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Family – Hope and Humor

We enjoyed our Froese family Christmas Saturday, January 9th.  Not easy to schedule ten of our thirteen families around the holidays. The other three families were out of state, and we missed them!



Welcomed warmly by our nephew Drew and his wife Amy, conversation flowed as we all caught up with each other while munching on  bolani, carrot sticks, 7-layer dip and chips, pinwheel sandwiches, cheese, crackers, and grapes. Before the “littles” opened their gifts, Drew talked with them. True to his instructions, they sat quietly on the floor while Mom read the Christmas story from Luke 2, as my father did every Christmas until his death in 2002.

Then the children opened their gifts, delighting in their surprises and thanking their greats (grandma, uncles and aunts).

Mom opened current pictures of all the family as each of us shared ways Mom has impacted our lives. My oldest brother Melvyn recollected our being “poor as dirt” (I didn’t know that!). It was evident that Mom’s commitment to Jesus Christ and to her family, her loving welcome of in-laws into our circle have been meaningful to us. She was assured that as her life winds down her influence for Jesus and family will remain. Precious time. Laughter and tears.

Before we ate our delicious ham dinner, we gathered for a family photo. The kids were called in from their outdoor play. The twenty-four or so of us arranged ourselves on couch and floor. The camera snapped three photos.

Suddenly five-year old Bailey skipped around the corner and into the room, her signature smile freezing as we all burst into laughter.

What's going on?

What’s going on?

OH MY GOODNESS! Where did she come from?

Bailey slid right in and more photos were taken–with ALL of us who were there.

I am singularly blessed. Our family is far from perfect, and there have been times of conflict that needed resolution. But we have made a point to work through those differences as best we can with communication, respect and love. We’ll never agree on everything. We have different ways of expressing our faith, and varying political positions. Sometimes we agree to disagree; sometimes we avoid sensitive conversational topics. But we’ll always be there for each other. We’ve experienced that–in the deaths of a nephew, our father, and my first husband; in supporting Mom after Dad’s death; and in my sister-in-law’s stroke.

My mother and brothers took time to know Don and welcome him into our family, and one nephew recently told me I have blessed the family by the husbands I have chosen. I believe God was the orchestrator as I responded to these two loving men; but what a loving affirmation to receive these words.

We who are “in Christ Jesus” are all family. Galatians 6:9-11 states “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

May you have a year ahead that gives hope in the support and love you receive within your family of origin and/or your Christian family.

What’s the most significant family interaction you’ve had this year?



  1. Karen O'Connor says:

    A beautiful post, Carol. My most significant family event in 2015 was the gathering of our clan at the deathbed of my husband Charles and our Celebration of Life for him in April. And just last week my son-in-law told me that his greatest accomplishment in 2015 was singing to Charles before he died and participating in keeping his memory alive within our family. I tear up just thinking about it. Family is just so important.

    1. carolnl says:

      Karen, certainly your most significant family event. And your son-in-law’s comment, and his ability to sing to Charles before his death and to keep his memory alive in the family, is a treasure. Bless you!

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