parenthood

The world said good-bye to the Braverman’s last week and I’ll admit, there were plenty of tears shed at the Cooley house. If you haven’t watched the show, what are you waiting for? You can stream it on Netflix. The first season wasn’t my favorite, but get through those first few episodes and you’ll fall in love with this family.

What made the show so great was how real the family was. Life is messy and complicated, but they loved each other no matter what. They are funny and dysfunctional and a little crazy. All things a family should be.

When I watched the love and respect the 4 siblings have for each other, it makes me so excited for our kids to grow up and be friends. (Confession: Adam and I talk about wanting 4 kids and part of the reason is that the Braverman’s have 4 kids. Ridiculous I know, but true!) There is a moment in every episode that I think to myself (or say to Adam if I’ve convinced him to watch with me) that I hope our family is that way. I want us to talk about the hard things. To never leave each other alone. To show up for every concert, game, and recital, and cheer each other on no matter what.

As I thought about the things that I loved about the show (and am seriously considering starting it over from the beginning), here are the things I will remember:

They aren’t perfect.
Everyone knows no family is perfect. And there are plenty of flaws in the Braverman clan. But that’s why we love them. We can relate to them! Whether it was losing jobs, adjusting to a new baby, dealing with in-laws, unfaithfulness in marriage, dealing with cancer, or issues of race, they dealt with it. They fought. And it wasn’t always pretty, but they came through every conflict, stronger.

They fight for each other.
My favorite example of this was Joel fighting for his marriage. Clearly, he and Julia both had issues and were ready to throw in the towel and get a divorce. I loved how the show handled this. No matter how you cut it, marriage is hard work. When you bring two imperfect people together there are going to be moments when the easiest option will seem like walking away. But when you love someone, you are willing to fight for them. To forgive. To sacrifice. To work together to make it work. That’s what marriage is all about.

They support each other.
Adam supported Christina when she ran for Mayor, even when he wasn’t sure about it. Jasmine encouraged Crosby to keep the Luncheonette open, even when it meant she had to take a job she didn’t love. As I watched these storylines unfold, I couldn’t help but compare them to areas in my marriage where I want to support Adam’s dreams and goals, even if I don’t know what the outcome will be. We need to be each other’s cheerleaders, to believe in encourage each other.

No matter what, they love each other.
Sarah wasn’t thrilled that Amber was following in her footsteps and having a baby when she was young with a dad who wasn’t in the picture. But she still supported her decision. And Camille and Zeke accept each of their children and grandchildren with open arms.

I pray our family, the little Cooley tribe that is taking shape, grows to love each other well. That we are our own best friends and biggest fans. I know it’s easy to look at other families, both on TV and in real life, and wish your family looked like theirs. And I don’t want to fall into the comparison trap. But I do want to turn to these families as examples of what family should be.

Why do you love the Braverman’s? Thursday night won’t be the same without them!

bottle-and-glass-of-milk

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

1 Peter 2:2-3

I’m in a Bible study on 1 & 2 Peter from SheReadsTruth and the other day Laura texted me this verse. It hits especially close to home as I’m still exclusively nursing Foster, sometimes multiple times a night, as well as every 3 or 4 hours during the day. He depends on my milk. And when he’s hungry, he tells me! Even though there are moments (especially at midnight) when the last thing I want to do is get out of my cozy bed and go downstairs to feed him, he needs me, and as a mom, I take care of him.

Soon Foster will start eating solid food (crazy! He will be 6 months old in February!) and he will be less dependent on my milk. He will still need to eat, but he will start to be able to handle things that are a little harder to digest.

In the same way, I need spiritual milk to survive. If I want to grow in my faith, I have to depend on God and seek him for sustenance. It is something I should crave, like dark chocolate or red wine. I get filled up with “milk” when I pray and read the Bible and study God’s word.

I have read these verses before, but this time, the end of verse 3 really stood out to me. “you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

Once I taste the goodness, grace, and mercy of the Lord, I should long for more. It isn’t a duty to read my Bible and pray and share his love with others. It should be natural.

God created us to be like infants. We have to depend on him. He wants us to cry out to him. He longs to feed us and give us good things. When I’m hungry, alone, scared, unsure, or just need comfort, God wants me to cry out to him. He’s always waiting to feed me, comfort me, love me, hold me.

I hate to let Foster cry (and maybe that’s why I’m still up with him at night, but sleep training is a whole other topic!), but as a parent, I know that sometimes he needs to cry. It’s how he communicates and sometimes it really is best to let him cry himself to sleep. But as his mom, I also know when his cry is because he’s hungry. And then I am quick to pick him up and feed him. I can’t make everything better (oh how I wish I could save us both from the pain of teething!), but when he’s hungry I can feed him.

I love how God uses our stage in life to teach us and grow us in our faith!

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