“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”
There’s nothing like a trip back into the past to stir up my neurosis. Is anybody else out there a “Middle Child?”
I just got back from Chicago and I can’t help but smile. I witnessed amazing things. My brothers spoiled me and I felt like a princess. “Whisper your wishes and we’ll make them come true,” they said; and they did! A fat princess at that because of all the deep dish pizza and wet Italian beef sandwiches I wished for and got.
I GOT TO MEET HER!
My first day in town started off with a bang. You know how bloggers are when we get to meet with one another in person.
I go crazy.
It’s one thing to connect with our words and understand with our hearts but then to be able to hug and chat in person is the ultimate best.
Ceil from the popular blog, Surrounded by theSpirit Connecting the Everyday to the Divine, is loving and considerate. She was gracious to answer all of my many questions when we met for coffee. She lives in a close proximity to my youngest brother and found a Starbucks nearby making it all very easy for me. I wonder if that’s why I enjoyed my visit out there so much because it was jump started with encouragement from meeting up with Ceil? She is a cute sister in the Lord; we had a fun time! I feel like I’ve known her for years. When I got back to the house, family asked: “Did you meet with your friend? How was it?” They could tell I enjoyed my time with her by the glow on my face!
I’m use to being in the middle, and I like being in the center of my brothers. They had big smiles on their faces (me too) because we missed each other. When I’m with them, I miss my dad. They look like him, talk and walk like him. They’re kind like him. Every day with them was special!
They took me out on the town. But before we got into the big city, we drove past our childhood home and reminisced together. It’s fun to hear their memories and to share mine.
I grouped my photos together to make viewing easy and fast. Have you ever been to the Botanical Gardens in Northbrook? Greenery drenched this parched desert dweller, especially in the Japanese Gardens. We posed for pictures in front of the waterfall. We saw a wedding party hamming it up. And I saw a lilac bush in full bloom; smells from childhood.
I showed my nephew this photo of an old church I took in the city. He said it is the oldest church in Chicago, St. Patrick's. Interesting.
One night as we all sat around the dinner table, we discussed just how three years ago, my sister-in-law, Bonnie, fell and sustained two aneurysms and a stroke. We rejoiced that Bonnie pulled through and although she is still seeing doctors regularly, she improves!
I remember when I worried out loud and my on-line friends consoled me and helped me pray. Bonnie is seated next to my brother, Denny, in this photo.
My prayer for this family is to know just how personal God is and how much He loves them. I opened up the topic of faith and also politics, but the debate with my big bro wasn’t a healthy one. I made the others tense. I guess we’ve come a long way from the days he would take me to the corner drug store, lift me up on the counter seat and buy me a cherry coke and tug at my pigtails. Now I just get “You watch too much Fox News.”
Outside of that though, I was a gracious house guest!
I’m close to my younger brother, a passionate Christian man, and our times of fellowship and prayer were powerful. God gave me a very special word to pray over him on his birthday while I was there!
We’re like any other family with our differences and issues! I like our family. We choose to keep loving each other despite our imperfections.
When I arrived at my sister’s, she was depressed from so much physical pain. I still am amazed at our prayer time together and the miraculous breakthrough she received as we uncovered some things that the Holy Spirit revealed to us. Her smiles now make me smile! Her faith in God inspires me. I helped her with her necklace. You know things are going well when a girl puts on her pearls!
I close with this quote:
What can you do to promote world peace?
Go home and love your family.