I have the privilege to be related, by blood or marriage, to many amazing people. I love them all so very much.
The Morstads/Shortridges/Teipes/Pichettes (and even more outliers), those families of my first love and husband, Blake, have huge spirits and generous hearts. Their tenderness towards our son, their love for me and Rob, their compassion for the limiting factors of our circumstances as poor newlyweds all serve to bless me enormously. I am privileged to be part of a such a widespread and raucously close-knit group of clans.
The Bedfords/Sherfeys, the families of my new love and husband, Rob, have welcomed me and little Blake with arms and hearts as wide as the Montana sky. They share my faith and overlook my faults, with a graciousness and patience that encourages and challenges me often, that I could be more like them. Rob even jokes that he's now the outcast, since they clearly prefer me to him, and really, who am I to argue? The sacrificial love they have shown us time and again in the few short years I have known them has revealed to me how thoroughly God answered my prayer when I asked not only for a new husband who honored Him, but for in-laws that served Christ as well, who would have soft hearts for me and my son and our story.
The Myers/Schuylers/Perrines, the family I grew up in and fought with, and those brought into the fold by marriage to a wild Myers girl (though we've all gotten fairly tame through motherhood... well, tame-ish). How fortunate I am that I happen to be related to those precious folks I'd choose to spend time with anyway! My nephews make my heart glad and light, even when they infect me with communicable diseases, because nothing is quite so cute as a two-year-old exclaiming in dismay, "Mom! My boogers are coming out!" when he needs a Kleenex.
Ok, it's a specific kind of cute, especially when I just hacked up a lung and wiped my nose on my sleeve. Again.
Praise God for relationships with open communication and love (nothing drives me quite so batty as poor communication as an avenue for conflict), where even disappointments are handled with grace and kindness, where generosity and humor abounds, where losses are keenly shared and celebrations magnified in kind. I am wealthy beyond my wildest dreams, in all the ways that truly matter.