Saturday, March 17, 2018

Tueller Family

March 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Faces of God

Matthew, Erin, Adrian, Casey; center- Steve, Laurie; front-Cody, Tanner

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.

~Jane Howard

Every now and then, you are blessed to meet a family so extraordinary you want the world to know them, too.  It is that way with Laurie and Steve Tueller and their seven children.  They live in Laie, which is about ten minutes up the highway from our home.  Four years ago they came to Hawaii from Idaho where Steve is the Budget Director with Bringham Young University Hawaii.  Their son Cody and my son Alexander are friends.  Erin and Adrian are returning from serving in Uganda, Africa through a humanitarian group based in Denver.  Matthew attends BYU Hawaii.  Casey is working full time earning money toward college and an LDS mission.   Cody and Tanner are home schooled.   Amanda returned to God when she was 3 1/2 months old.  Laurie says the best way to have heaven in your home is to have someone from your home in heaven.  At the spiritual center is God and at the familial center are Laurie and Steve.  It is gratifying to be in a home where all members of the family know and love God and it spills over to each other.  It is literally the fabric of their lives.  They live it.  You can see it, hear it,  feel it and touch it.

Our sons brought Laurie and I together.  She spoils us with her fabulous meals and her sweet dinner rolls and fresh out-of-the- oven cinnamon rolls.  She ignited my desire to get back in the kitchen.  If I only learned how to make those rolls, it would be worth it.   If you had tasted them, you would have begged to learn, too.   She invited me into her kitchen where she demonstrated how to make her to-die-for breads.  The kitchen is an extension of her heart.  She could create a feast with her eyes closed.  I left her home with about two dozen rolls, a jar of the most decadent home-made blueberry jam ever, a bag of home-made granola, instructions in making my own yogurt and a joyful heart.  Laurie will support me through chemo with meals and transportation to treatment.   We laughed as she assured me being in the hospital lounge area curled up with a good book for several hours would be a treat!  What seemed like a cooking class was actually the beginning of God showing me a deep level of giving.

The Buddhists talk of three kinds of giving:  when you give someone what you no longer want, when you give what you think someone should have, and true giving.  This is when you give what someone wants or needs.  Through Laurie and her family, we are experiencing true giving.  It is unconditional, without judgment, backed with pure, unwavering faith and friendship. She simply asks what I need and it is given…period.  Isn’t that what God promises us?  It’s a heartfelt outworking of an aspect of God.

This past weekend I watched the movie “Funny Girl” with Barbra Streisand.  As she was singing “People Who Need People”, I agreed.  If you need people…correction, if you know you need people, you are indeed among the luckiest.  Needing people opens your compassionate heart so the Light of Love can pass through you to others and in doing so your own heart is cleansed.  People are like mirrors and can reflect back to you all that is right and wonderful and true.  If you don’t need people, you are rejecting yourself.   Be open to needing people and right in your own backyard there might be a Laurie.

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