Had so much fun.
My husband's family used to have a family night about once a month and it was really great getting to spend time with everyone and having that opportunity to really get to know each individual personality. There is such a closeness that stems from spending time together. I took that for granted in the beginning because after some unfortunate events in my inlaws life our family nights were nonexistent for, let's see, about roughly 5-6 years? Not that we didn't see each other. There are still birthdays and holidays, the only problem with those events is that it's mayhem and the focus is somewhere else.
Last night was the first real family night we've had in a long time and it was just so much fun. My favorite part of the night was watching a video of my brother n laws 7th birthday. Talk about hilarity, looking back at the hip fashion in the 80's, my husband's "hot pants" and nifty socks that went up to his mid-calf. The flipped up collar of my sister n law had her looking like the stylish 80's queen. What I noticed most when I watched this video, was the happiness that shined on all their faces. Whether it was just a simpler time or that everyone was just together having fun and making memories. Isn't that what it's all supposed to be about? I haven't seen that happiness in many of us these past years. My pastor did a series called "Happy Don't Live Here", a phenomenal series that talks about where we try desperately to find happiness in extrinsic things. Money, Cars, Houses, Jobs, Success, etc... He (my pastor) explained that true Happiness is an inner joy regardless of the outside circumstances. Think about that, how is that possible? What if there isn't money to pay the bills? Well, in the video what I noticed is that they probably did have money to pay their bills and they were much happier but did that happiness really come from the money? I don't think the true focus was ever on that (knowing my inlaws). Their true focus was on the inner joy they experienced as a family, the relationship between husband and wife, brothers and sister, grandparents and grandchildren. The reason I know this is because of how I grew up. It was very much the same, except we didn't have the money due to an outward circumstance in my parents divorcing. As painful as that was, my family brought us all through that time. My mom bonded with her sister through that and from that came time spent with my cousins and time spent every Sunday going to my grandma's and just hanging out for a few hours, laughing and playing & making memories. If I hadn't had that, the bond of family, it would have been entirely much more painful for me growing up. What I'm trying to say is I believe God has put us together to know a true joy regardless of outside circumstances. He didn't create us so that we go through life alone and in pain, He created us to come together and experience life together. To enjoy each other's personalities, play games, laugh, even have spats and hash them out together.
As my father n law would say "Last night was a whole bunch of alright". (he actually said that, it was documented on last night's video) ... How can you not have inner joy regardless of outside circumstances when you hear a line like that?