Monday, October 13, 2014

What Were You Made to Do?

This past Saturday night, our house was full of family.  SEC football was on the television and food was in the oven.  There was a fire going outside and people were in and out.  We'd gathered to celebrate my mother's birthday and there was a lot going on with the children playing and adults visiting and cheering at the TV.  

You know what it's like when you're in a house full of your family.....all these people who you're linked with genetically.  Kids were running through the kitchen with their family signature brown eyes and thick heads of hair.....only a couple of pairs of blue eyes in the whole crowd.  I was sitting there noticing all the little things.  My nephew, Lelan....his ears look just like my brother's ears.  The veins on the back of my hands stick out just like my mother's.  I think my niece, Lily, looks a lot like my paternal grandmother.  My big brother, Zane, got our Daddy's broad shoulders and his pent up energy that causes him to bounce his leg up and down when he's sitting.  My brother, Lee, and Blair both have large mouths.....literally.....their smiles stretch all the way across their faces and even seem to touch their ears.  My niece, Erin, and I have my maternal grandfather's small feet.  Carson got the worst of the family allergies, but his Grandpa's sense of humor, too.  My nephew, Casey, talks just like my brother and got his love for the outdoors.       

We have some receding hairlines and some full heads of hair.  We have loud and bubbly personalities and some that are more reserved.  We have some quick wits and some are a little more serious.  We have some cholesterol problems, some fast heart rates, hay fever, a lot of allergies, and some serious stubborn streaks.  We've got a few short fuses and some really long ones.  We've got some worriers and some who don't even know what the word means.  We've got readers and TV watchers and sports fans.  We've got savers and spenders.  Some who are tall and some who wish they were.   

Genes are so fascniating to me.  They may be the explanation for your aversion to cilantro, the inability to curl your tongue, and your obsession with being on time.  Could be why you've never liked your nose or how your hair frizzes in the humidity.  Maybe they're why everyone tells you that you have a funny laugh and probably how you got the nickname, Red or Stretch.  Could be the reason you're never asked to sing a solo in church, but always get called to teach the children.  They're probably the reason your pantry is perfectly organized into categories.....or either in such disarray that the door won't close.  Could explain why you go to bed early and tend to be a little introverted.  They could be why you had to start getting mammograms early or the reason why you're taking insulin.  Probably responsible for your adventurous spirit or your even-temperedness.......why you're the life of the party, afraid of heights, or don't sleep well.  They're what make you a good tennis player and a whiz in math and most likely why we can't read your handwriting.

There are an infintite number of combinations that are pulled together to make us who we are.  Even on Saturday night, in my house full of related people with so many similarities, we were all so different.  Even those with the same parents can be like day and night. 

My older brother is so rugged....a real outdoorsman.  If you could see his truck, you'd know that organization and cleanliness are not a priority for him.  If you find dirt on your floor, it most likely came in on his boots.  Weekends find him in the woods or on the water.  He could survive if you dropped him off in the middle of nowhere with no problem.  He's very affectionate, loves babies, and has a big heart.  He's got a lot of drive and is always in a hurry.  Every single, free moment is spent hunting, camping, or fishing and he does them with unbelievable passion.   

My younger brother is more of an athlete.  He's the rock climber and bicyclist and has even been revisiting his old paintball days lately.  He enters these bike races that are designed to make you contemplate if maybe you'd rather die than finish.  He likes a challenge and doesn't always follow the conventional path.  He's a kid at heart.  He's the one in shorts and sandals at Christmas.  He's witty, very generous, laid back, and will likely never suffer from high blood pressure.  He's very loveable but not as apt to show his feelings.  He's always good for a laugh.
Me?  Well, while one's out biking up steep mountain paths in races that last for days while munching on protein bars......and the other is off fishing for 24 hours straight and then sleeping on a rock, I'm just over here like......hey, I think I'll watch some TV today...maybe blog....take a nap.  I may be more organized than my older brother but, if you left me in the middle of nowhere, I'd be dead by sunset.  And while I may be more appropriately dressed at Christmas than my little brother, I wish I had his appetite for a challenge.  I like to stick to the flat, straight roads....thank you.                                 

Every person represents a unique mixture of traits.  Each person with their own strenghts and weaknesses and quirks and hang-ups and gifts and peculiarities.   

Maybe you got your Dad's healthy sense of humor to get you through some rough years when you'd need to find the humor in your situation in order to survive it.  Your Mom's attention to details may help you succeed and advance in your job....helping you provide for your family.  The stubbornness from your grandfather may be needed to fight for something you believe in and can't let go of in good conscience. Your grandmother's tender heart may cause you help people, who would've, otherwise, been overlooked and one of your children may need that patience you get from her, too.  You may have a dose of your aunt's perseverance to help you through a battle with cancer.  Your uncle's outgoing personality may be what will help you witness to your neighbors.  The creativity that popped up in you from a couple of generations back may be just what your church needs.         

God had an idea for you.....He drew your plans, laid your foundation, constructed you, wired you, and put on your finishing touches.  You are custom built. 

There is a special purpose that you were created for and you're gifted specifically for those plans.  He has work that only you can do. 

We're all needed!

Let's not go to waste!







  1. Love this. It's so neat to see families together and notice their similarities and differences. Gives such a sense of history!

  2. Beautiful!!! I absolutely love everything about this message! I loved getting a glimpse of your family and stopping to take note of my own. Genes, personalities and people in general are just so fascinating to me. Even more fascinating is the study between nature v. nurture. I was adopted at 3 weeks old and will never know my biological parents and/or any biological siblings, but you'd never know I didn't belong by blood in my family (well, except for the blue eyes and curly hair...they give me away every time in my straight-haired, brown-eyed brood). My first dip in the gene pool was when I had my son, the only blood relative I've ever known, and I am SO excited to see which traits he may get from me. Here's hoping I have some good genes to finally share with someone! :-)

    1. I love that, Amanda! Thanks for sharing! Yes, nature vs. nurture is very fascinating to me, too. And I'm sure you've given your son lots of good stuff in both of those!! :)

  3. You've done it again, written a super post. It must be such a joy to be part of such a big family. : )

    1. Thank you, Happyone! You're so encouraging! And yes.....big families are lots of fun!

  4. I love this post! I love thinking about these kinds of things, too. Our family has some who were born and some who were adopted, of different colors and nationalities, a few who are quiet and a lot who are not. :) We have different likes and dislikes but can always find common ground and things to share. God does good work, doesn't He?