Monday, July 8, 2013

The Blessing(and Heartache) of a Family

 "A family is like an oak tree. A few blows wouldn't bring the tree crashing down. But it would require a lot of healing and love to ensure stability." (Source)

It's interesting how family members respond and react to each other, sometimes even sad or frustrating.

We had our ups and downs throughout her younger years, but I had always hoped that, as the only daughter I'd ever have, she and I would eventually become close.

It didn't happen. With the entering of a half-brother and later the sudden passing of her full-brother, the bonding didn't occur...with either her father, nor her stepmother...myself.

She grew up, married, started a family, and had her own life...a busy life. 

I ached for a close relationship, but the more I strove to bring us closer together, the futher she pushed me away. Every now and then, she reappeared and would spend an hour, maybe even the day, with us. Then, we didn't see her or her beloved family for months, or even years. 

I'm saddened, but I'll take what I can get...a small pocket of time, creating memories that will linger forever in my mind.

The 4th of July weekend was a whirlwind of activity for me and my family! There were lots of fun surprises and special times with family members. Some healing also took place, as long unseen family were re-united. Some family members weren't able to join us, which also made this celebrated holiday bittersweet.

On the 4th, we spent the day at my aunt and uncle's 
lake cottage...yes, we aren't the only lakers in our family!
It is a much smaller lake and also much quieter.
We visited with our Pennsylvania relatives, who came for the week. 
    On the 6th, we participated in a flotilla parade with our pontoon boat.

 Granddaughter 1 and grandson love jet-skiing!

 The grandkids also enjoy tubing.

 They even got me out on a jet-ski!

 Jet-skiing and knee-boarding . . .

 . . .is a family affair.

 Granddaughter 2 and Grandson love roasting marshmallows

 The kids and grandkids

The only person missing was my son, who had to work and could not be home for the holidays.

I could either let the hurt and frustation of the past affect the present or move past it, forgive, and appreciate each moment we do have together. I choose the latter.
 "When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude." Gilbert Chesterton,

Continuing to count my blessings, one by one at   "Multitude on Mondays".
1,402 - Spending time with out-of-state relatives, as well as close family.
1,403 - Freedom in Christ ...that does not require a set of rules or good works to be saved.
 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Galations 5:1)
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."(Ephesians 2:8-9)
1,404 - Spending the day with my stepdaughter and her family.
1,405 - The freedom to worship and live for Christ in the USA.
1,406 - The Founding Fathers, who chose to put God in the Pledge of Allegiance and the U.S. Constitution, among other original documents.
1,406 - Pretty and colorful fireworks display.
1,407 - A new song I learned in church
1,408 - A day to rest and prepare for a busy new week ahead.
1,409 - Spending some time talking and reminiscing with our neighbors, a lovely older couple.
1,410 - Working with some awesome, caring people at my job.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures and this post with me today. I followed you over from Gratituesdays linkup.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Judith. Always nice to hear from you! Have a blessed week.

  2. I think many of us share your longing for a closer relationship with one or more members of our family. But praise God for the special times we do have with them! (I wonder if it is the same feeling God has when He is longing for us to connect with Him??) When I pray and release my loved one into His loving care, my heart begins to be at peace...

    But, what a fun time it looked like you had on the lake! Playing on the water, roasting fun! (and yum!) Happy belated 4th of July!

    Blessings, Joan

    1. Hi, Joan! Good point! God definitely must understand our hurt and disappointment of rejection and we only need to hand our loved ones over tho Him in faith. Hope you had a nice holiday, too!

  3. Family is a lesson in faith and hope - isn't it - the people who are supposed to allow you to love them and love you back - God knows the desires of our heart, though - and I always pray that each journey will bring them back to relationship restoration:)

    1. Prayer is sometimes all we can offer, but God does know our hearts! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for sharing your heart, the pains, & the hardships of family sometimes! Your photos look like such a FUN time! Thanks for linking at UNITE again, my friend! ~ Jen

    1. It was a VERY fun time, Jen. Hope your 4th was also enjoyable. Blessings to you!

  5. Thanks for linking to Sunday Stillness. Sorry for the disconnect with family but praying for God to sweeten their hearts and continue to bring peace in yours.
    Beautiful shots.

    1. Thanks, Janis! God has truly blessed, especially through the holidays! Thank YOU for hosting the Sunday Stillness link-up party! I love linking to and reading other blogs from there!

  6. Ann, we are 'neighbors' at the SDG link up this week. Thanks for sharing the joy and fun with us--you're right, gratitude makes all the difference in our attitude.


I would love to hear from you! Feel free to leave me a comment.