Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Family From Here On Out

When my dad graduated to Heaven three years ago, each member of the Randy Kuenzle family had to decode what it meant to be family without him. Our core foundation unit was gone and we felt the gaping absence. Birthdays were painful; vacations felt lopsided, and Christmas was downright weird. Even so, we acclimated to a new "normal." Christmas and birthdays and Father's Day still reverberate with bittersweet memories, and on occasion, I will have an especially painful day where I just need to cry because I miss him so.  

Victor Hugo said that "even the darkest night will end with a sunrise." We keep living life and making new memories with family because we are still here and we value the precious bond of relationship. I don't hang out with my brothers because I have to; I do it because I genuinely want to do so. After my husband, my mom remains my best friend (I realize that not everyone can say that about their family, but what I have I am thankful for and I don't want to take it for granted).

This past weekend, we got to visit Aaron's extended family in Oklahoma. Having only one grandparent left on this earth, I am exceedingly grateful for Poppa and Gram. Thirteen years ago, when I was still just dating Aaron, they welcomed me in and made me their own, and they haven't turned back.

Even after two years of not seeing their great-grandparents, my cautious kids ran right to and hugged them with fervor. If you are in the Hanley home, you are hugged, given a plate of food, and encouraged to sit and listen to the Hanley stories. It's a lively experience for sure.

And more than any other word, you will hear "blessed." Not as in, "Oh, bless his heart." But more like, "We are so blessed." "My family is such a blessing." "Ya'll blessed us by being here."

God created it. We get to find it and enjoy it. And if it's done well, it's a blessing to others too. ~Family~

"How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity." Psalm 133:1

"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people." Acts 2:46-47


  1. Thanks Kristin! I love this message and I too feel so blessed by family.

    1. In today's culture, it's a rare thing to have a solid family core.