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My wife is from a huge family. Her dad was one of six siblings. And his dad was one of ten. When Amanda and I first started dating, all ten of those patriarchs and matriarchs were still alive, and all but one of them still lived in St. Louis, MO. Once a decade or so, they gather all the descendants and take a giant family picture.
And it just so happened that the summer after Amanda and I started dating was a picture year. We went to St. Louis for the weekend – it also happened to be her Grandpa Joe’s 80th birthday. Friday night was Grandpa’s party. All nine of his siblings were there, as well as all Amanda’s cousins, aunts and uncles – about thirty in all.
I was meeting them all for the first time. It was a lot of names to keep straight.
Then the next day was the big reunion. 300 people all related by blood or marriage. They do this fun thing where each matriarch or patriarch has a color, and all their descendants wear that color shirt. Amanda’s line was orange that year.
So there we were, walking around what felt like a town festival, and she kept pointing out people to me. That red shirt? That’s a so-and-so and their dad’s sister is my dad’s aunt. Oh, that teal lady? She is… and on and on and on.
Finally, I had to stop her. Look: I can really only focus on the orange shirts today (you know, the 30+ people I met last night for the first time).
As we’ve been exploring the Enneagram this summer, I know a number of you (tee hee!) have felt a similar sort of overwhelmed paralysis. There’s so much to learn, and I feel like I could maybe be several of the numbers and wait mine was clear back in June so what was it all about again and…
So today, at the close of our series, I want to assure you. Yes, Enneagram can be overwhelming – sort of like la familia Madrigal when we meet them all in Mirabel’s opening song. But as we review and recap today, take hold of this simple truth:
No matter what number you are, even if – like Mirable – you’re not sure of your gift, exactly, you’re part of the family.