Few things in this life are certain, but one thing that I am certain about is my family. My parents raised us in the fear and admonition of the Lord, and He certainly knit us into one tight group. All for one, and one for all in the Lord. When I got married, God blessed me with a husband who fit right into the tapestry of my family. For all intents and purposes, he IS one of the family . . . not just an in-law addition (as evidenced by his evident "favorite child" status). I am extremely thankful for my relationship with my family. Attending a secular university has afforded me with many opportunities to hear about other families that are either very dysfunctional or very disconnected, and this makes me even more thankful for the blessing that I have received.
I am blessed to be best friends with my siblings, my parents, and my husband. I never thought that I would be able to (or want to!) be friends with my parents, but something must have happened because they are actually cool to hang out with now! :-) I love talking to and being with them.
My youngest sisters keep us laughing all the time (they manage to be cute even when they explain how they broke my glasses . . .). I can't imagine life without them, and I can't think of two little girls who I could possibly be more proud to love. Not only do they learn gazillions of Bible verses and catechism, they also manage to be MUCH more fashionable than Marissa and I EVER were growing up. It's just not fair. :-D
My sister, Marissa, and I share an extremely tight bond. It's amazing to think of how we were "mortal enemies" about ten years ago. My brother Jesse and my husband Patrick have also entered this "bond of sisterhood" and have turned it into a circle of confiding, loving, protecting friends. That in itself is also pretty mind-boggling. Jess has gone from the annoying little brother who always tattled on us (and who we always worked to get into trouble) to the tall guy who would do anything to protect his sisters (who would do ANYTHING to protect him), and Patrick has gone from Erin's boyfriend/fiance/husband to a full-fledged sibling who could have been born into the family.
Why am I saying all of this? I am just so thankful to God for making us a family who loves each other and who would do anything for each other. If one of us is hurting, we all hurt. If one of us cries, we all cry. If one of us is attacked, we are all there to protect and defend. We are a FAMILY. We are one.