Labor Day weekend we spent at Ben's family's cabin in the Uintas with lots o' family.
Sticking 21 people together in close quarters for several days gave me much to think about. How different we are. Yet we coexist, laugh, get annoyed, find a quiet place, come back together again, play a game, and repeat the cycle.
That's the cool part about family. I'm sure we all did things that bugged each other at one point or another, BUT, we love each other. We look past it and move forward. You can love someone an not agree with a thing they say. You can love someone even though you feel you have little in common. Surprisingly, you'd do practically anything for them because they're a part of you. Family. Loving someone is understanding them. Loving is not always agreeing.
I'd say the greatest part of our vacation was when Ben's parents gathered us together before bed. All of us cozied up while they shared their love and testimony of Jesus Christ, and that we are all children of a loving Father in Heaven. They went around the room and mentioned every person by name (even those who couldn't make it), saying a strength they saw in that person. They spoke of the importance of a name, our name, and how to honor that name. Neither of Ben's parents are emotional-sharers. They're doers. So when they spoke of delicate, personal experiences and feelings, it was powerful. It made me want to make them proud of us, of our family. It made me want to live a life full of honor for the name I carry, the name I took when I married into this wonderful family.
I saw two people who never lived a life of extravagance. Who probably were never the envy of people for the things they had. Who weren't the intellectuals or most articulate in the room, the most accomplished, the prettiest. But, the goodness in their souls fills a room. Your name, your struggles--are safe with them. Their life is defined by hard work and simple pleasures. They have shouldered each others burdens. They are respected and loved in their community. They are fiercely loyal to their family. They've got life figured out without having made a mess of it first. They are proof of a happy, abundant, fulfilling life shaped over years of just doing what's right without looking for praise or recognition or approval.
They are settled in goodness. I hope Ben and I can be like that someday. That's the goal.