“When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want?
Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn't they matter most now?”
This has been on my mind lately. I think my relationships already matter the most now. At least I say they do. I feel like they do. But what do my actions show?
When I am around people am I engaging in conversations? Or is my mind elsewhere? I think about calling my brother and sister, but how often do I actually call them? I want to make new friends and get to know people, but it's a lot easier to just stay in my little bubble.
So I'm trying to not just think about creating these relationships, but actually working on them. We can let life happen, or we can make life happen. If you just let life happen, you will look back and wish you did more to grow and develop those relationships. I don't want to let that happen. I want to make people a priority.
During this season of my life it is difficult. I am busy with the most important relationship I can build, and that is the one with my children. Something we've done as a family that I think might be the one thing I've done right is come up with a family mission statement. It sounds super cheesy, and if my family ever told me we were going to have a family mission, I would undoubtedly laughed in their faces... well when I was a teenager. Which is why I'm glad we started this when they are 5, and think everything is awesome. Our family mission statement is simple, but it says more than what's on the surface.
It's a scripture from 3rd John.
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
And then we defined what truth is for our family. Our truth is, Loving One Another. Our truth is not having any secrets. Our truth is working hard and playing nice. Our truth is repenting. Our truth is respecting people, places and things. Our truth is picking each other up.
These are all things the kids helped come up with. They have ownership of it. And just when I was at my wit's end thinking this was all for naught I overheard a conversation between Olivia and Abigail. Well, it was after 8:30 and they should have been sleeping. But I heard talking and I was about to go in there and bark at them to be quiet and go to sleep. But instead I stopped outside their door and listened. Olivia was praying (I could tell by her voice, it was totally her prayer voice) and she was thanking God for sending her to a good family, and for everything she has. And then she said amen, and then she recited our family mission statement. And then she asked Abigail, "Abigail, how did you walk in truth today?" And they had this cute little conversation. Of course Abigail said something about being good or loving God or something and Olivia was correcting her and telling her, No tell me something like RESPECT! Or something like that. Anyway then the last thing I heard was Olivia say, "And I'm adding another truth, SLEEP!" And then it was quiet. And with my hand still on the doorknob, tears just streamed down my cheeks. This moment was so precious to me. Even though they scream, argue, and drive me absolutely bonkers, they are good. They are so good. And they are mine. And I'm doing my best, and hey, hearing a moment like that makes me feel like I'm not doing too shabby. And that was humbling. And I start too many sentences with "and". My 9th grade English teacher would have none of this. Sorry Mrs. Ensor!
I'm rambling now because I'm tired, but I like the sound of my fingers clanking away on this keyboard. And words are coming that I think I will like to read again in a few years.
But yeah, relationships. What is more important? So if we are friends, I'd like to be better friends. And if we aren't friends at all, I would like to be your friend. And if we are family, we should talk more, and talk about more important stuff. And if you're my husband, I love you and our relationship is the most important in my life. I hope we never get to a point in our life where anything is more important than our relationship.
And now I'm really rambling and it's almost tomorrow, and kids will be yelling and screaming and crying because they don't know about how important relationships are yet, and how damaging it can be to bite each other and pull each others hair, so I better get some rest so I can teach them all about it in the morning.