Stepping into the pizza parlor party Friday night will fall under the Grand Parenting tab. What celebrity feels more popular than a Nana greeted by four preschoolers squealing their delighted greetings? In the midst of the hugs, I pat a shoulder blade at my waist, stretch to tousle a head at my knee and try to make contact with as many limbs as I can touch. The oldest grand daughter arranges our seating so she can sit by me.
I greet the adults next and we all sit down for good food and pleasant conversation. How grateful I am. This is belonging. This is the love of family.
Two hundred miles later. Another family. Another gathering.
No grand kids here but nieces and nephews and 'great' ones, too. Yes, I'm that old. I watch uncles play croquet with brothers-in-law and cousins wrestle with fathers. Mothers change grand kid's diapers and grandpas tell stories to lapfuls of children. Sisters-in-law share intimacies while a nephew withdraws to quieter places with a newly announced fiance. We smile at the rookie walker swaying on unsteady feet and laugh at the silly antics of a 3 year old. Filed now in Family I'd Like to See More Often.
Again, Belonging is touching hearts with her warmth and generous gifts of contentment and security.
Than you, Father of all, for the gift of family. I often take it for granted. I don't know what it would be like to not be loved by a family or to be abandoned by those I'm genetically related to. Be near to those today, who are experiencing rejection and left-outness. Cuddle them on your lap. Dandle them on your knee and whisper your love to their hearts. Use me to bless and include others into your wide, wide family of believers. For you are the Creator of Home and you've made us to live with You. You are Father to the fatherless and defender of widows and children. In you, we will always belong. Filed under Forever Loved.