Sunday, November 21, 2010

We're Thankful

This weekend began the 9 days of Thanksgiving break for the Brannans.  I love our school district for giving us a week off for Thanksgiving every year.  It's a blessing to be able to relax, shop, and see friends and family before the craziness of the Christmas season begins.

We are particularly blessed this Thanksgiving to have attended a "family reunion" of sorts in College Station.  Mark was adopted by a Student Adoption Ministry family in college through First Baptist Bryan, and the Nelsons have been friends, supporters, and family to Mark during very formative years of his life.  Their love was graciously extended to me when I became a part of the "family" Mark's senior year at Texas A&M.  They are a fun couple who love the Lord and love the Aggies.  What could be sweeter?  This weekend, their son, Kyle, celebrated his 16th birthday and the adoption ministry kids from the past 10 years returned along with Kyle's blood-relatives to wish Kyle a Happy Birthday.  The Nelson's influence on a decade of Aggies was evident as we gathered and immediately bonded in our "kinship" in the Lord.  It was like Mark sat down to talk with brothers as they visited about life, "man-stuff", and family.  The wives laughed and awed over the birth of a new baby into the "family".  It was like heaven...a variety of backgrounds, races, and families gathering in fellowship around the throne of Jesus.  He was at the center of it all, and He tied us all together in love, even though some of us had never met.

Mark and I spoke for a long time after our wonderful visit with the Nelsons about faith, family, fellowship, and the importance of mentors in the lives of our children.  Mark said at one point during the visit, "We know we won't always be the best parents and that our children probably won't listen to us.  But when we surround them with people that love God and speak truth to them, maybe they'll listen to them."  It's true.  We're not naive enough to think that our kids are going to think we're wise and hang on every word we say, but wouldn't it be amazing if every direction they turn they run into a Godly man or woman who directed them to the same Jesus we speak of?  What if the cloud of witnesses cheering them on could be evident on this earth, not just in Heaven?  How much harder would they run their race?

Mark and I have taken note of the method the Nelson's have used in raising their own children.  It's not just about free dinners, doing laundry at their house, or having a home away from home for these college students.  For the Nelsons, it's about pouring into their "adopted children" the love and truth of Christ, and seeing them, in turn, pour faith, belief, and Christian mentorship into their children as well.  It's not a selfish pursuit; it's the body of Christ.  We were made to sharpen one another, provide discipleship, and be upheld by our fellow soldiers in the Gospel.  This race is not run alone...

I am thankful for the body of Christ, for the family we have that exceeds boundaries placed by man.  I pray our children will know the kind of love that God has shown us through people like the Nelsons.

BTW...GIG 'EM AGS!

5 comments:

Kat said...

I cant wait to be a part of Zane's extended family! We love the Brannan's!

Amanda said...

That is so cool!

Brad and Lauren Holmes said...

I love that Cimbrey; it was really refreshing to read your post on mentoring and the body of Christ! I am pray the same thing for my children as you are praying for Zane.

Erica said...

I LOVE how you said that...especially the part about our kids being surrounded by Godly men and women. I have never heard it put in those terms, and it makes such great sense. We try to do that, but it makes a difference to really define that purpose. Loved getting to spend a little while together!

Michelle said...

Hey y'all! Been praying for you guys...hope all is going well with getting Zane home! Merry Christmas!