graph-of-tree-and-rootsThe beginning of a new year is a great time to look back in reflection over the past and to look forward with anticipation toward the future.  Over the holidays I’ve been doing quite a bit of reflection.  We had some time to visit with our families over the Christmas and New Year holidays, and our time with my family especially allowed for some profound reflection.

As I went back to my hometown, spending time with my parents and sister, as well as my grandmothers, and aunts and uncles, I had the opportunity to be reminded of where I come from, I guess you could say I was reminded of my roots.  And I was reminded that I have good roots.

You’ll not likely find a person of extravagant wealth in my family, but integrity, honesty, strong work ethics are all attributes that are far more valuable that wealth and material things.   I spent time with my aunt and uncle and grandmother  on my dad’s side of the family, and their way of life is extremely modest, some might even say lacking.  But in my opinion a happier man you could not find than my Uncle Joe.  He may not know what it means to be wealthy but he knows what it means to be content.

My Dad & Mom, my sister and brother-in-law all bear additional character traits that are absolutely invaluable.  “Hard working,” “generous,” and “committed to their faith,” are all words that I would use to mark their lives as long as I’ve been alive.    Seeing them, spending time with them, reflecting on my roots, makes me thankful for my heritage.  But also allows me to look forward to my future with hope.  Hope that I may embody the same characteristics.  Hope that I will bear fruit in my life according to the deep root system which has me grounded.    I’m so thankful for my extended family, for my roots, and can only hope that my little girls will one day be able to appreciate their roots as well.

When’s the last time you considered your family roots.  What characteristics can you identify in your family that you are thankful for or hope to embody in your life?


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