Strict//EN" ""> EAGLES' REST: Sibling Rivalry Done Right

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sibling Rivalry Done Right

Children are a blessing to parents. Sometimes you have to ask God how that can be when the kids are in that 2-year-old thing, or when they sleep through their early teen years. But, God says it, so it's true.

Well .. that even extends to grandchildren, too.

Our older son, Brian (hey world .. he's about to turn FORTY SEVEN!!!!) and his sweet wife Natalin had two children. That's them, Matthew .. on the right .. and Meredith, on the left. And what a blessing they are to Peg and me.

I can honestly say that they're best friends. This summer, as the past two summers, Meredith is a children's ministry intern at an SBC church in Tennessee, and Matthew and Meredith talk on their cell phones nearly every day. Can you imagine?

Matthew just completed (except for one night course) his studies in computer sciences here in Birmingham, and Meredith has one more year of Bible College (she's answered the call into children's ministry). They live at home, which is about ten miles south of us, and both schools are north of us, so they have been stopping in here several days a week for lunch, or to just hang out between classes or before some activity here with their friends.

What a blessing that was. And that's enhanced by many years of Sunday lunch, at our house, after church, with both sons and their families. That happens every Sunday, with whatever family is available that day. Brian is a Station Captain with our city Fire Department here (and hence he works 1 Sunday in 3), and Brad travels a lot, plus Connie works some Sundays, so we never really know how many are going to show up. And the grandkids drag some friends with them, to our house, every now and then. What a treat that is for Peg and me!

Oh, in case you wonder why I'm such a lout to allow my wife to have to work that hard every Sunday, we go to prayer meeting at 7am on Sundays; I get up at 5am to prepare for Sunday School and she gets up and fixes lunch and leaves it on time bake to it's ready at 12:15.

See, when she was young, her mom cooked in the cafeteria at Lindbergh Grade School in Lebanon, IN. Plus, Peg had two sisters, two step-sisters, and two half-sisters, so Peg's mom never knew how many were going to show up for Sunday dinner. We saw anywhere from 6 to 20 people around their table during the years we always went to their house after church. And there was always plenty of food; in fact, Peg's mom usually sent some home with all the kids.

Speaking of family, isn't that what we're supposed to be in the church? Family? If it's true, then why don't we learn something from what we embrace in family life?

I'm reminded of those times when we got together with all Peg's family. Her dad died a week before she was born, and her mom remarried when Peg was 7 years old. Now, Peg's father had 4 brothers and 3 sisters; Peg's mom had 7 brothers and 1 sister, and her step-dad had 4 brothers and 2 sisters, so family functions had a LOT of people running around. I remember Christmas get-togethers at Peg's Uncle Theo's house. Theo was Peg's mom's brother, and a single man. We'd sit around and play Euchre (still my favorite card game) all afternoon and we'd swap tables and partners every hour or so. I remember thinking what a privilege it was to be part of that and to be shown respect.

NOW: there was every sort imaginable at those gatherings. Folks with alcohol problems, a school Principal, laborers, religious folks, non-religious folks, you name it. But we were there because we were family. The first few years I was the only wise-acre Big City Guy in the crowd, and I figure there were those who didn't have much respect for that. Can't blame them; I don't have much respect for what I was then, either. But I was Peggy Sue's husband, by gosh, and they treated me as though I were what I actually was.


Say, isn't that how the chur..... uuuhhh .... hmmmm ....naah ... I better not go there. We're supposed to hold our families up to the church for comparison, not the other way around.

Aren't we?


At 9:07 AM, June 22, 2007, Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

All that talk about Bham is making me homesick.

At 9:19 AM, June 22, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Hey what are friends for?

At 2:45 PM, June 22, 2007, Anonymous marie said...

Awesome family!!! Where was your side of the family?

Your grandkids are soooo cute! They're brother and sister and they talk on the phone everyday? You'd make millions if you could figure out how to bottle that!!!
And what an awesome legacy they have!

If you ever start a community of fellow believers like those in Acts, where they had "everything in common", count me in! The world will never know what True Love is until the "Bride" starts acting like true family.

Thank you for sharing your life!

At 3:27 PM, June 22, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Marie: Dad had one brother. He left his family so not much contact there, and my grandparents on his side lived in New York.

Mom had two sister; one had two kids and lived on a farm; one adopted a son rather later in life. Not a lot of interaction with them as by the time we were married, that side never did much family stuff so we never saw tham.

At 8:04 PM, June 22, 2007, Blogger Karen Scott said...

Brother Bob,

Family gatherings and good times make for GREAT memories.


At 9:45 AM, June 25, 2007, Anonymous Ann said...

"White collar, blue collar" and you forgot "no collars." I saw you in SA. Thanks for what you did. Ann

At 6:00 PM, June 26, 2007, Anonymous bryan riley said...

Friends are for this: when Kevin and his family shows up without a place to stay in Bham and no prospects for at least two months... open home to them. :)
Now there's the Body of Christ. :)

At 9:44 PM, June 26, 2007, Anonymous The Granddaughter said...

I would just like to point out to all your blogger friends that you conveniently left out the part of Sunday dinners where we have to endure the many MaNy MANY corny (no pun intended) jokes and or stories dished out (once again no pun intended) by you!!!
Just kidding... kind of!
Hope everything is good with you and Grandma. I miss both of you bunches and can't wait to come home and visit and have some of that good food you're talking about!
FYI: Your blog picture...Disturbing :)

At 10:02 PM, June 26, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...


If you read this again, I apologize for the scandalous comment somebody using your name made, above. I'll be happy to remove it if you'd like, but it serves to point out how sweet my granddaughter really is, since that's OBVIOUSLY not you that said that terrible stuff.


And we do miss you too, sweetie. I'm having to eat your portion of all that luscious food.


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