Have you heard that saying before?
Have you lived that saying before?
This past weekend we finally had Christmas with my Dad and family. It was nice, extending Christmas into the 2nd weekend of January!
It's a challenge because our extended family is, well, extended.
Extended in part because of geography. My Mom lives a little more than 2 1/2 hours away, so we have to be intentional about visits. My Dad lives a little more than 2 hours away, also an intentional visit. We are blessed because my Mother in Law and one of my Fathers in Law live about 20 minutes away. It's nice to be close, we also work for the same business. My other Father in Law and his wife live in Connecticut. Haven't made that intentional trip yet.
If you've followed the above, you'll notice that our family tree sprouts outward as much as upward. The kids have 4 sets of grandparents. No wonder the kids bedrooms are bursting with toys! As for Darling Bride and me, who wouldn't want two sets of in-laws? (In theory becuae our in-laws are great, especially Darling Bride's in-laws - grin).
Divorce and remarriage takes its toll on us children, even when we're grown up and have children on our own. On Christmas night, Darling Bride asked me if I was going to call my Dad and wish him a Merry Christmas. My reply was that I'll be seeing him soon, I can wish him a Merry Christmas then. By contrast, excitement was in the air as we anticipated the visit of my Mom, brother, uncle, aunt, and cousins in a couple of days. When I think family, I think first of my Mom's side of the family, second of Darling Bride and her extended family, and then my Dad and his side of the family. Family ties follow when growing up, and now, as a grown up, it is time to be intentional about pursuing all family and friends.
That's why our Family Mission Statment includes Core Value and Strategy #2, "We love others by intentional relationships." After Jesus said first to love God, He quickly continued by saying that we should love others. That is hard to do even in the most favorable of circumstances.
Our full Family Mission Statment is:
Together, we discover, nurture, and fulfill God's will and plan for us.
Core Values and Strategy:
- Loving God by Authentic Worship
- Loving Others by Intentional Relationships
- Loving Wisdom by Worthwhile Learning
- Loving Creation by Excellent Life Experiences
In a few I'm having breakfast with a good college friend. Haven't seen him in 2 years. There's no excuse for that! Other than we both love and serve our families, our churches, support our families, love the same Lord, but that's what happens when we are not intentional.
It's additude, too. This morning as Darling Bride and I prayed over our breakfast, she reminded me to remember a particular family in prayer. I took a few seconds too long to remember why I was remembering them. There's no excuse for that, either!
That's why we do it together as a family. It's not good for me to be alone. It's not good for Darling Bride to be alone. It's not good for the kids to be alone (notwithstanding the fact that they aren't old enough, anyway).
Christmas time was great, with all of our extended family, too bad it is over. But thankfully we chose to make the time to be together. It is worth it.
Putting in writing that we choose to "...love others by intentional relationships..." is hopefully not a fun exercise just because. My hope is that we would really do this.