Heart for Uganda

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Lessons from our Large Family

Posted on November 17, 2010 at 6:30 AM

I have never been a member of a large family…let alone the head of one. Growing up it was only my younger brother and me within our household with either my mom or dad. We enjoyed our separate rooms and reveled in our lone activities. In college, I did not live in the dormitories or pledge a sorority, so I did not experience communal living like so many others. As an adult, I lived with a couple of roommate, but we always had our individual space. Before leaving for Uganda, Antwain and I resided in a quiet home in Kansas City.


I have always been fascinated by the workings of large families, marveling at the patience and organization of parents of large families. The relationships that are formed within large families are intriguing to me.


Now bring here in Uganda, our family may be non-traditional, but we are a family nonetheless. Our daily household contains myself, Antwain, 15 Big Boys, and at least 4-10 SMK kids at any given time within our house.


The following are some of the little tidbits and observations that I have gleaned from our household. With only 3 months of living together, this list makes me smile. I am eager to see what else I can add at 6 months, 1 year, and beyond together:

  • Laughter is contagious!
  • 4 hands are better than 2, 8 hands are better than 4…and 40 hands can accomplish anything.
  • Everyone has their own place or way to contribute. It helps our household run.
  • Nothing beats a home-cooked meal at the end of the day, especially when cooked together.
  • Micromanagement will equal insanity.
  • No two relationships are the same…everyone has a special place within our family and with each other. Each has a special place within my heart!
  • Only put out about 1/3 of the food that you have bought at any one time.
  • Music, football, and soap operas are common joiners… everyone will come together when either is present. It just can’t be helped!
  • Fighting muddy feet prints on the floors and finger prints on the wall is a losing battle!
  • Celebrate the small successes and rejoice in the simple moments.
  • Must let go of the daily mess…it will be cleaned eventually.
  • Every talent should be recognized equally…we have scholars, athletes, artists, dancers, musicians, handymen, electrician, chefs, technicians.
  • Always expect the unexpected.

Categories: New home