Thursday, 13 June 2013

family matters

This past week, from June 3rd-June 11th, Keith's sister Kim, and her three boys; Nathan, Philip, and Jack were here to visit!  It was fun getting to reconnect with this part of our family, whom we rarely get to see.  This was really the biggest chunk of time we've ever been able to spend together.  Nathan and Philip are twins, and we vividly remember Philip attending our wedding 18 1/2 years ago as a little baby with his mama.  Nathan and daddy Duane had to stay back home in Georgia at the time and hold down the fort.  Well here we are nearly 19 years later and these boys are all grown up and graduated from high school.  It was a blessing getting to see all God has worked in their lives over these years.  Seeing the young men they've turned into reminds me to keep chugging along with my own children, knowing God will be faithful to sharpen and hone their skills and abilities, but most importantly that HE will grow their love for Himself as they age and mature.

Our nephew Jack is quite a different boy from his twin big brothers.  While they are creative and intellectual, Jack needs to be moving, running, swimming, or have some kind of ball or bat in hand most of the day.  He is all athlete.  He reminds me a lot of my own brother at the ripe old age of 11.  Though I didn't spend as much time talking with Jack, I know my girls loved spending time with him out in the pool, playing the Wii together, and just being hilarious with him.  It will be fun watching him grow up and seeing what God does in his life.

Then there's Kim, my dear sister in law.  She and I have a lot in common.  Like Keith and me, Kim and husband Duane were also involved in full-time ministry for many years, with Duane serving as a worship minister.  They've moved around LOTS!  In fact, we compared stories, and to be SURE...THEY WIN for the most moves.  Kim is a teacher, though she does her job in the public system while I am at home.  Kim loves recipes as do I.  Kim loves to do I!  And we have very similar tastes in clothing and jewelry.  But the most important thing we have in common is our love for God.  Nearly two years ago, Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 44.  This was in the midst of her own mom already struggling in a 5 year battle with ovarian cancer at the time.  It would have been tempting to give in to self-pity or bitterness toward God in the days, weeks, and months when Kim was walking through her surgeries and chemo treatments.  But instead, she found Christ to be her all in all, her "closer than a brother" friend.  Today, Kim will say she wouldn't trade her experience with cancer for what she gained in that time.  As we talked, we shared our common experience of Christ being more than enough for the deepest trials we have walked through.  And conversely, how we often have more difficulty trusting Him in the little day-to-day things than in the life-altering moments.  Kim was kind enough to re-cover the throw pillows on my couch with some material I had been wanting to use.  THANKS KIM!!  She and the boys also brought us lots of goodies: coffee, chocolate chips, Doritos, Nutella, granola bars, fruit snacks, Dasani water flavoring drops, cake mixes, peanut butter...  We are SO GRATEFUL!!  And Duane, who was unable to join his family, was the one who did all the shopping for our numerous a hearty THANK YOU DUANE!! 

Since Mom B. died in December, we have to work a little harder to stay connected with family.  She was the heartbeat of the Bunting Family, to be sure.  We  are soooo grateful that Kim and her family took the time and money to invest in coming to see us.  It is no small thing!!  WE LOVE YOU!!

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