A couple weeks ago my kids and I made the trek to Nebraska to visit family. Anytime we make the trip, it is a drive with a capital D. It takes 14 hours to get from our home in Indiana to North Platte, Nebraska, where my parents, siblings, and their families live.

To my kids, it’s a time of COUSINS. Yep, the all caps is quite intentional. Family is important to me. Very important. And to me, my family includes the extended family. I want my kids to grow up as part of a clan. With the idea that they are a part of a bigger picture. That their identity at part comes from having great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who all love God and chase after Him.

That’s one beauty of homeschooling. We could make time for the trip when other kids were starting back to school. And because the cousins hadn’t started back up to school, it worked out so well.

I long for my children to own their faith, but to also see how they fit into a larger picture of faith. That they are part of a legacy. While that won’t substitute for personal faith and relationship with Jesus, it gives a context and heritage for that personal faith.

But there’s also something to having people in your life who cheer for you when you tackle something hard. Who push you when you’re being lazy. Who provide an escape when you need it. Who love you no matter where you are or what you’ve done. People who will set aside days in their schedule to just be with you.

Several nights I played board games with my kids, nieces and nephews (that were old enough). They’d tell you I was being silly, but that was intentional. I want them to know they are important to me. And that’s often accomplished best by time.

What about you? What’s your family like? Is it as crazy and extended as mine? Or is it more intimate?

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