Sunday, June 14, 2009

Marriage and Family

We just celebrated our 1 year anniversary yesterday--how love grows so sweet and rich in just one year. I wish we'd have planted a tree the day we were married. Then we could watch it grow and compare our developing love to roots sprouting, a trunk with limbs branching out, little green shoots. Time and Sonlight allow love to flourish.

Of all the beautiful things in this life, the beauty of a family happily interacting brings me the most joy. We just got back from Sunday dinner at my aunt and uncle's house--cousins, grandparents, me, my husband, all eating and laughing around the table, taking turns sharing memories. I zoomed out like a camera and watched for a second, hoping to hold the picture in my permanent memory card.

And then I think of the saddest things in the world--families that don't talk, don't share love or joy or warm apple pie with melting vanilla ice cream. I taught the young women in church today about forgiveness and how often it is the hardest to forgive the ones that are closest to us--how bitterness rots the heart and makes you stiff inside where there is no room for the warmth that only family can bring.

Next week I'm interviewing for a Master's program in Marriage and Family Therapy. I've spent the last few years trying to make life better for families in need. As I dig deeper into the lives of mothers, fathers children, I recognize patterns of behavior and belief the debilitate loving homes. Therapy is not a solve-all. Therapy is not comfortable. Therapy is not cheap (getting it or studying it). But most families wouldn't hurt to have someone help them "zoom out" for a moment to notice the trends, the cycles, the dirt that often gets swept under the rug but is there anyway, silently collecting for a day of reckoning.

I want to help in this beautiful and often painful process. I want to help strengthen marriages and families. I feel lead down this path, and it's only starting. . . .