Family Strength

Family is like brewing tea. I love tea, but not just any tea. My tea has to be the green tea with lemongrass that used to be found in stores all over, and then it started only being in a few stores and now I play it safe and get it online so that I don’t stand a chance running out of it. When I first was introduced to this specific tea I was against all teas and thought they all were bitter tasting and stained your teeth. To my great delight this one was light in flavor and no matter how much of it I drank my teeth stayed pearly white. I recently found out though since it’s green tea you are supposed to get the water to a certain temperature before you place the tea bag in, if you don’t get this detail right you are basically drinking colored water with a hint of tea flavor. All of the nutrients are boiled away. So you make the water too hot, bye, bye good stuff, don’t make it hot enough and you are not getting all of the nutrients that you can out of the tea leaves. Funny how this theory can apply to families.

I was blessed within this month to be able to vacation with both sides of my family. I spent a week with my side of the family at a cabin by a lake, and I just got back from a week in a tent by the lake with my hubby’s side of the family. The families are more alike than different. They both have struggles that they are dealing with, they both like to eat, and they both like to have fun together and genuinely love each other. Oh and they both seem to really like to do trips by bodies of water. The difference is in how loud they are when they get together. My side is like a mild flavored tea while my hubby’s side is a strong pot of black tea. Both teas are great and full of nutrient, they are brewed differently but that is where their strength comes from. I would not be who I am today without the strength and love I get from both groups.

When I got back from my trip with my side of the family I knew what had to be prayed for. I knew what the praises and difficulties my parents, siblings and nieces and nephews had. We had fun together, we talked, we played and we had hard discussions. We knew that when we all left to go back to our respective homes and lives that we may not talk a lot but the thought and prayers were still there. I have some fears when it comes to what is being faced by my family, but we are brewed the same and have been doing this life together for a long time. The nutrients are there with our love and faith. We are cut from the same clothe so we are there for each other. The strength was made perfect from the trials and celebrations we have had in our lives. We are a quiet bunch though, the intensity in which we communicate is somewhat mellow and can be a bit intimating if you don’t know us well. Mild but healthy. Strong but not overpowering.

Just getting back from the camping trip with my hubby’s side of the family has made me realize that they have the same qualities that I stated about my family, they just voice them a little louder. They are a strong group of people and loyal. They have fun together, but must have schedules. All they really want though is for people to do and say what they mean and stick to it. Strong black tea. I had to leave the trip early due to having to go back to work. I usually thrive on having some quiet time to myself and I know I will enjoy it when I get the house back to order, but what I noticed as my friend and I drove away was that I was missing a bit of the loud. Just as I instantly missed the quiet strength I received from my family when we all went home, it was the same this time but I knew I would miss the talking around the firepit, the walks to the park and even the giggles when the adults decide that it really is fun to just have fun with the kids. What I pray for is that my kids will embrace the strength and fun they have with both sides and realize that even when they grumble they are still in a place of love and support.

I recently have been feeling as if the temperature has been turned up too high, not in the literal sense even though we have had record heat waves and have been close to fires. I know I am being prepared for something, I have events happen in my life for a reason and I have had to deal with life changes and attitude changes within my family. There have been days were I have requested to know one in particular that I am ready to be taken off the heat. If I could be given the chance to cool down for a bit, then I could brew what I should brew and still keep the nutrients. Its is a struggle when you don’t feel like you are being heard and the temperature seems to be turned up rather than down, but then people say things that help. A verse of the day is exactly what I needed to hear. I get home from a trip with my favorite ice cream and for no apparent reason at all the cat (Lilly) makes an appearance and actually wants to snuggle. It’s in those moments that the tea is brewing and the good stuff is coming out. It’s in those moments that I can be thankful for the loud, and the quiet but loving people in my life. I have been home for about 2 hours and I miss my hubby, my kids, and the dogs, but I also know this is good for me to be home, and in the quiet. So I say, even if you don’t like tea, find your tribe, your people. Brew with them, get to know the temperature in which you are at your best, get the good stuff from what you have around you. Until next time:

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it

Hebrews 12:11

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