Words of My Life 3: Family
In ongoing celebration of my Jubilee year of 50 years in ministry and 70 years of life, I am sharing some of the words of my life.
A week with our children and their children: What a sweet time! What a great adventure! They all left yesterday. I am joyfully weary. In my time with Jesus this morning I reflected on my time with my family.
What did I desire for this week together?
Connections: With Steve and me and with each other, sisters refreshing, cousins getting better acquainted.
Fun: Adventures. New experiences. Expended energy. Creativity. Shared activities. Wild and crazy (yet safe) time and quiet play. What did we do? Legoland, the beach, tubing, boating, swimming, Super soakers, bounce balls, plasma cars, art projects, Legos, K-nex, soccer, badminton. And stories! Books read and read to, stories heard and stories told. And naps for the little ones.
Conversations: With the babies—just covering them with words of love and joy. With the older children—listening, asking questions, encouraging, affirming. I found out all three of Debbie’s boys—at this young time in their lives—want to be scientists, with an emphasis on birds of prey. With my girls—how I love having them as friends!
Our Father: That God would be at the center of our conversations and activities. That we would pay attention to opportunities to assure each one of God’s love, to affirm busy moms in their wonderful parenting skills, to help a frustrated boy learn to love his brothers and treat others the way you want to be treated.... Taking turns saying grace at the meals. And sweet bedtime prayers.
And much more.This morning it hit me. God has very similar desires for my time with Him—whether it’s a special getaway, or an opportunity to touch lives, or just our every day visits.
Connection: Surely this is one of His highest priorities. If only I would grow to desire to be with Him as much as He desires to be with me.
Fun: Joy. Laughter. Enjoying Him forever. I am sure God loves to have fun, adventures, new (to me) experiences with me. He likes to be invited for the wild and crazy and is surely there for the quiet times. And it brings Him great joy as we discover and develop the talents and gifts He has given us.
Conversations: I know the Father loves to talk with me—with each of us. He has invited us repeatedly. He listens to all I have to say—my desires, my concerns, my fears, my frustrations, my hopes…. I imagine He wouldn’t mind if I talked a little less and listened a lot more. He speaks affirming words of love and grace. He encourages and applauds. He gently admonishes and warns. He strengthens and enables. Why would I ever miss such a conversation?!
My Father: I’m sure, even as I so desire to give more to my children and grandchildren than I can or than they can receive, my Father desires to give more to me than I am willing to receive. He waits patiently for me to open my hands, and my heart, to let go of my idols, to surrender all to Him and His love. Silly me for thinking I know best.
And best of all: I may get these special family times once or twice in a year. But I can have such time with My Father, the God of the universe, any time, all the time!
What about you? What do you love to do with your family? What does God love to do with you?
C2014 Judy Douglass