So Loved 

Yesterday my five youngest children and I made a one-day, out-of-town road trip and I was the driver. It was a very beautiful and happy day spent with lots of folks we love. 


Naturally, on the drive home I was doing a lot of thinking and pondering. Things like, never ever give up on the possibilities of what God’s love can accomplish. His love is the most powerful force on earth and can change situations, people’s hearts and the direction of a person’s life. I needed that reminder. Maybe you did too. 

Another truth that is stamped on my heart was verified yesterday. There’s an old adage that says you can’t pick your family. I’d like to firmly disagree. Yes you can. Marriage is a perfect example. A choice to be family is made. Adoption is another example. A choice to become family is made. But there are other examples as well when no judge declares anything at all. Instead hearts declare belonging to one another because we so love them. 

You may not can choose who you are related to by blood, but you do get to choose your family. I’ve chosen well. Not only by marriage and adoption, but also by relationship. By caring and loving and praying and connecting and communicating and hoping and helping and sometimes the biding of time, by so loving them. 


During the next few weeks I will be in four different states visiting family. I will see two dozen family members. I am blood related to less than half of those, only nine to be exact. And yet, they are all my family. 

How can that be? I’ll tell you clearly how. Because love trumps blood, love trumps hate, love trumps differences,  love trumps distances, love trumps circumstances and love even trumps the law of the land sometimes. Relationships are formed when commitment is made, time is invested and choices are lived out. I so love them. 

Today I am loving the beauty of love. The choices we make, the lives we live, the paths we walk and yes, oh yes, the families we have!

Below is a photo of a few of my most beloved family members. I don’t share a single drop of blood with any of them. What we do share is love and let me assure you I so love them!


Below is another photo. This one is a photo of my mother and sister with whom I share blood. Guess what? We are family, not because of blood but because of relationship, precious memories, laughter and the bonds of love! I so love them. 


I can’t conclude my thoughts without adding this. The MOST important family decision you can ever make will be to become a part of the family of God. Choosing to be adopted into His family, as His child, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ will be the most life-altering decision you ever make. You know why? Because of love, once again, because of love. He so loves us. 

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Living and Loving Large

Here at our little homestead, love is in the air and I’m glad because in the end, love always wins. I say that a lot because I believe it a lot. 
Both of my oldest sons have declared their love and their intended in the short span of a few weeks. Jesse was the first to grow our family by giving us our first daughter-in-law and their special day in July was sweet, intimate, unpretentious and perfect. 
    

  

From their first date 3 1/2 years ago to their first month of marriage, it has been a journey of young love with a few detours and u-turns. In the end however, love always wins, it really does. 

  
This month Josiah has proposed to his intended and declared his love. Our family will be growing again as a result. We are in fact multiplying and increasing, not only in size but in love. This #xlfamily will continue to grow because of the miracle of love. 

  
  

One of the most intriguing parts of being a #momofmany has been observing and celebrating the unique personalities of each child. Each member of our family brings their own giftings, talents and strengths. They are different. They enjoy different things. They struggle with different things. They dream different dreams and have different goals. Sometimes there will be conflicts or head butting going on. I know all about this as I am a chief head butting champion.  
But, when I occasionally glance around me and am startled by the enormity of such a family or when I occasionally am caught off balance a bit with all the changes taking place, I remind myself of how I longed for these days. These very days, when my home and my heart and my life would be overrun by children and family and love. 
I’m living my dream. Albeit a sometimes chaotic, loud, hectic, dream that wears me out, it is my dream to live large and love large. I’m living my dream and I am glad. 
So, welcome to our newest Rodda, Lauren and welcome to the next Rodda-to-be, Mikayla . I pledge to love you as best as I can and celebrate your unique gifts and talents. I promise to do all I can to support your loving relationships with my sons. I promise to pray for you, cheer you own and celebrate your victories. 
I’m very new in this roll as a mother-in-law and in many ways I feel like I’ve slipped into brand new shoes that are yet a bit uncomfortable. I may need a little time to learn how to walk this new path, break in these new shoes and get used to this new dance, but I will. Then together, we will celebrate this splendid thing called love. Because, of course, in the end, love wins.