The Family Ties That Bind

The family ties that bind us to each other often grow closer as we age.

During the years when my mother’s health began to fail, leading to her death in 2014, my sister and I coordinated visits to travel from our homes miles away, to spend time with Mom.

I boarded a plane in Texas and flew to Florida. My sister met me at the airport and then we drove four hours to south Georgia. Those drives, and the time spent together with our mother, gave us the opportunity to grow closer together and to appreciate the separate gifts God gave each of us.

Growing up, we weren’t that close.

We’re very different in a whole lot of ways.

I’m the younger, pesky sister. She’s the older, courtesy pixabaybossy sister.

I’m the messy, unorganized, no-fuss one. She’s the tidy, organized, fussy one.

In the 60s and 70s I liked Jimi Hendriz and the Eagles. She liked Elvis Presley and Neil Diamond. Oy, vey.

I could go on, but I believe you get the point.

What we discovered during these trips is God put us into our family for a reason, even when we questioned how he expected us to ever get along.

Over the years not a whole lot has changed regarding our differences, but during our time helping Mom, we realized we had more in common than we first realized. We discovered our differences were also our strengths. They were the family ties that bind us to each other.

My sister’s bossy demeanor got things done, while my slower pace brought a calm after the storm. Her fussiness pushed me to do things I didn’t want to do, and my island-time attitude helped her evaluate what was really important.

When she popped in her Neil Diamond CDs on the drive, I pretended to be asleep. Like Bill Murray’s character said in the movie, “What About Bob?” where Neil Diamond is concerned, you either love him or you hate him.

courtesy pixabayPerhaps you have family members you don’t agree with.

Maybe they are total opposites from you.

Maybe they are really annoying, but maybe, just maybe, they are exactly who God made them to be.

And so are you.

We’re all different and accomplish different things. That’s a good thing, don’t you think?

Paraphrasing the apostle Paul, if we were all feet, how much could we get done?

God designed our families with each person in mind to accomplish his plan. We don’t all have the same strengths and we don’t all have the same weaknesses. And we don’t all have to like Neil Diamond.

I wish you well.


Sandy Kirby Quandt

Sandy Kirby Quandt is a follower of Jesus with a passion for history and travel. Passions that often weave their way into her stories and articles. She writes articles, devotions, and stories for adult and children publications. She is a regular contributor to Guideposts devotional books, as well as a conference speaker. Sandy has won multiple awards for her writing, including several years in the Young Adult category of the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. However, her greatest honor came when she received the Right Stuff Award at Space Camp for Educators. Looking for words of encouragement or gluten-free recipes? Then check out her blog at

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