It's day 2 of the challenge, which also happens to be my birthday, and I'm going strong. OK, so it's only been two days, but who's counting?
Today, the thing that brings me joy is: family. Specifically, my family. All of it. The immediate, the extended, even that black sheep uncle of mine (listen to "The Pascagoula Run" by Jimmy Buffett for reference to said uncle).
Family is like a warm, wonderful blanket the Lord lays over us where, no matter how much we kick or fuss, it covers us. It envelopes us, and it's always there for us. People may come and go, but family is here to stay. Isn't it wonderful that the Lord intertwines so many people in our lives to surround us and bring us joy?
Though we choose some, most are chosen for us, a fact I find utterly fascinating. Everyone's family story is different, unique. We may have similar threads but our family quilts are knit together individually ever so delicately by the Father, who knows our every word, deed, and need.
I truly felt the love of my family today on my birthday. While my own family is entirely across the country, I miss getting to spend my special day with them. However, they never fail to touch my day in the kindest way with their cards, letters, gifts, and packages. It's almost as good as them being here with me. Almost.
I was blessed to spend the evening with my in-laws. I know, I said "blessed" and "in-laws" in the same sentence, but it's true. I have been given a wonderful set of in-laws who couldn't be cooler. Really. My sweet sister-in-law baked my grandmother-in-law (with whom I share a birthday, which I find totally rad) and I a heart-shaped birthday cake and brought it to dinner. We had a grand time sharing a meal and trying to keep two almost-three-year-olds from serenading the whole restaurant. It was a bit messy, loud and chaotic, but it was joyful.
Thank you, Lord, for the joy of family.