I've been visiting with my grandkids over the past two weeks, enjoying my daughter's family. It's been great to be with them again! Unfortunately, we had to leave for some meetings before the baby came, so it was a sad parting…but then again, isn't it always?
The Lord has been so gracious to me yesterday to allow me to hear from all three of my children who are not living at home! Jonathan called in the morning, Stephen in the afternoon, and Kathryn and I texted back and forth in the evening. It is such a blessing to know that each one of them are serving the Lord in their own churches. I do not say that boastfully, because I know they are made out of the same dirt I am…but I'm thankful they are faithful to their churches.
Kathy is expecting baby #3 any day now. She was actually due on the twenty-third, but we are praying that the Lord will allow her to go into labor on her own rather than be induced later this week.
Jonathan has a new job, working outside in the heat in the south. I'm praying that he will stay hydrated and survive; I'm sure his girl is too, since they are planning a wedding!
Stephen works the bus route at his church faithfully, and really enjoys working with kids. Lord willing, we will see him in a week or so, and I'm looking forward to it.
I've been thinking a lot lately about relationships; it's the stuff life is made of. Good relationships = good life, bad relationships = bad life. You would think that dedicated Christians would have the very best relationships in the whole universe, but sometimes that simply isn't so. All of us have a sinful nature, and all of us have those fleshly, selfish desires. It is only when we are walking in the Spirit that we are able to truly love like we should.
There is a married couple that I know who were separated, by choice, for about three months. No, the man was not in the military and on a short deployment. It was not even an argument that culminated in a "I'm outta here!" sort of fight. The wife went to spend the summer with her daughter, while the husband, a pastor, had some young pastoral interns stay with him and help him in the ministry. Is there something wrong here? Am I missing something?
These folks are my age, and I can tell you, some couples slow down a little bit, but they don't slow down that much, if you know what I mean! If I was a bettin' Baptist, I'd say something's wrong with the relationship.
I got an email recently from a dear friend whose home is collapsing. The young people are disrespectful, the father works long hours, and the mother is heartbroken. The relationships are non-existent.
Please, people, I beg of you…do something special with those you love today. Don't let your relationships experience neglect, for they are tender plants, and they will wither and die.
I have a houseplant that was given to me by a dear friend years ago. It is the only living thing other than children that will fit in the bus, and I think it's beautiful. Through the years, I've taken care of it, watered it, protected it from heat, and kept it from the cold. After our bus accident, while the bus was being fixed and we were without a place to stay, I took my plant with me everywhere, carrying it at my feet in the van for two months, taking it into the motel, or prophet's rooms, or wherever we happened to land at night. It's dear to me, and I will tell you why.
Long ago, I felt that the plant was representative of my relationship with my dear friend. So every time I water the plant, I pray for her. I take the time to write her letters, and we talk on the phone. The plant is a visible reminder of my friendship with her. As I invest bits of myself into the plant, I invest bits of myself into my friendship.
Let's try to invest ourselves in our loved ones. Don't let your relationships disintegrate.
I will try, Lord Willing, to take some posts and talk about relationship building. I'm definitely open to comments. What do you do to help build your relationships?