“Tell your children about it in the years to come, and let your children tell their children. Pass the story down from generation to generation.” Joel 1:3
37 years ago I left Pennsylvania, my “home”, with my hubby and baby daughter for what would become a 33 year absence from my extended family’s lives. We spent most of those years in ministry in Arizona, Texas and New York. Unfortunately funds were sparse most of the time until we lived in New York State for just over 4 years, which allowed us to be part of various family events during that brief time.
Back in those days the only form of communication was either post mail or telephone. Unfortunately for our family none of us were letter writers and long distance calls were expensive, so years would go by with only a birthday card or Christmas card as our form of communication.
Like most things, the Internet can have its good and bad – but for me when it comes to reconnecting with my extended family it has been a real blessing. It took a while for most of us to “catch on” to email and now Facebook; some of us still have not ventured into Twitter. For me, I’m still trying to get a handle on email and Facebook let alone learn how to tweet or twit or whatever it is called! I guess I am showing my age!
I returned to live in my “region of my birth” in August 2009 providing an opportunity to reconnect with my extended family. It has been slow – we are all so busy and many still live out of state or hours away, but we are trying to communicate more via the Internet as well as try to get together when one of us is in the area.
Two years ago I tried to put together a family reunion but an unwanted guest blew our plans away – literally! The same weekend we were to have our family reunion Hurricane Irene arrived, causing us to cancel our plans and batten down our hatches. Two years later a few of the “cousins’ were communicating via Facebook where we decided to try to plan another reunion before the storms of winter arrive but after hurricane season.
Most of us realize that we are all blessed to still have all 4 of our “elders” (my mother and her siblings) plus one of their cousins with us. Especially when you learn that their ages range from almost 91 to 77. We wanted to bring them together once again before one of them takes their final journey to their Heavenly home.
For me, I want this to be a special time not just celebrating our “elders”, but one another. My hope is for all the cousins to realize that we are the future of our family. We need to take up the torch that our “elders” so graciously and honorably displayed and continue to lead our family in the direction that our forefathers had laid the foundation of our family legacy. We need to continue the legacy with our children and children’s children by showing how important our family is along with the importance of our family heritage.
My challenge and prayer for everyone reading this post today is that we all must make time in our busy lives to not only honor our elders with our presence today; but to realize that we need to continue to honor our elders by continuing on their legacy by gathering together on a regular basis. It is important to keep the lines of communication open; to be loving, kind, forgiving and willing to realize that though we may not always agree on lifestyles or life choices, we are family for life bound together by blood.
So cherish your family – immediate and extended family. Reach out this week to a family member you have not talked with in a while and tell them how much they have blessed your life.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)