Day 10 of Lent

Another friend of mine has been spending Lent blogging about her family.  I'm going to take a queue and devote this one to my immediate family.  Albeit it is short and incomplete:

- Dad.  I love you.  You aren't perfect, but you are perfect for me.  Thanks for showing me that God's grace never ends.  A bit audacious to have religious conversations with 6 year olds on long car rides, but I'd say you did a good job.  hahaha - I'll always know that you are proud of me.  No mistake I make can ever change that, and I don't know how many people can say that about their earthly fathers.  Thanks for being awesome and loving me.  I'm proud of you - I think of you every time I walk into a hospital.  But no, I won't be Calvinist ;)

- Mom.  You have been Jesus Christ for me.  Thanks for always encouraging me to seek Christ in personal and social piety.  I'm sorry I stole your blond hair :)  I can't clean under my fingernails without thinking about how you'd dig under there.  In so many ways you should know that I'm thankful for how you have helped make me who I am.  Both in how you've raised me and now how I've been "my own" person and still draw from your motherly wisdom.  The wee-baby moon will always be with me.  I love you.

- Oldest brother.  The hands we are dealt are not always "fair" but you've shown me that sanity is something we choose for ourselves. :)  I miss you, I don't see you enough, but I love you and I trust you will not sacrifice any of your dachshunds in any bizarre rituals.  You are more successful than I could hope to be and are definitely the most "normal" of our family, and you of all people can appreciate how much of a compliment that is.  I wish I could be as cool as you.  I'm blessed to have you to look up to and I know you will always be there if I need you.  Let's not let life keep us from enjoying each other!

- Older brother.  Your laugh is infectious.  I like to think we share so much in common that despite the miles between us I experience you in some way every day.  Any time I read something you've written I am blessed.  Does it sound like I'm proud of you?  Because I am.  You are a father, a husband, a brother, that I will always aspire to be.  Trying to be like you didn't stop when I FINALLY got to hang out with your friends in high school.  It isn't competition - I've always felt we were in this together.  I love you and see you continue to create life in ways I admire.

- Younger brother.  Is there anyone in this world like you?  No.  You are completely unique and beautiful as the image of God.  Seriously man, spare the girls' hearts and keep that hair short.  I am proud of you and who you are - I haven't always been the kindest big brother and for that I'm sorry.  But I'm not a kid anymore, and neither are you.  You are your own man and I love you.  I'll always be here for you - maybe a little too closely.  In other words, if I can think of someone I'd jump to defend - you are it. Continue to seek God and always be yourself.  Even if that means wearing red shoulder pads.

- My wife.  We haven't known each other that long but I feel like I've known you my whole life.  And yet, saying that, I still look forward to knowing you better.  I want to see the world the way you do.  One thing I love about you is how you love others.  It grows my understanding of God.  God loves me.  You show me that every day and I hope I can show even a smidgen of that love back to you and our God.  I promise to always choose you.  I don't know if I've ever experienced joy like I know in your face.  I'll save the rest for your birthday card. ha!

I love y'all and I am blessed to have you in my life.  God is good.