Thursday, March 08, 2007

Yeah, Thats What I Said

I have the biggest, strongest, most handsome brothers in the entire world. My brothers could beat up your brothers, your daddies, and your li'l dog, too.

I have the prettiest, toughest, most loving and compassionate sisters in the world. My sisters could pound your sisters, your mommies, and your Skipper doll too.

None of us could have imagined in which ways we would grow to become broad shouldered people of love, brave enough to carry one anothers burdens.

If we moved into a more measurable arena, we've likely been a testament to the reliability of statistics. We've know gum disease, violent sexual assault, divorce, chronic migraine headaches, alcoholism, eating disorders, bad haircuts, too much ham, cancer, premature death, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and drug abuse.

We've known wealth, we've known poverty.

We've known wisdom, we've known folly.

I don't believe that there is a person in my family who does not have wisdom. Its a gift that we received by the grace of God but with a lot of credit to my father Abraham, the father of many.(No, really, my natural born father's name is Abraham, and he is indeed the father of many).

This does not ensure that wise choices have consistently been made but I believe in the underlying legacy of such a gift. I believe there is redemption in it. It allows us to be less fearful in the face of impossible situations.

This has been especially apparent in the face of the very large, painful "statistics" mentioned above. Many people in my family had enough reason to lie down, lie low, and choose to keep their life boats floating as gently as possible to avoid any future upheaval.

But thats not our way.

No, my big beautiful family is brave and they love dang
erously. If information comes along that challenges their tidy sunday school columns, they examine the way Jesus loved the slutty, the sneaky, the smelly. Then they go back to the central message which is Love, and they LOVE with great, beautiful abandon.

My firstborn brother by practical
standards, grew up in a different family than I did. Our birthdays are sixteen years apart, and I have no memory of ever sharing a house with him. Over the past few years though, a new dynamic has emerged. Brother and sister by virtue of birth, yes. But more than that, true brother and sister from the perspective of mutual respect and the desire to interact. Recently, he stuck that loving and never trite "neck" of his out and sent me a long e-mail without black and white answers or judgements. Just beautiful affirmations, truths, tender love, and a deep faith in God that blows all those cheesey, churchy books straight off my bookshelf.

"As I examine the lives of people around me that are redeeming, caring for others in a determined way is always central and restorative. I have benefitted enormously from such people, and the list is very long.

I wish for you peace, and strength to carry your burdens, and victory over the demons. I hope the Shepherd's voice comes through clearly, even if only quietly, and even if amid the noise of the wild all around."

That's my brother.

He's not afraid of the wild, and he's got my back.

Don't mess with me, 'cuz I have a feeling he wouldn't be afraid to meet up with you and yours in an empty lot if you so desire.
Well, in love of course.
Restorative, redeeming love.


Anonymous said...

You're blessed to have a brother like that. I have two sisters that are fifteen years older than me and they have not once in my life ever offered me any kind of support or comfort. I thought it was because of our age gap but as I've grown up I've met other people who are close to their siblings in spite of the age difference. It makes me sad sometimes but I've found sisters to support me. Glad he's in your corner.

Anonymous said...

Loved this.
Sometimes large families ARE all they are cracked up to be.
Pictures were great...I love pictures.

Anonymous said...

Yup, it's great. Life stinks at times, but we've got God, family, and amazing friends. Ferocious love. Awesome. Thanks Joyce. Laura

Anonymous said...

Families are the best...I just spent 2 weeks in Mexico with two of my sisters (and hubbies) we had sooo much fun...I am so thankful for all of them....they are the best....we too, have been through many heartbreaking experiences, but have always managed to be there for each other...and somehow here's a cheer for families and esp. the "Klippenstein clan" then to bits....Linda(Klippenstein) Roy...p.s I went to SS in good ol Silberfeld with Al and Laura...hi to them from me... : ) Enjoy your post immensely!!!

Melissa said...

I love this. The photos and family size and issues and subsequent closeness could represent my father's family.

Issues and closeness could represent my siblings and self.

Maybe some of the photos...your end of them maybe...(my youngest aunt is only ten years older than I - so there is probably a bit of overlap between us. ;) )

BTW I love what your hubby wrote about you. God has blessed you richly.

Roo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roo said...

eeek. i won't mess with you. ;)
you are a blessed woman joyce.
i really love the pics

Judy said...

Great post, Joyce.

Anonymous said...

....Linda(Klippenstein) Roy...p.s I went to SS in good ol Silberfeld with Al and Laura...hi to them from me... : )
Are you the girl who lived kitty corner to Shakespeare School? Laura

it's a gong show... said...

Gotta love brothers!!

esther said...


Anonymous said...

Yes Laura I am the girl who lived across from the Shakespeare school...we went to SS in Silberfeld together...small world...I read Joyce's blog all the interesting....Brandy (it's a gong show) is my daughter which explains how I got into Joyce's blog...(sorry Joyce for using your space to "schpitsea")...would love to hear from you sometime....Linda

joyce said...

Actually, I find this all very fascinating, and I wonder- did you know my family of origin before reading this post? I also did not know that your family were silver-fielders.

So, please don't apologize!

Anonymous said...

Hey Linda. WOW! We need to talk. I've often wondered what happened to you. You were so full of life and spark. Do you have an e-mail address? Maybe you could give it to Joyce. Or should we just keep communicating through her blog? Sounds fine to me, but it might finally drive Joyce over that edge . Ane I'd miss her terribly. Laura

Anonymous said...

Yes i have an e-mail address and would love to touch base with you...I will call Joyce and give it to her okay? Looking forward to hearing all about your life : ) L

Anonymous said...

Beautifully said, Joyce.