This Christmas was spent with some of my dearest friends. They are the family that I was able to pick for myself. Or perhaps it is rather that they picked me. There was a a quiet peace found in the beauty of family that surrounded me. Knowledge and love was found everywhere. Even though I was 2800 miles from my family I was filled by the joy of family all around me. That is where I was gently reminded that no matter where I find myself there would always be people that would be my chosen family. That even though some of my family would fail me in the department of staying in touch and seeing how I was, God would have a bigger and better plan for me. That no matter what, I would always be loved.
The fact that I grew up and was adopted made the reality of accepting everyone for who they were from the get go all the more a part of day to day life. The sense of just simply taking someone at face value became a very core part of who I am today. I find that I can be loyal to a fault and that at times people don’t always appreciate the effort given to what I find important. I have on several occasions taken what I viewed as the dismissal of how I felt too hard and was quite easily one to wear my heart on my sleeve and let everyone and anyone know abut it. It was easier to let my feeling be out in the open for all to see. Life and God definitely taught me some value lessons in this department. Maybe taking things to heart was not always the way it was meant to be. That it was necessarily going to always have feelings, wants, needs and desires line up all the time. For as many times that I was focused on what I wanted, the fact remained that the others around me where just as focused on what they perceived as important and desirable. That just maybe even in the midst of a misunderstanding the taking a step back to see the whole picture was what I was supposed to do all along. Stories and families are multi faceted and there is always more to every situation than meets the eye.
Part of growing up and moving away and out on my own was filled with lesson in learning to love when it was the absolute last thing that I wanted to do. Growing up in the South taught me that no matter where you where you would never be a stranger for long. That just when you thought the chips were down and no on cared you proven wrong and someone did! The warmth and hospitality that I found along the way made me strive to be that presence for other people. No one ever really wants to be alone and being alone during the holidays can be the absolute worst. Knowing that I could be that very welcoming factor for each person day to day was a choice that I alone could choose. The want and desire to be more than just a friend to those around me began to run deep and made me into the person I am still growing into today.
What if we all took a little more time to be that sense of family to someone out there. The world would be a much more loving and fulfilling place to be. The gentle calling to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth would be heard and some people would come to know what true love really is. The lessons of being loved beyond measure would be a integrated part of the world we walk in everyday. The ever sweet and peaceful Christmas spirit would continue past the most wonderful time of the year. The challenge is simple, be that presence in the world we live in. Know that no matter what family is found everywhere. Perhaps it is your turn to be that sense of family for some complete stranger. After all, as someone told me once, a stranger is only a friend you haven’t met yet. So as the Christmas decorations are put away and new year comes to meet us never forget to love first and know that each decision we make has the power to impact whatever may come tomorrow. Family is found everywhere. #bethechange #lovealways #talesofasiren #makeadifference