One Big Family

Ok, I confess. I made them hold hands.

Ok, I confess. I made them hold hands.

I grew up as an only child. No siblings to fight with or sisters to share my jeans. My stuff was mine. I have 4 kids of my own now- you can laugh, it’s okay. I often marvel at the amount of bickering that goes on over who didn’t close the door, whose book it is, and who forgot to flush the toilet. “It wasn’t me!”- it’s a constant refrain in our house. The joke around here is that one day I’m going to end up in the loony bin, then Duane gently reminds me that I’m already there.


But here’s the thing. When they get along, there’s almost nothing more beautiful. Last night Stephen and Abby were doing a google maps tour of the last neighborhood we lived in. They followed the little google man up and down familiar streets and exclaimed together: “Ooh, there’s our old house! There’s the school! Let’s see if we can find the pool!” Then Abby said, “Stephen, isn’t this cool? We don’t even need a car to see our old neighborhood!” As I cooked in the kitchen listening to their chatter, I smiled to myself. I wanted time to stand still in the joy they had sharing life together.

A friend of mine recently told me that she thought I was brave to have 4 kids, especially since I was raised as an only child. I had never thought about it that way. I don’t feel brave, it’s more like a flat-on-the-floor kind of feeling. It was a grace-filled statement. When she said it, l felt okay to be overwhelmed at times.

Duane and I often look at each other in bewilderment wondering if what our kids are doing is “normal.” I’m pretty sure it is. This is where you chime in and say: “Yes, it is.” But then I remember why we had 4 kids in the first place: the joy. The absolute complete joy we had as each one made their entrance into the world. The joy that we still have as we live life alongside of them each day, even though they break our hearts some times. And sadly, we break theirs, too.

But God is writing a tiny story of redemption in this little family as a shadow of His really big story of redemption in the world. Hope and heartache, peace and bickering, joy and sadness. It’s a privilege to be in the story, even when it looks a lot like the looney bin.

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  • Julia Gibson

    Love your post. Love your view.

    It reminded me of this.

    • Julie Davis

      Loved it, Julia. Very funny.

  • Melanie

    I understand the loony bin comment and response. I’m already there too! <3

  • Duane Davis

    You’ve posted pictures of the roosters–how about a few of / from the loony bin?