This picture is the screen saver on my wife’s laptop. It was taken during a family photo shoot and was not actually one of the intended poses. We were changing positions when I turned and cheesed it up for the camera, at which time our friend and photographer Karen Peebles seized the moment. It turned out kind of fun and it was a keeper.

As I was on Julie’s laptop and noticed it displayed across her screen, I realized that it held significant reminders of my role and relationship to my family. As I looked at it with a new perspective, I realized the following:

  1. I am to be out front for my family.  I am to be in a position of sacrifice to ensure their security. If a wave comes in unexpectedly, I take it on while they enjoy the benefit of my effort. I stand in between the threat and them.
  2. As I look at the rest of the world, my family is a filter for how I view things. They should be a part of my lens for all that I see and consider. With my family as a lens, my vision is focused on the benefits, threats, costs and opportunities as related to their well being, not just my own.
  3. My joy matters. If my attitude and expression is positive, they will see it and be impacted by it. If I am overcome with worry, anxiety, anger or other expressions they will notice that just as much.
  4. While we have much in common, we also have differences. There is room for indiviual expression outside the uniformity of family culture. Sometimes there is an ankle bracelet, sometimes not. That doesn’t damage our unity, it strengthens it.
  5. Unity brings comfort and confidence. My family will be best equipped for what faces us when we face it together, hand in hand. There must be something that keeps us together even when faced with trials. For us, that has always been a faith which starts with me, yokes Julie and I and is on display for our children.

Joy is in the perspective.

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