Thursday, December 16, 2010

We Are Fam-Uh-Lee

If you've ever watched an hour of children's programming on television, then you're probably well versed in the idea that families come in all shapes and sizes. But I'm almost certain that fuzzy red monsters and giant purple dinosaurs aren't usually talking about blog families or friend families or church families.

As I sat labeling envelopes for our Christmas cards this year, it wasn't lost on me how incredibly lucky our little family is to have so many other families surrounding ours. Families that wouldn't be totally taken off guard to receive a Christmas card from us. It was a lovely, bubbly, warm feeling inside my tummy to seal each of those glossy printed cards from good 'ole Walgreens and place a monogram label on the outside of every envelope. (And I never seem to order enough off those darn things!)

My card assembling station. 

So I love my family family. You know. My family. My relatives. Mia famiglia, as the Cake Boss would say. I seriously don't know what I would do without them. Why, take today, for example. As I prepare to head to the dentist for a root canal, my mom has volunteered to watch my girlies while either my dad or brother drive me to the torture chamber dentist's office, and Eric is going to pick me up so that I don't have to deal with slick roads and/or driving home while in pain. What did I tell you? I love those guys!

And I'm also loving this new blogging family that is starting to form among some of us addicted bloggers. I love checking my blog roll each day to see what others have come up with. I hope that some of you will consider joining our little family as well, and as promised, I'm going to post direct links to each of your blogs at the bottom of this post so we can all get to know our family members a little better. :)

But there is one family I have that is different than all the rest. And I can't even wrap my mind around the fact that there are people breathing oxygen today that don't have this same type of family that I am so very blessed to have, because these people have been such a huge part of my life for so long that it's just my "normal." And that family is my church family...and those of you who are a part of that family will know exactly what I'm talking about.

We've received a few cards this Christmas already, and the vast majority are from our church family members! Our poor doors would be bare without them. :)

Our family attends church at First Baptist Church in Red Bud, IL, the same church I have been going to since preschool; the same church that Eric and I met and got to know each other in; the same church we would later be married in, and now the church that is getting ready to relocate across town to a MUCH larger facility because God has plans bigger than we know.

When you're connected to a group of people spiritually, there is an automatic bond that you cannot explain. When I hear the quote, "It takes a village to raise a child," I immediately think about my church family. Haha...when we all get together for a big meal or a night of washers or baseball or trivia, it seems that every adult is every child's parent. No one would bat an eye at someone loving on someone else's baby like that baby was their own. And on the flip side, it's pretty much fair game for adults to keep the kids in line, regardless of whose kids they are. :)

 We eat a lot of food. Especially on Super Bowl Sunday, haha.

We work hard together, and we play hard together. We laugh like idiots together, and we sob buckets of tears together. And our friendships go outside of the walls of our church building. Our families get together for barbecues and game nights. We double date and triple date and quadruple date. :D We flood each others' baby and bridal showers, too. But we're not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. We also get on each other's nerves sometimes or step on each other's toes. We take things out of context and get our feelings hurt. In other words, we are family. In every sense of the word. Through the ups and the downs, we remain family.

Our Pastor. Don't ask. And ignore the Bud Light sign. Bahaha...

And the glue that holds us together is of course, Christ. We may not be perfect, but He is. And our shared commitments to serving Him forms stronger, fiercer, and longer lasting bonds than you can possibly imagine. And now...for my CONFESSION. (And it ain't even Friday!)

I currently stink at this family thing. I'm there for my kids and my husband, but my church family has been getting neglected by me lately, and it really, really bothers me. When Eric and I were married, we moved away for a year. While we still attended church every Sunday that we were home visiting, it was hard to stay connected when we were missing things throughout the week. By the time we moved back home, I was two weeks away from having my first child. So once again, there was an excuse to not take leadership roles or be as heavily involved as we usually would be. 

And by the time life evened out it just became a habit to attend church on Sunday and leave it at that. Then along came baby number two, and know. We've still stayed close to our church family, but it's just not the same to park your bottom in a pew for an hour and then say "Sianara!" It's time to get plugged in, again. 

 "You look fabulous!" "No, you look fabulous!" "No, you!" See...we love each other. ;)
I spy my mom and dad. Teehee...we really do keep it in the family around here.

Now I realize that not all of you are big on going to church. I know that some of you have been "burned" by people at church. I know that some of you just never went to church growing up, so it's your normal to just keep on keeping on. But as we approach this Christmas, I don't know... maybe you've been thinking you should attend a service or something. Seems like the right thing to do...we ARE celebrating Christ's birth after all. And I am not by any means trying to strong-arm someone into going to our church, haha. 

BUT...say that you wanted to see what this whole church, God, Christmas, family thing was all about. You could join us, if you wanted to. In fact, I would personally be willing to reserve some pew space right next to the Robert family (back row...waaay back, haha). And if you felt totally weirded out by it, I would even walk in with you...or wait for you. And you could even join us for lunch afterwards (we get hot wings at Mary's every.single.Sunday...mmm.) I'm just sayin.' The invitation is open to you...and you...and yes, even you. 

 Your kids will not be bored. 

Personally, I think I think it would be awesome (and slightly hilarious) if a mob full of bloggers randomly inundated the back row of FBC Red Bud. We could wear matching t-shirts. Bahaha. Kidding! But for real, if this is something you've been thinking about doing in the least bit, don't let another year, another holiday, another day go by without giving it a chance. We are a tight-knit group, but there is always room for more. Um, have you SEEN the new church building? There is A LOT of room for more, hehe. And if you live nowhere near me, I do encourage you to get involved somewhere. There are awesome church families just like ours everywhere you go. 

Evie and her uncle John playing in the church nursery, and John sittin' on some rocks at the site of our new building. :)

Our Sunday School hour is at 9:30 am, and regular church service starts at 10:45 every Sunday. :)

And now... onto my promise! Here are direct links to all of the bloggers who posted comments on yesterday's blog (plus two more, whom I know would've commented if they would have seen it!). Please check them out! And come join our blogging family, won't you?

(Family Oriented)

(Fashion Oriented)

(Family Oriented)

(Family Oriented)

(Family Oriented)

(Family Oriented)

(Family Oriented)

(Family Oriented)

(Family Oriented)

(Family Oriented)

Whew! Look at our family grow! Love it!
If you would like your blog featured, leave a link in the comments!


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your writing today and I hope you fill the Church with your invitation.


Meagan said...

Good luck with the root canal! And I totally bloggers have created a little "family" of our own...I even thought about all of you when I was putting our Christmas cards together! lol

And thanks for linking me up...I'm going to have to return the favor to everyone that has done that lately!!

Emily said...

Thanks for the link up!! I already have 3 more followers than I had just a few days ago!

Christmas cards... I always say I'm going to do them... then I never do. Maybe next year when there is one more person in our family that everyone will want to see. :)

Ashley N. said...

I just read your blog....and I'm totally there if you let me eat hot wings! Mary's wings! I'm just not sure my dad would like it if I abandoned him for hot wings! LOL


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