Initially I had planned to do an update blog of sorts, but I was reminded of something much more important today... Family. Family isn't just those that you were born to, or your siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. Family are those in your life with which you share a bond that cannot be severed. They are the ones that encourage you, love you, and hold you accountable. They are the people that you can call when you're having a crummy day, when you're sick and don't want to be alone, or when you have praises and need to share them. They are the people that help shape you, where you can find comfort and know that through it all they'll still be standing beside you. I know that I've been blessed time and time again by the wonderful people that Christ has brought into my life. I have my sisters in blood that know my quarks, my passions, and my hurts, and they support me regardless of it all. We share the same parents and many life experiences. They are the two women that have walked many journeys with me, and will continue to. I have my sisters in Christ that I'm so grateful for. I'm developing beautiful friendships that have Jesus at the center, which makes them incredibly special and precious to me. I also have this wonderful extended family, made up of people I have adopted along the way (and praise God, they have adopted me back), and friends of my parents that have been around for as long as I can remember. They have supported my sisters and I through the most difficult life experiences, and they still reach out to hold us when they are near. And then I have my church family, many of whom I don't know but am learning to step out of my comfort zone and become acquainted with. I have people all around me that I can call (if I could knock down the pride that often times stands in the way). I know there are people out there that don't have immediate family, they don't have special friends with which they can call and lean on. My prayer is that God's children will reach out and welcome each of those people in as family. We all need relationships in our lives. God gave us family and friends because we weren't meant to go through this life alone. Our Pastor, Stan, gave a heart touching sermon today on family. I want to share just a few of the high points that we all need to remember as we go about our lives. It's so easy to get busy and wrapped up in ourselves and own activities that we forget about those around us.
*Love one another (love was NOT intended to be hidden! Love is to be expressed and shown)
*Build each other up (make sure you aren't tearing down those closest to you)
*Accept each other (accept those for who they are now, not who you want them to be)
Focus on the good, accept the bad
*Be thoughtful... do the nice things that you don't have to do, but the things that make life a little sweeter or easier for someone you care about; be aware of other people and their needs
*Be committed to each other and sacrifice
*Don't take anyone for granted!
I think this is one of the most important. We aren't guaranteed any days on this Earth... tell people you love them and how much they mean to you. Tell them how much better your life is because they are in it... how wonderful and special they are. It takes only a minute to share tender moments, and they last so much longer for those that receive them!
My prayer tonight is that each of you have many blessings to count, and that you know how much you are loved and appreciated, and that you are cared for. I love you all, and I'm so thankful for each relationship. So many times you are my examples of God's love for me.
7 hours ago