My sister Andreia has always valued family highly. She has four beautiful and focused children, and is married to Derek, a man who is a partner to her in the best of ways.
Both have developed the trait of self-control and discipline as well as I have seen anyone do. They take care of their souls by following God’s spiritual teachings and participating in a community of faith. They value their bodies with exercise, powering their bodies with proper nutrition. They value relationship and education by taking responsibility for the schooling of their own children. Andreia has been her children’s primary teacher having taught them at home. Though the children have had public schooling, she prefers to do the work of helping them develop personally into their God-given potential.
I admire that.
When Derek and Andreia got married a few years ago, John and I still lived in San Antonio. They traveled from Oklahoma to get married closer to where our side of the family lived. My parents and John’s mother came from the Houston area for one night of solemn and joyful celebration. Derek and Andreia started their life as man and wife in a chapel in the Texas hill country.
Being not only frugal, she found a chapel in the hills just south of Austin that was free for use. The chapel was built in a medieval style, with open walls looking out into the rolling hills dotted with Austin rock. We were a small but fun party, taking in our love for each other and God’s good gifts of good weather and beautiful surroundings.
My father officiated. Nephews Holden and Jackson, and my John stood with Derek. Nieces Ava and Audrey, and myself stood with my sister. Holden also did double duty as photographer! In the audience were my mother and John’s mother. (Derek’s family lives in Minnesota and they had a celebration with his family later on.) Music was provided by John’s mother who quietly sang the wedding song on that cool and breezy evening.
I value Andreia’s sense of getting the best value for her money so she and Derek can get more out of the life God has given them. The children are learning from this example and are well-connected to their parents. Happier children you won’t find anywhere.
My sister and her husband enjoy running, hiking and doing activities as a family. They travel together on field trips to nearby places or take vacations that feed their souls.
Andreia and Derek don’t do rules-based religion. They do relationship-Relationship to God and then to man as Jesus taught. They don’t defer to family or church what they need to and can do themselves. As best as I can tell it, this is the essence of being self-controlled; being grateful for and cooperating with the Good Gifts God gives us through our own abilities and opportunities. It’s a component that works in conjunction with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and faithfulness.
Self-control without its siblings is harshness. But Andreia is not so; she has a good sense of humor, an extension of bearing the fruit of the Spirit. I am understanding more as I live that this has been a good trait for her in good times and a healthy mechanism in trials. It keeps her rudder facing forward and undeterred. In Derek, she found a man of like-values.
She and Derek run an engineering company, and she has lately started another business of her own. What they do for work and family time feed each other materially and spiritually and they don’t pretend at anything they do. They just are who they are.
There are seasons where Derek and Andreia will train for running races. It’s a sanity pill, a joy to stretch their legs and a relationship builder. It’s their way of thanking God for the good bodies they’ve been given.
Derek is a quiet and gentle man. I am still getting to know him as we get together. He works diligently in all he does, whether bringing in an income or playing a board game. Andreia compliments his focused manner so they can move interdependently on their life-journey.
I hesitate to write too much more as they are private. I respect that. But I want others to appreciate this special couple and their children that are my honor to have as family.
Dear God, thank-you for my sister Andreia and the fact that she and Derek are self-controlled in all they do. I have always wished and still pray blessings for my sister, abundance running over, that she, Derek and their children continue reaching their God-given potential in all they do.
God’s been so good to give me the family I have.