spoons, and a thing called family

by april freidline

my lovely cousin got married last weekend, so our family was in town for all the associated celebrations. i don’t get to see my north carolina family very often, so it was a treat to have them stay at our house and to get to spend some time talking, laughing and just existing with them.

i’m sure most people are biased in favor of their families (at least i hope so), but i’ve never met anyone who laughs quite so well as mine. everyone, from my 75-year-old grandparents to my almost 9-year-old cousin, loves to laugh. we take fun seriously, if that’s not too much a stretch of the imagination.

and so, somehow, at my cousin’s

by april freidline

rehearsal dinner, the younger kids started sticking their spoons on their noses. this was quite a feat, as the spoons were large and heavy, but izzy and thaddaeus must have had the perfect noses. they got their spoons to stick, and for a long time. i couldn’t get mine to stick to my nose, but it did stay on my chin for a while (probably because my chin sticks out a little, while my nose runs right down). even my grandpa faked a hanging spoon with one of the giant pasta servers.

some people might be embarrassed to be seen in public with a family that thinks it’s perfectly normal to stick spoons to their noses in a nice restaurant. some might be timid around a group of loud, hearty laughers.

but i love them, and i wouldn’t wish them to be anything other than they are.

i don’t mean to imply that we’re all indecorous, gauche or otherwise lacking in the required social graces. not at all. my family also contains some of the most gracious, generous and considerate people i’ve ever met.

because they love Jesus, and they’re secure in their identity as His children.

c.s. lewis, in the screwtape letters, has a quote that i think illustrates this concept of identity beautifully:

Remember always, that He really likes the little vermin, and sets an absurd value on the distinctness of every one of them. When He talks of their losing their selves, He only means abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever.

by april freidline

we’re all works in progress, of course. some of us have gone through much harder things than others, or have hard things yet to go through. but i can see how God has worked in the lives of all my family members and it’s exciting what He’s done, is doing and will do.

if there’s one thing i could use as a reminder of my family, it would probably be this, from the hymn “we plow the fields and scatter.”

all good gifts around us

are sent from heaven above

then thank the Lord,

oh thank the Lord

for all His love

and for my family. :)