"At the end of the day, they will always be there for you."
At least, this phrase is often spewed from my brothers' mouth about our family when his little sister wants to skip an opportunity for a family dinner or holiday.
Sometime in high school, I vividly remember being told, to my face, that my family was weird. At the time, I was very hurt and probably even cried about it, but in hindsight, maybe I agree more than not.
Uncanny, abnormal? The Janzen's? Okay, yeah.
My dad? A pastor. My mom? On a mission to save the world. My brother? An aerospace engineer, ultra-marathoner, Everest hopeful, and much more. Me? A princess engineer.
Which of those left you speechless, judgmental, or very inquisitive?
My response if you were;
speechless - We aren't normal, but you aren't normal to us either. There is something to learn from everyone.
judgmental - You can't judge a book by its cover. Wait to judge until you meet us, we will surprise you.
inquisitive - Let me answer your questions before you ask. My dad is a LUTHERAN pastor, therefore he can have a wife and kids. (After all, God gave Adam, Eve.) No, he was not that strict with me growing up, my mom was more so than he, which balanced each other out quite well. Since he didn't become a pastor until I was a child, we moved a lot so that he could to go to seminary, do his vicarage, and then become settled, so my mom was never able to become established in her career of teaching. She is saving the world because she will do anything to help another human. My mom is the most giving person I know. As for my brother, he does everything. I can't even start a list because it would not encompass everything. He is incredibly humble however, so he would rather talk about you than himself and has a tendency to underplay his many feats, so do me a favor and give him some positive compliments the next time you talk to him. Lastly, myself. I could talk for hours about myself, so just read the past 6 years of my blog posts.
Why would one think we are "weird"?
Yes, we had family dinner every night at 5:30pm (and I mean every night, until I moved out), we go to church every week, we joke about "Berea's mountain emotions" and my mom "shooting up" (in reference to taking insulin for her diabetes). We didn't have alcohol at any family function until after I turned 21, saying "oh my God", "OMG", or "Gosh" is not acceptable in our house, it is not uncommon for my brother to casually mention having been out of the country last week, or spending a family day together in an art museum, or getting Christmas presents from my mom that she got free with rebates, and the list goes on.
So, maybe we are weird, but I wouldn't trade them for anyone. It is certainly ALWAYS interesting in our family and I like it.
My dad has taught me about every aspect of life; from baptism, to marriage, to funerals. Like; being conscious of how not to slam the communion wine like a shot of alcohol, the only answer to why you want to get married is love, and how to deal with loved ones who have Alzheimer's. My mom has taught me a lot about life in regards to the morals she wants to teach me. Like reminding me that beauty and outward appearance is not important to God. My brother has taught me how to take care of my body and to "live your life".
So, thank you family. I love you.