Christmas Time

Even though it is now late-January, I want to take some time to reflect on 2014’s Christmas. The holidays, in recent years, have been a journey of reconciling familial relationships. When I moved to San Diego, the physical distance intensified the emotional distance with my family. It worsened when my father passed away in 2006. It was as though I needed to relearn what it meant to be a family – to be committed to one another in love; to be vulnerable with one another in love; to be present to one another in love.
Fast forward several years of difficulties, I am taking these definitions to heart. I believe that God allowed me to become lost from family in order to learn to cherish family. I often and easily take advantage of family. I did not realize how precious they are and how privileged I am to have family. It was my first niece and Kylie that inspired and convicted me to become a family member. I realized that I had adopted a lifestyle that did not allow time for family; I kept myself busy so I would have “legitimate” excuses to avoid family. I wouldn’t let family into my heart. When my niece was born, I went up to L.A. to help with some of the chores around the house. I only lasted a couple of days before I could not stand the crying anymore. I had to escape to San Diego. But I made subsequent trips to see my brother’s family and I found myself falling in love with this crying, pooing baby. My heart was becoming soft for family. Maybe it was her cuteness or seeing my brother become a father. But something changed in me. I wanted to make time for family. When I started dating Kylie, I learned that her ties with her family are deep. She loves her family and her family loves her. Her family gave me a personal vision for family. I wanted to experience that familial love.
God is sowing seeds in my heart to have a desire to be present with my family. The next step was allowing those desires to sprout into action and to have deep relational roots. I am still in the process of reconciling with family, but it has been an enjoyable journey reconnecting with family. I look forward to experiencing the joy of family and overcoming the challenges of family.
I am thankful for being part of the Christmas tradition of my family. I recognize that I am privileged to have something like that; I need to cherish my family.

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