by christina britt lewis
big family gatherings are hard for our family.
i am the oldest of the three gromko girls. tim is the younger of the two lewis boys. we all grew up in a church three times a week world. we all went to the same conservative christian college and we all married people from the exact same churchy world and the exact same college.
so if you do the math, our family is made up of 4 parents of 8 grown children who all grew up the same way and went to the same college. we 8 grown children are aunties and uncles to 9 nieces and nephews.
this is where our similarities end.
some of us see the world we come from as the problem.
some of us see the world we come from as the solution.
this makes family holidays like the 4th of july tricky. we disagree about BIG STUFF like God, religion, politics, parenting, education... polite conversation over hamburgers and hot dogs is challenging. there are no safe subjects.
well... our brother-in-law from ohio solved the problem.
he found the perfect little lake cabin very close to the rest of our family in north carolina. he and my sister rent the cabin and a boat for 4th of july week and invite us all to come and go as we please. i call the cabin "neutral territory"...
there is so much to do
the view is spectacular
and the back porch beckons...
we laugh about the things we used to fight about...
dad can leave in time to watch o'reilly in peace
with no harassment from some (not all) of his children...
swinging soothes souls...
the best part about fishing is you have to be quiet.
so you can just sit in silence with the people you want to love better
and not worry about coming up with something safe to talk about...
our brilliant and generous brother-in-law.
or you can just call him "o captain! my captain!"...
all but 2 of our 21 people spent some time at the cabin this past week
and you guys...
peace on earth is possible
if you are going through hell, keep going.
we have hurt each other deeply.
we have said hateful things we can never unsay to each other at family dinners.
we have broken each other's hearts.
for those who grew up like we did and know what a sword drill is...
we are the prodigal son.
we are the older brother.
but at the little lake cabin that could...
we are all the father with open arms.
all together now...
so many rivers but they all reach the sea...
they mock my feet photos
they seemed perfectly happy to pose for one
we do agree on one thing...
mom makes the best whoopie pies in the whole wide world
our brother and sister change things.
they shake things up.
they know that if you keep doing things the same way
you will keep getting the same results.
they want new results.
they want peace, love, happiness,
and a whole lot of fun.
so they choose to be the change they wish to see in our world.
they choose to treat our opinionated family how they want to be treated.
they give us all a whole lot of fun.
they practice Jesusy generosity.
you get what you give
whatever you think people are withholding from you…
and so on…
give it to them.
- eckhart tolle
(that's what they call me)