Monday, June 23, 2008

On the road agian, just can't wait to get on the road agian

On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again....

Yesterday, Ben and I spent a lovely afternoon with my in-laws riding around the booming metropolis of Scottsboro. The house-looking was grand but what I truly enjoyed was the stomach is still sore. Most of the time we commented on Ben's KIA tendencies and my goof-ish ways. I also learned some very useful information as well...such as the fact that Mike Bratton is known in many circles as the Scottsboro Crime Buster. This might come as a surprise to many of you, but Mr. Bratton pretty much saved the whole town a few years back with his stealth detective skills. I also found that Mrs. Bratton and I have a shared passion for knock-out roses. We all three share a common bond of loving to tease Ben. It is perhaps a favorite past time for the three of us. Thankfully they raised a grounded son who can handle our jabs.

Laughter and humorous spirit seemed to surround all those in the car, but there was also something else. There was ease and comfort, the kind of relaxed communication and openness only to be found when surrounded by close friends. It hit me today as I was reminiscing about our fun car ride, that I feel at ease with the Brattons. I no longer just get along with them because they are my in-laws, and it's much more than mere politeness. It's friendship and it took me by surprise. I knew from the start that the Brattons were wonderful people. Yet, there was a part of me that thought they would also be a second rate relationship coming in behind my own family. It might sound silly or mean, but I thought I would always feel a slight loss and wish Ben and I were with my own family instead of his.

My love for my own family hasn't changed. My mom is still my best girlfriend, my father is still my spiritual mentor, and my brothers are closer and more loved than ever. But the Brattons... they are now family too. Maybe I thought my heart had a limit to love or we have to have some special order in our hearts. I knew in my head that wasn't so, but my heart was still set on keeping the Littles and the Brattons separate and in proper order. And I realized today that my heart had failed, all order had left the building. Yes those Little's will always be the family God bless me with and I will share so much with. But God blessed me with the Brattons as well. They are not a loss but a glorious gain sent from the Father who is both sovereign and good. I'm convinced that He knew I would still need the close connection of family when my own was far away, so He placed both Ben and his family in my life.

I still miss my family and wish they would pack up and moved to AL, but at the same time it's been wonderful getting closer to my family here in Hollywood. I'm excited by the comfort I feel when I'm with them and by the prospect of what God has in sort ahead of us. I no longer feel loss but enjoy the blessing. My only fear now is that they are merely putting up with their son's crazy wife and are wishing I wasn't so talkative. But regardless, I'm immeasurably thankful for family both near and far.

I complain all too often about silly things, but all it takes is a little self reflection to realize all that God has done and is doing in my life.