Tuesday, February 7, 2012

my thoughts on relationships

Coming off a busy week - and weekend. Days seem to come and go so quickly sometimes, which makes me realize how important it is to slow down and take in each moment for what it is. Savoring each conversation, experience, and moment, that weaves through the unique relationships I hold; this is something I've been practicing this past year. I want to make the most of my time, which means making the most of my relationships.

I've learned that relationships are nothing without first making my relationship with Christ the most important. Investing my time with him is something to strive for on a daily basis, which I so often fall too short. It's hard to isolate a time in the day where I can be still and know that HE IS GOD. Having a special prayer time - not just me talking while going about the daily routine, but actually sitting down to spill my heart before him - this has proven to be hardest for me, but always reaps the greatest benefits. Intimate conversation with a friend is something that brings  us closer together; why would it be any different with Jesus?

My second priority has to be my family. The challenge here isn't finding the time to be together, but rather, using the time we have and turning it into positive, relationship building experiences. Sometimes I just want to come home and sit in front of the TV for a couple of hours, which isn't all bad all the time. But, each moment - each experience - how many do we have? If I've been able to at least share my day with my husband and actually listen to his re-cap of the day, then I consider this a small but significant piece of our marriage puzzle. Each conversation can lead to another, and this is where the bonding and building begins. We have also found some common interests and activities that we enjoy doing together. For us, sometimes it's cooking, and other times it's walking to the park together as a family. We can sit, talk, and enjoy, and Lincoln can run his legs off...definitely a win/win! The bottom line for me is not to make a big ordeal into finding a special time where we can connect and have that deep, eye-opening, conversation, but to find solace and blessings in all the little moments we share together. They all have meaning and purpose, and each moment is a blessing.

Beyond family, I am blessed to have special friendships and so thankful that God has filled those voids in my life with just the right people at just the right time. Through many moments and circumstances I have been through, I have realized that friendships come and go - for various reasons - and it's so important to invest in each others' lives to the fullest. Obviously, we can't all be best friends with one another, nor would I want to be best friends with every girl I meet! But, each person that comes into my life, God has a reason and a purpose for. It may or may not be that we were destined to be close-knit kindred spirits, but there is a reason. I may have something to offer them - a listening ear, a chair at a table for dinner, $4 for a coffee, or maybe just companionship and prayer at a time when they are desperately in need of it. But, it's in blessing others that I in return have been blessed and grow closer to Christ. Some of these invested relationships have, for me, lead to wonderful friendships with dear sisters, and others, not so much. Sometimes, I think, investing in someone else can bless them in a way that I may not understand, and that's okay. Do it all for the glory of God.

In the busyness, I try to remind myself (and sometimes still forget!) not to allow daily tasks like cleaning, cooking, laundry, and sometimes even work, to come before experiencing the joy to be had in each moment I have to look at my sweet child's face, in each cup of coffee or lunch-date I share with a new (or old) friend, and in each laugh or cry I can share with someone, which has the added benefit of growing even stronger yet another relationship. It's in each of these moments that I experience blessing upon blessing, and with that comes extreme gratitude for all these gifts that this poor soul is so undeserving of.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17