Thursday, October 12, 2006

And we're back!

Don't we look like a bunch of tourists?!
We arrived safely home on Sunday evening and it has taken me a few days to get back into the swing of things around here. Disney was fabulous. For some wonderful reviews and great pictures, you can visit Mickey Miss's blog.

I can't recall the last time I felt so relaxed. Last year, at the first Shine event, we had such a wonderful time, but the relaxation factor wasn't very high as I was 36 weeks pregnant and came home to a bit of a panicky situation with Hurricane Rita heading our way.

This year, I enjoyed the true meaning of vacation. Relaxing, no worries, enjoying the company of my wonderful family. What more could anyone possibly want, except more? I suppose that's why vacations are so great... they only happen occasionally and for short periods of time.

I'll post over the next few days some of the events and photos of our trip, but tonight, I wanted to share one of the most meaningful experiences that I had while on vacation.

On Tuesday night, we all had the opportunity to dine at O'Hana's in the Polynesian Resort. 18 of us showed up wearing our SHINE T-Shirts ready to eat and enjoy each other's company.

Towards the end of our evening, the Chef came to visit our table. He inquired as to what exactly "SHINE" meant. I was somewhat stumped. It was one of those moments that one knows something in their heart, but can't quite put it into words. SHINE is one of those things that SHOULD be put into words. So I thought about this long and hard the rest of our trip. My beloved Brother in-law, Deo, stated that in his view, SHINE represented our family's ability/willingness to come together, putting aside any differences that we may have and just loving one another. Beautiful. And how blessed we are to have that opportunity. I don't know many families that would be able to do something that sounds so simple. I don't know many extended families that could or would ever want to spend 8 days together in the same house doing everything they possibly could together without getting into some sort of scuffle about something. How truly grateful I feel to be a part of such a family.

Don't get me wrong. We are far from perfect, but one thing is for sure, we love one another. More than words can say. We are honest with one another, sometimes too honest, but we always love each other. This family is the one I married into, and is the one I have always dreamed to one day be a part of. How blessed am I to be a member of this clan. The term, "in-laws" I find offensive. These folks truly are my brothers and sisters.

Whilst thinking about what SHINE means to me, I had to elaborate a bit on what Deo stated.

What exactly is SHINE?

We put all differences aside and share our love with one another. Why? We do it to glorify God and all of His goodness that is represented by the familial bond. We do this because He asks us to.

As a member of this family, it is important that we find good works to do as a family so that others can see His mercy, kindness, and glory.

We strive to continuously honor and thank Him for all that is good, just, and right.

We SHINE for Him!

For me to have the ability to call these people "my family" is one of my greatest blessings of all.


MC said...


You hit it on the nose: we SHINE for Him!

And every additional "component" that is added to the family, either through marriage or birth (or becoming best friends at culinary school) changes the chemistry, enhances it somehow. The whole is definitely only as wonderful as it's individual unique parts ... as families should be. Now if we can just get that through to the "Titas" ...

Blair said...

What a blessing! I feel very similar about my husband's family, the one I always dreamed of, not perfect, but we love each other, help each other, enjoy each other's company, and I have yet to see a family fight or argument. I hope our little family can be the same.

Can't wait to hear more about Mickey :)