Monday, August 19, 2013
Taking Tips from the Robertsons; Making Family Time Priority
As we've been watching each episode, we are realizing more and more the importance of family time and those precious relationships that are often overlooked and under appreciated.
Growing up as the baby of four daughters who were spaced apart by many years, plus having older parents and many miles between kin, we did not have the luxury of having cousins our ages to grow up with, nor grandparents to gain wisdom from. Then, when I met Rick, though he had many cousins, aunts and uncles, it was not something set as a priority as we began our own family.
Having three grown children who have each gone in different directions, unfortunately there is still that lack of big family gatherings, shared recipes and memories, and home-grown traditions. So how do we change that? How can we somehow reclaim family time that provides life lessons and lasting memories?
1. Be proactive. It's never too late to begin a new tradition or look for ways to improve. Plan a reunion; have a family photo made; start a memory book and ask each family member to write something in it; plan an outing for an afternoon or overnight retreat. Whatever you do with your family in mind will aid in bringing your loved ones closer together.
2. Pray for unity. Often our families have inward strife that keeps each other away. Continually pray for your family to be unified and strengthened; drawn together and bound by love. Ask God to show you ways to incorporate family time in your daily, weekly or monthly activities.
3. Seek those outside the family unit. There are many singles, couples and elderly who are also without family. Many of these feel isolated and alone. Be open to those who may need a friendly invite to a barbecue, or other family function. Who knows, but you may gain some dear friends in the process.
4. Protect the time you do have. Often we get so bogged down with our daily schedules that we fail to maintain or nurture relationships within our own families. Remember, a job is just a job, but family is for a lifetime. What you put into it, will be what you get out of it.
5. Consider adoption or other community outreach. So what if your kiddos are all grown? Perhaps this is a great time to think of adoption. There are many children waiting for a loving home. Why not open yours up to "new" family members? Or, how about finding a place within the community to serve others? When we give of our time and service, pretty soon we find purpose and meaning...and, often we make wonderful friendships along the way.
Today, Rick and I are looking for ways to make family and friend time a priority. How about you? Like the old scripture says, "God sets the lonely in families." (Psalm 68:6a) Who can you and I bring into our homes and help make new memories and lasting relationships with? What are you doing to strengthen the relationships that you already have?
As Jep Robertson would say...."Faith, family, and facial hair," and all in that order, Jack!