One of the hidden blessings of having a nearly grown Girlie who is starting college this Fall and not going back to high school is that my Honeys' annual fishing trip can now include us girls too!
Well - let me clarify... it's still the boys who will be puttering around the Sound for a few days on the water. But since we are not in full swing of the craziness that is Back to School - we can go along and have a Girls' Weekend with my Sissy and niece, and I can. not. wait.
I don't know about you - or if you have siblings... but I find that I miss my sisters so much so, that often, I am unaware. Do you know what I mean? It's as if it is so normal to feel this emptiness, that I don't even acknowledge or entertain it anymore. I grow dull to the hollowness that only they can fill, but when I begin to plan a trip to see them, or come across a photo of us together, oh my how the Missing Them can surface quick and flood me with Wishing Them Right Here, Right Now!
I count them among my biggest and best "Gifts" and I am oh so thankful for them both - for oh so many reasons! Writing them down would take large amounts of time and many, many journals, but I try to tell them with my words and my actions on a consistent basis! I am blessed because - with either of them - I can fill my tank with gas and in a few short hours, I can end up on their doorsteps to see and hear and hold them, face to face... Heart to heart. (If only they were not in opposite directions of each other?)
This being only hours apart is a gift that I often forget to count... but I am so very grateful for it! I know some would need to travel days... some can no longer get 'there' on this side of things... which makes me want to remember all the more - to gas up and head out and show up more often!
This got me to thinking... pondering, really... and I wonder if Jesus lived with this sort of numbness to the missing of His siblings? I wonder if He caught Himself remembering childhood days and laughter (and bickering) and lives lived out loud together... I wonder if He too was flooded with emotions and a desire to pack up and head home and reconnect. He had brothers and sisters and I admit that I often forget this!
But in remembering it... I am also reminded that now, I am His sister... He is my Brother... and that realization alone answers my pondering question.
Yes - He misses us... He longs to sit with us, over coffee and talk about how Mom used to be and how Dad loves us even if He seemed busy... He wants to slow down time and help us remember where we came from and what has made us into who we are today...
He was fully God and fully man, and if you - like me - tend to forget sometimes that He was also someone's brother, son... then this may hit you straight on like it did me... As much as you may miss your sibling or close friend or family member who lives far away - whether that be in location, in busyness, in spirit... as much as you may miss them... He does too! He misses them... and He misses you.
When we allow our lives to get over-scheduled and over-run with Bossy Lists and things that must get done... when we forget to 'call' or can't quite get away... when we know that He knows that we love Him (and we know that they know that we love them - whoever 'they' may be for you!) - we risk pushing them on down our lists of things to do and get a bit lazy in keeping the connection strong.
We rest on the fact that we are family and we can just pick up where we left off... we can... but should we? Should we let these Gifts of relationship be taken for granted? Our relationship with family; with friends; with Him?
As I count gifts... people are always on the top of my list... and He - well, He is my favorite! I can say it and write it down daily... but oh to spend some TIME with Him... and them... and say it in person, slowly - over the holiness of a meal, or meandering over a cup of something yummy!
This week... this is where I am going:
I will meet with Him (look at those pictures... how can I not?) and I will meet with my Sissy and my Girlie and my niece... I will count gifts that are them... and that are all around us... and I will remember to say it loud and to mean it with all of my heart... "I love you and I am so thankful for you! You are such a gift to me!"
#1444 - A Gift of Summer - more time with My girlie (usually!)
#1445 - A Gift of Summer - Salads for dinner (more often than usual!)
#1446 - A Gift of Summer - Sun-kissed skin... slowly getting tanned during walks, while enjoying meals al fresca on patios and porches and in parks in the grass, and simply relaxing outside a bit more!
#1449 - A Gift of Half: My girlie and two friends spent Half the night in her room, talking and laughing and hanging out. These girlies who have grown up together and have gone through so much - together and apart... from car seats and sleep overs, to college and all nighters... they have remained friends and are the closest things to Sisters my Only Girlie has ever had.
#1452 - Finding Community vs. Creating it... praying about the difference and which route to take!
#1453 - After three days without a land line OR an internet connection, having the CenturyLink tech show up early on Saturday and fix the issue within an hour!
#1454 - (which resulted in a wide open Saturday - no longer needing to stay home and wait!)
#1456 - Visiting a new church... and entering right on in to worship and prayer.
#1457 - An impromptu BBQ with the folks on a Sunday afternoon... the blessing of family nearby and friends like family who show up and hang out slow.
#1458 - An invitation to slow it down (with Jeff Goins) and go for a walk... to count gifts on purpose with open eyes and see what I may be missing...
#1459 - Flowers in bloom, hidden beneath greenery and overgrowth - like a secret burst of beauty...
#1460 - The neighbors dog... obediently laying in her spot as I pass by - yearning for some attention and love! (which I slowed down and gave!)
#1461 - Traveling UP my Dead End road... when I normally head down to the rest of the city... finding seating areas in yards & gardens that speak volumes of Community and conversations!
#1462 - Packing and planning to spend time with my Sissy this week
On Monday mornings, I usually link up with Ann Voskamp at the Multitudes on Mondays
...however today - she is inviting us all to celebrate her birthday with her and Be the GIFT... check it out and play along...
I am also linking up this week with Jeff Goins and taking his Slow Down Challenge
What about you? What gifts (people or otherwise!) are you counting today? I'd love to hear!