The Blessing of Family
By: Kacie Starr Long
"Our family is just like the Osbourne Family," I said aloud.
It was Christmas Day 1995 and my grandparents' living room was full of activity. My aunt was eating her second slice of pie in the adjoining dining room. My uncle was seated on the couch inserting batteries in my cousin's new Christmas toy, and lots of cousins, aunts, my parents, and other family members were sprawled throughout the living room deep in various conversations, while other family members entered and exited the living room -- some on their way to the kitchen for Christmas dinner seconds, and others returning from the kitchen with plates of more food.
"This family IS like the Osbourne Family," I repeated. This time louder as I observed an inebriated family member try to carry on a discussion with a sober family member. The inebriated family member was trying to make a point, (which didn't make much sense) and my sober family member, between bites of pie, became more and more exasperated at the inebriated family member.
It was like a scene from a television show.
I took in the conversation and thought about the popular tv show at the time, The Osbournes, which featured the eccentric family led by former heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne and his wife, Sharon.
The second time that I mentioned that our family was like the Osbourne family, my grandmother heard me and rolled her eyes. She did not like her family compared to the dysfunctional mess portrayed on that reality show. I was fifteen at the time and enjoyed riling my grandmother, so I pointed out several instances that Christmas of how our family was wacky, and in some cases dysfunctional.
Almost 30 years later, I see how easy it was at the age of 15 to point out everything wrong with my family, instead of focusing, or at least highlighting the things that were right in my family.
Now, my grandmother is gone, and that inebriated family member is gone too. Also, the sober relative that grew frustrated with the inebriated relative no longer lives in the state, and the many cousins, and family members that flitted in and out of the living room to the kitchen for seconds and thirds....they are gone too. They aren't deceased, but they don't come around much. The holiday gatherings filled with too much alcohol, lots of laughter, Motown Christmas songs, and tons of food are now far and few in between.
The Bible says that a "friend refreshes the soul" (Proverbs 27:9). As we gather for the holidays, I have reflected on that scripture. If a friend can refresh the soul, what can a family do for the soul too?
This year, God has highlighted the importance and value of family. As a 15-year-old, I took family for granted, and while many of my beloved family members are now in heaven, there are still family members remaining here on earth. God has been speaking to me about the importance of being intentional and building relationships with family members. This may look like a regular phone or text check-ins
with cousins. It also looks like weekly calls with some of my younger relatives where I intentionally am trying to learn about them, their values and what they deem important.
My family has had a long-standing tradition of hosting a Christmas Day brunch. Some of the elders in our family decided that the annual brunch was too much work and did not have the energy or the strength to organize it. A few of us younger family members decided to come together and sponsor the Christmas Brunch so the tradition will continue.
Whether your family resembles the Osbournes, the Huxtables, the Connors, or the Cleavers, understand that family is a gift. God didn't randomly assign people to your family. Every aunt, brother, sister, cousin, parent, and grandparent was handpicked by God to be in your family. Every family member is a gift. Will you make the decision to treasure them?
Something to ponder: "Sweet friendships refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy, for good friends are like the anointing oil that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence." Proverbs 27:9.
If friendships can do all of these things, what can a healthy relationship with family members bring?
My response is an even greater blessing, which is why often Satan will do his best to bring chaos, and offense in families. Make the decision to not take the bait this holiday season, and treasure and enjoy the Blessing of Family!
This article was published in Jewel Warrior, a Christian women's online devotional. Please subscribe to receive encouraging devotionals each day from women from around the world.
Hi, my name is Kacie Starr Long. I am an author, and speaker and I love to use my voice to point people to Jesus. When I'm not writing, I'm either working out at Orange Theory Fitness or sewing. God delivered me from food addiction and I have a sewing ministry, called the Sew Hope Community Sewing Room. I am the proud wife of Alfred T. Long, Sr and together we lead a non-profit that serves prisoners and their families. Connect with me at www.InspiredOverflow.com and via my YouTube page for Christian teachings and encouragement.