Family Ties – is it a love or hate relationship?

Florida beach, family,

Family Gatherings can bring a host of feelings when it comes to spending time together. We never asked to be born into the family we have. It just happens. God chooses us to be right smack in the middle of love, mercy, joy, and fun, or …… in reality, we are in the midst of dysfunctional cray-zay! A whole host of angry, jealousy, hurt, pain,  and suffering people who show up for dinner to present an unbalanced diet of raw emotions. Hurt people, hurt people. The cycle continues. Sometimes, people act aloof or pretentious, ignoring the pain – not sure which way is worse…. the silence of ignoring the elephant in the room or being open and unbalanced.

What’s a person to do? Ah, life. Choices. Love anyway. Real love – not faking it kind of love. Getting real and ooze that love, at all times.

During my childhood, and into my 20’s, I was hopeful that the “ugly”  issues that arose would resolve; people would choose love over hurt, pain, and misunderstandings; peaceful communication would win out every time…. but as years moved on, I began to lose hope in humanity as a whole. People seem to enjoy the choice of acting in hostility and insecurity, which often times continued without altering viewpoints and meeting halfway.  thought: If a person continues to lash out, they must enjoy the pain, otherwise, wouldn’t they just STOP the madness?

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So many moments with a broken heart, saddened by what I consider lack of integrity. Loss of real love and forgiveness.  The personal agenda, whether purposed or innocently subjected,  wouldn’t it be best to offer a peaceful moment to reconcile.  — God wants desires that we take our troubles to the foot of Jesus. Let him help us overcome ALL obstacles so we can live in peace with each other

Maturity, and letting go of pride are monumental in moving out from the muck and feelings of being out of control, and into the joy and peace that God gifts to us.

When my children were   2, 4 and 6 years old, life was moving forward. We had had our share of struggles, as all couples do, (life is never a bed of flowers; cactus comes up to surprise ya every now and then), but we worked through all things that came our way. Overall, things were well, our kids were healthy and strong, we were working and life was moving forward.

One morning, fairly early, about 8 am,  my husband, at work already, and there was a knock at the front door. I was still in my PJ’s, if I remember correctly, my kids may have had a day off and possibly been still asleep or in the basement playing… I don’t recall…I do remember it was quiet, as I wondered who in the world would be at my door that early? My heart was racing as I went to the window to see what car was outside. When I saw the little blue car on the street, I squinted quizzically and realized who it was. My cousin. I opened the door, confused wondering why he was there so early, as he lived a good distance away, and usually never showed up unannounced. My mind was racing, only thinking: who could be dead or in the hospital…. never imagining that his wife left him, and she temporarily took the kids, and only a few days to find somewhere to live. Wala Whalah ding dong….right? First thing in the morning. He was distraught. Upset to say the very least.  Of course, I hugged him, told him it would be ok, and I am sure I asked a few other questions, long gone from my memory at this point in time, and then invited him to come stay with us. After he left, I didn’t even concur with my husband if that was OK!?!? YIKES! Oofu mistake, right? 

Why do I tell this story?  Twofold reasoning. I immediately told him he could stay with us.  I acted on love.  Love never has to think twice. I sternly suggested he go empty the apartment, get whatever was left and then go get the kids, who were 3 and 9. I was relieved when I called my husband at work to update him with this “family drama”, and he, of course, said to me, he can come stay with us while he figures all this out. Phew. That worked out – love worked it all out. Love never ever fails!

With confidence as strong as a brick wall, I knew it was the RIGHT thing to do. We needed to be there for my cousin, he needed solid friendships to help him walk through this dark night….. together, with five kids under 9,  and three of them in potty training mode. That’s real folks! Work it out we did!

Secondly, my husband and I  could help. If for nothing else but to be a good support during this huge struggle in his life. Doesn’t everyyyyyyone do such things? (come to find out afterward,  the answer to that question is no. People do not let other people move in. I can go off on a tangent on that remark in itself. We’ll save that for another time).

People like to live behind closed doors. No one wants a witness that their life is not so pretty as presented when outside the walls of their safe haven. #liesfromtheenemy.   We all have troubles, we all make mistakes, we all deserve second and third chances.

Second, the reason this story is pertinent is God gave people to live this life out TOGETHER.

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Couples stick together through THICK and THIN. Whether life is a walk on the sweet sunny beach, or when it falls upon shaky ground, or hurricanes of junk come flying your way, you work it out. Life gets sticky and stinky – sometimes often!

So, when you say I DO – it is A LIFETIME of  YESES – No’s and everything in-between.

The tides come in and go out. Nighttime is the stronger tide, weather it out. In the morning the sun shines and clarity comes, you work -it -all -out.

Choose your spouse with wisdom, not a fling, not by looks or status quo. Look into the heart and eyes of that person. Get real honest with yourself and see the person you want to marry for what they truly are. Yes, people can change, but often times, pride gets in the way – down the path of arrogance and selfish desire. Relationships go both ways.

Realize as well, your marriage is bringing two families together, which are often times very different in the way they live, habits, ideals, and a host of other things.    Communicate and love each other – be with each other, because we have enough enemies in this world as it is. May our homes be one of love and grace.

Please understand nobody is exempt from being hurt or hurting others. We all fail. ALL of us. The quick resolve is that when we have Christ in our lives, we learn to be guided by His Word, (the Bible). His love covers all the sins we create. Grace, mercy, and love will make clear when we realize we have made mistakes. Forgive quick and love always!

*** side note: Abuse is never acceptable, so the sidenote to this story is if you are in an abusive relationship, seek help. No one should be a punching bag, nor verbally attacked for any reason. Seek your local hospital, county or village to find out who can help near you.


5082 c purple petunias

This Easter, if you are a follower of Jesus and accepted him as your personal Savior, then you are a part of His Royal Family. THEE family – Born of and to God, for and with a PURPOSE. There is no greater love than that of Jesus.   Live in his wonderful love.

If you do not have Jesus in your life, please say this simple prayer, and you will live eternally in Heaven, and walk this earth with Jesus as your sweet guide as you walk and talk with him, learn his Words from the Bible, our guide to life, and blessings will be yours.

 –– Lord, thank you for salvation. Thank you for your willingness, Jesus, to go to the cross and die for my sins. I repent and want to live a good clean life, free from sin. Forgive me of my past sins, and help me as I walk in the days ahead, listening for your prompting when I do sin or want to sin, and I will be quick to leave that behind me. Thank you for forgiving me and loving me. In Your Name, Amen. 






© Copyright 2015 Photos By Design. All rights reserved. All photographs and text included herein are the property of  Donna Balsavich, dba: Photos by Design. All materials are protected under the United States and international copyright laws and treaties which provide substantial penalties for infringement.


2 responses to “Family Ties – is it a love or hate relationship?”

  1. This is so true, family gatherings can be huge surprises. We still do two a year-one at Christmas and we switched the one at Thanksgiving to the summer around my dad’s birthday. Our family has been falling apart since my mom passed in 2006 as well as with all the nephews growing up, marrying, having families and starting their own traditions. So now we three sisters have started having special sister time as often as we can.


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