Family in today’s society means something different to different people. I am one of those who is blessed to have two parents that truly love Christ and each other and show that same love to me and my three siblings. As an Air Force family, we have had to move across the country, leaving us to make new friends wherever we were at. No matter where we moved to, though, we knew always had each other.
Now don’t start thinking that it was all sunshine and roses. It wasn’t. My sister and I used to fight all the time and someone was almost always in trouble. In spite of this, my parents made sure that we knew that your family are those that will always be there for you and love you regardless of what mistakes you have made or will make. It’s these life lessons and this unconditional love that I will remember for the rest of my life and hopefully teach my children.
Whatever shape your family may take, know that no family is perfect. Especially as one looks to family vacations, it may seem that others are doing bigger or better things. They may seem to never argue, even though they are with each other for weeks, or that they are happy the entire time and constantly picture perfect. Instead of trying to be the best for everyone else to see, focus on making memories and building relationships with those closest to you.
For my family, Disney World is the happiest place on earth. We act like children, rush to see our favorite characters, and even enjoy standing in lines for hours before getting on the best rides. Every time we go I fall in love with Disney just a little bit more. Behind all the childlike joy, however, there was arguing in the car on the way down, my mom got hangry with no warning, my sister got a cold, and someone forgot to bring their sunglasses.
Disney World doesn’t make a perfect family; having both parents doesn’t make a perfect family; stuff doesn’t make a perfect family. While there may never truly be a perfect family, unconditional love can bring a family together regardless of where they are and what they are doing. Whether taking the most incredible family vacation or visiting a sick grandparent in the hospital, this love can create joy in the midst of arguing or sickness. Stuff may lose its value in time, but the memories made with a loving family will last a lifetime.
Family vacations do not last forever and summer always comes to an end. As school begins again, make time to make memories with your children, siblings, and parents. Being there for academic or athletic events or simply surprising your children at school are the things that they will remember at the end of the day. Leave the phones and unchecked emails behind and go outside and try something new- you never know if your game of catch will be training the next major league pitcher.
Shelby is a college student with one year before she becomes an Elementary school teacher. She loves Jesus, her family, sports and coffee! Although she would rather have control over everything in her life, she is learning that God may just be more capable. When she isn’t working or studying, you can find her spending time with her family and friends.