WHAT IS FAMILY?
What makes a person “family”? Of course, the easiest ones to identify are those we are related to by blood. These are the people God graciously puts in our lives to support and direct us from the very start. But as we grow, others come into our lives who (though maybe not related to us by blood), occupy a special place in our hearts. When this happens, our “family” expands to include these folks as well. Looking back over the years, our family has grown to welcome in many people we have met along the way. One such family is the Artmans. We have been so thankful for Mr. and Mrs. Artman and the love they have shown to us (especially to our children). Living far away from both sets of grandparents, the Artman’s have served as “surrogate grandparents” to our kids. The past couple of weeks have been pretty hectic at the Valiante house. We have been packing and organizing to get our home ready for our tenants who are beginning the process of moving in this week. On Friday night, the Artman’s invited us over for dinner (just so we would not have to worry about cooking). The kids had a great time playing downstairs while Sarah and I returned to the house to take care of some additional details. Our kids always love building with Legos at their house.
Then (on top of the time she had already spent helping Sarah pack over the past couple of weeks), Mrs. Artman came over on Saturday and spent probably 8-10 hours helping clean the house. An added blessing was when Mr. Artman arrived with pizza for lunch!
We have been richly blessed these past few weeks during this transition. Another family we have grown to love is the Rancks. Our children are roughly the same age as theirs and we have enjoyed our friendship with them over the past 7 years. They too invited us over for dinner and last Saturday, they even took our children out for the entire day so packing would go a little smoother for us. While they were out, Christina texted and asked what snack foods Sarah enjoyed, and they came back with almonds, hummus and lots of other great treats. Their thoughtfulness (along with their love and support) has meant so much to us.
Family is a blessing from God… in whatever form it comes. Above all, we are blessed to be part of God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ. The other day one of our children asked, “Daddy why do you call people, ‘Brother?'” That was a good question. The reason I call another believer, “Brother” is because we share the same Heavenly Father and have been born into the same family. When a person is born-again, they are “birthed” into God’s family. If you have never experienced a true relationship with God, today can become your spiritual birthday, and you can be born into God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ. He loved us and gave Himself for us that we might experience forgiveness and a relationship with the Father.