Watching Richard with His Family

October 26, 2007

What an experience! I love the Liantonios.

I first met the Liantonios at the 2006 onething conference. I was sleep-deprived, people-overloaded, and unneccesarily anxious about the fact that I was meeting my ex-boyfriend’s family. But there they were… Frank, Joann, and Richard’s younger sister, Amy.

The second encounter was when they came into town during the August Growing in the Prophetic Conference. My roommate hosted a “Meet Richard’s Parents” night at our house and then I spent a considerable amount of time chatting with them during the breaks (and a chunk of one main session) at the conference. That’s when I fell in love. 

When I knew that I was going to be in the same area of the country as the Liantonios, I was quite excited about finding an excuse to get together with them. Connecting Amanda’s parents with other IHOP parents in there area was plenty legitimate for me, so we went for it.

Shortly after Amanda and I arrived in PA, I got a text message from Richard, informing me that THIS was the week that he would be speaking at the Friday EGS. I was initially disappointed, but I realize now that tonight’s experience far surpasses any other potential ways of seeing Richard speak at the service.

First, there was dinner. Amazing food, incredible company. No, wait… that was actually forth. First, there was the initial hello… getting to see the Liantonios again. Second, there was my introduction to Toby and Lucy… oh-so-cute. THIRD, there was the viewing of the baby pictures and various other significant photographs. (…long hair…) THEN came dinner.

As soon as we had finished eating, we ran downstairs to watch Richard speak. After spending about an hour around Richard’s parents, it was amazing to watch him and see the abundant manifestations of the reality that he is their son. Seeing the presence of their personalities, their mannerisms, and their expressions. It was so great!

AND… how great to get to watch Richard’s family react to the things he was saying and the ways in which he says them. Few activities are more fun than laughing at someone in genuine affection with a room full of people who you know love and enjoy him as well. OK, “laughing at” sounds mean… but the kind of laughing I am talking about is totally loving and is simply the overflow of our appreciation of him. That isn’t MOSTLY what we did, anyway. Surely you can identify with those little laughter moments that pop up, right?

It was also really amazing to see their reaction to the things he was saying. The presence of like-minded value and appreciation of certain things. Shared passions. And the areas where his energy and concern for various things has become contagious and infected those closest to him.

I really enjoyed the whole thing. And I really enjoyed sitting and talking to them afterward (while eating the pies that I made this afternoon).

I do not think that I could begin to articulate what it is that I love about Richard’s family… more specifically, my deep and growing affection for Joann Liantonio. In fact, I’m not even sure that I could even begin to precisely identify those things. They are just great. And I enjoy them immensely.

As a testimony to that reality, I give you this. I am not a phone person. I can be pretty awkward on the phone. Talking on the phone is usually quite draining and frequently stressful for me. I just don’ t like the thing about 98% of the time. Like I said, I am not a phone person.

Well… I had an enjoyable phone conversation with Joann that lasted for more than 20 minutes, and all of my brief conversations with Frank were also quite pleasant and left me feeling oddly energized and happy. If I can enjoy talking to a person on the phone, that really says something about them.

Anyway, it was a truly enjoyable evening. I LOVE the Liantonios.



  1. I love the Liantonios, too.
    God’s love just flows in their house.

    I got the biggest kick out of Aunt Cookie, and her amazing mac&cheese.

    What a terrific family!

  2. Ditto, ditto, ditto!

  3. Richard’s message was awesome. And occasionally unintentionally amusing (in fairness: more often intentionally than unintentionally). And that’s not a “dichotomization”. 😉

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