Most of you know that I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, so as I reflect back on the values I was brought up with, it’s a bit sad to see so little significance placed on family relationships. Family connections were never held as a virtue, so I never learned to invest into relationships with all of my cousins, leaving them behind as faint memories. The lack of importance placed on family also resulted in estranged relationships with my two brothers until the last four years as I’ve sought to reconnect and reestablish with family.
But as much as I regret my learned priorities and all the richness of life and relations I missed out on, it’s also a reminder of God’s faithfulness.
He blessed my firstborn son, Garrett, with a wife whose family is tight knit, loyal, and committed to one another, and I now have the privilege of watching my grandchildren being raised in that environment.
He gave my step son, Ailen, a wife and children who thrive on family and those close relationships and family dynamics. It makes my heart happy to see them loving and growing in healthy interactions.
He has worked wonderfully in my step daughter Roby’s little family, allowing her to stay home and make her kids and husband top priority. As my relationship with Roby has continued to grow I am excited to bond more with the rest of the family, even if it is across a few thousand miles.
And it is a delight for me to watch my unmarried youngest son, Aaron, interact with his nieces and nephews. His love for his aunts, uncles, and cousins warms my heart.
And now, as if that wasn’t enough, he has given me a husband whose commitment to family runs so deep and strong that it has produced three sons and a daughter (and six more grandchildren) who all hold the same family values… the Holtz clan sticks together, supports one another, and loves fiercely.
What a wonderful lesson in what really matters.
Healthy, growing, loving, and rich relationships, where we succeed, celebrate, fail, forgive, walk in authenticity, and address difficulties with truth. We don’t feed dysfunction or make room for toxicity to thrive. We seek peace and pursue it.
We mess up, we learn from it, we extend forgiveness, and allow love to cover over a multitude of sins. We model grace and truth together, and work out our differences in loving, gracious ways.
So glad it’s not too late for me to learn its value, make it a priority and hang on for the ride!