caused by things that my sister was telling me--trying to get me on her bandwagon of issues.

Just a couple days ago, my sister tells me that she wrote my dad and mom an e-mail, telling them how horrible she thinks they are, and that she wants nothing to do with them. This is unfortunate to say the least. My dad, I don't really care what his reaction is, because honestly, he doesn't care either way...my mom on the other hand, I'm sure, is really hurt by all of this...my sister is going to deny my mom, and my mom's grandson a whole lot, by refusing to be part of their lives.

I understand why she is doing what she is doing, however, I don't agree with it...your family is your family regardless...you can't pick them, and they all have issues, but like said earlier, you just have to deal with it. I hope they can resolve their problems...They are in TX, I am CA...so, I worry about my mom...who knows.
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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 08:57 PM
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Your family sounds quite normal, Ox. My inlaws seem to think I'm nuts for being so into cars, but when we're all together, you'd think I was the local mechanic instead of a family member. My side of the family loves to pick little fights with each other and gossip. Heck, I figure I annoy the family I don't see as often as much as they annoy me.

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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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From my Father and Mother

My parents saw what I wrote on this forum and they both sent my an email concerning the matter of family. Maybe this thread will help some people with family issues and come together for the up coming Mothers day in May. Food for thought? Best wishes to all. Love your fellow family.

Father

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Joshua,
(when you have a few extra moments please read this very carefully). My heart went out from me a little bit when I read your e-mail and I want you to be encouraged- not torn away from the (big) family issues that are impacted our inner family now...

Webster defines family as: a group of individuals living under one roof and under one head.
A group of people regarded as deriving from a common stock, united by certain convictions or a common affiliation. (Spiritually-united in Faith in Jesus Christ as a family of believers).

Family should be united in one mind, one heart and one understanding. Our hearts should be together and in the right place- including our trust and faith in our Almighty God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. One-in-three. The triune God head of all creation. But, unfortunately, not all of us in our family may even believe this, If that were possible.

If were not always together in believing the really important common core beliefs in spiritual matters, then we do not have a very good chance of being together in common core family matters either. Our frame of reference is skewed just because our eyes and heart are not in the proper spiritual perspective. So, if our Heart, Soul and Mind is not in a perfect relationship to God, then we (the family) will suffer in relationships with one another.

Maybe I should have reminded you more of the many good times and precious memories rather than dwelling on a few of the latest negative aspects of the so called; present "Big-Family" picture as you put it. In "all" families there is some degree of "drama" at one time or another. "All" families have their share of "dirty laundry" (from time-to-time). However, there are families who I'm sure are more "discrete" and "tactful" in their relationships with each other and how they "relate and put-up" with to each other. As you can relate, I'm ashamed that I was not the best example at times rather, an example of what not to do and I can assure you, there were many times in my now 51-years that I often fell on my knees asking the Lord Almighty to forgive me of my sins.

As mentioned previously we (all) share a part of the blame in those sometimes; petty-childish-juvenile-immature-mean spirited-controlling and yes, even cowardly attempts in trying to make oneself appear slightly more polished than the other person. We are as I'm sure your aware are not polished rather, just simple ordinary "jars of clay" who differ in our appearance and attitude. Our glory in this life differs just as the stars do in their glory in the heavens above.

In regards to how we should treat one another you should already know my response as I have mentioned to you last evening. We should love one another as Christ loved us. That was his command to us. Even Peter wrestled with the forgiveness issue; "Lord, how many times should we forgive our brother? Seven Times?" Jesus said, even if it was seven times seventy you should forgive your brother as often as he asks. Jesus told us to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this is the law of the prophets." My grandmother and mother often referred this to my brother and I when we were growing-up in Ohio as she often heard it from her mother. The "Golden-Rule."

Josh, I may not have forgiven my "brother" (family members) as I should have in my heart through the years (even though nobody really asked for forgiveness or visa-versa for that matter) so I often ask God to help me in dealing with the big-family. But, this I do know and am quite sure. We as created living human-beings whom are all born with a sin nature and the internal capacity for knowing by a certain age what is right or what is wrong cannot for any reasonable length-of-time- keep ill will or harness a poor attitude toward our fellow brother or sister.

Our very soul is connected directly to our heart and mind. If there is a negative spirit that resides within our inner self it will surely start to destroy the positive spirit that is within our very soul. The two (good and evil) cannot co-exist together. If both try to occupy the same space in your heart for too long of a time they will be at odds with one another and both will suffer. Jesus said, you cannot serve both God and mammon: the worldly-lusts, the love of money and earthly possessions. At some point and time in our life, we all must make our choice and choose for each circumstance that crosses our path in the road of life. That's the dilemma that we "all" face in this life. To rightly choose when given a choice- to turn to the left or to the right? Just as Abraham and his nephew Lot when their flocks and families had grown too large for the grazing pastures where they had been living. They had to separate. Their herdsman were fighting between one another and disputes arose between them. (Genesis 13).

We are all born with a sin nature and until we come to know Christ through faith and accept His free gift of "Grace" (unmerited favor) shown to all who will believe on Him. It is through His death on Calvary's cross that all our sins were atoned for through His shed blood for you and me, our "inner" as well as our "big" family and all of mankind. He washes us and makes us clean. That acceptance of Christs work, the prophecies foretelling of His birth, His ministry, His life's example, His death and Yes, even His Glorious Resurrection 3-days later gives us all hope for a brighter life today in the midst of uncertainty in this present life we all can have a greater joy in knowing the faithful promises for a future life we can have with Christ the savior one bright glorious day with Him in paradise for all eternity.

So, all the inner and big-family issues; not to mention the bills, taxes, car maintenance, jobs and school, even the fear of death itself "in the big picture" of life in this world we can rest in the promise of a loving savior who died for the entire family. That way, all these things are really not that earth shattering. Rather, bumps in the road we travel in life- just like the unwelcome mosquito bites on the back of the neck and arms on a warm summer night. They happen, and sometimes there isn't too much we can do about them. We can take precautions, stick in there and put-up the good fight of faith just like the Apostle Paul. Hold onto the truth and do what is right. Trust and believe, be firm, and be fair. Know that God sees and knows what your going through because He also went though this life and suffered far more than either of us will fully know. He understands and He promises to be right there for you and I as we walk these rugged roads in this life. Believe me, the roads in heaven will be much smoother, happier and golden in the next life.

Josh, for now make the most of what knowledge and love He has given you to be a light and beacon of hope to all who will follow after you. Be encouraged through His promises, be strengthened by His words of life for He himself Is Life. Be a Light and shine as He told us. (Matthew 5:14-17) Because your light will help to give someone you know hope for today and lead those who maybe lost in the darkness to eternal life for a big family reunion in glory for tomorrow. Make your family, His family. For you are His and bought with a price.

What I'm trying to say to you as I would to anyone who would ask the questions you have risen regarding the family. I can only tell you from my own personal experience relating as I did with your grandfather and grandmother. There shouldn't be disputes but, they do arise form time-to-time. What really matters in the big picture is to be wise enough to not get caught-up in the little things in life that nag us all - that son, is life. How we respond to those circumstances and what we say and do reveal who we really are and whether or not we have the necessary "thick skin, broad shoulders' and strong backbone" to put-up with all these petty, childish, controlling and yes, even cowardly attacks from those within the so-called family unit.

That's why in so many ways we long to get back together to our little "inner" family as you put it- that is our "immediate" family and eventually one day will consist of the daughter-in-law(s) and grandchildren that your mother longs for one day to see and know as God will provide if He wills it to happen. Happiness can be found both in our "inner" as well as our "big-family" if we're all able to keep the right perspective and not allow all those "little petty" things in the family to become the "Big-petty" things in life. Maybe I'm not the best example of this because you have seen me get irritated at the so called "little-things" in life and for that I'm very sorry not to have been more of a positive example both to you and to your brother.

So, remember and strive to be a better example to your "inner" family. Always do your best to set your eye's (focus) on our real example whom is Christ the Lord. It is "He" that we should aspire to be like each day and in every situation. Be continually renewed by Him day-by-day, be conformed to His likeness, His example of "Family" and love- then you'll know what "All" families should be like. Then, as the Apostle Paul would say; I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances, I know what is is to be in need, and I know what is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13) .

We are not "you-people", we are His people. We are not of the present big-family, you are from our "inner" family and in Christ you are of God's family. You are His and if you are in Christ Jesus, He is in You. (1 John 4). You are of great worth in His eyes Joshua, for you are unique and You are very special.

The Apostle Paul said wrote these words: "Stand Firm" Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:58)
He told us that He will return and He will. Believe on Him tell others of His saving grace, baptize them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit...and He will be you- Always, even unto the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Mother

Quote:
Josh,


It's about being hospitable and making your family members feel welcome. A cool drink on a hot day or a cup of coffe on a cold one. A meal when your hungry or just a stick of gum.

Being able to say in love and with sincerity if you've offended another that- I'm sorry, I was wrong, I apologize, please forgive me for being insensitive to you.

Helping you when your car breaks down, giving you a ride without asking for anything in return. To borrow you some money if your in need and not nagging or reminding them to pay you back. Borrow a tool or give you something and exspecting something in return.

To bring you a meal when your tired and talk to you if your lonely or down. Visiting you in the hospital or home if your sick in bed.

Crying with you, when your sad or celebrating with you when your happy. Giving comfort or a shoulder to lean on when your down and weak. To encourge, strengthen, enlighten and most importantly give you something you need- a warm smile and a big hug.

Love,

mom.

God Bless the men & women who have served and serving to keep us free
OxmanWI is offline  
post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 11:05 AM
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