This past weekend was a special Father’s Day for me. I got to celebrate with my two kids, Caleb (3) and Caitlyn (1 month old). We spent the weekend with the Braschler side of my extended family (Grandparents, parents, aunts/uncles, and my brothers) at Roaring River State Park in Missouri, trout fishing, eating, swimming, eating some more, and sitting around the campfire each night sharing stories (some new, some for the 20th time).

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I watched my grandparents often through these last few days. My grandpa's health has been bothering him and he even spent a few days in the hospital recently. I could see the pride and the joy he had in seeing his family together again. It hasn't always been perfect, and there have been seasons where, like many families, there have been disagreements and conflicts – sometimes that is called being a family. Those challenges are hard to avoid. I am proud of the way that their faith has lifted them above the issues and conflicts, and drawn them towards reconciliation, grace, and love.

So often I hear from people of the issues going on at home or in the family. Relationships are hard enough to begin with, and even more challenging still when the people we sometimes have the hardest time loving, live in our home. I want to encourage you to take some time and reflect on your relationships in your family this week. 

Can you picture the type of family you want to be? What does that look like? How do you treat one another? What are some things that you wish you could do together that would create memories? Are you anywhere close to being this family today?

If there is a desired change in your family relationships, like all other change, it will probably start with you. Begin asking yourself, “What could I do to help love my family better?” If you are a person of faith, I encourage you to ask this question in your prayer time, “God, if you were to have your way with my family, what would it look like?”

Many of you work so hard to provide for your family and I want to honor you for that today. I also want to encourage you to see your time with your family as an investment in them, rather than an obligation. Invest your time in loving, encouraging, making memories together, asking them about what is going on in their lives and be engaged in what they are interested in, curious about, and what they dream about for their future.

I am so thankful for my family. They are bunch of imperfect and goofy people. But in my parents, brothers, grandparents, and even aunts and uncles, I have people who have cared about me and would be there for me if I ever needed anyone. You may have family like this. If you do not, I want to encourage you to begin that legacy in your family in the way you care for and support those God has placed in your life and who you call “family”.