My mother was a story teller. She loved to sing and she developed my love for poetry. She would see a bird hopping on the ground or a lizard running in the yard and she would entertain me by making up a story about a conversation they may be having. She did this all the time. Sometimes she would be cooking or baking and I would hang around her in the kitchen to watch as she made the biscuits or the cookies or whatever she was doing; she would carve out a toy or a flower, a little person or something she thought I would like. She would add it to her tray in the oven or in the frying pan just for me.  These little things cost her nothing to make and it made me so happy that they are forever in my long term memory of gifts I can pass on to my children and grand children.  Those loving gestures strengthened my bond with her because I knew by her actions that she loved me, I was special to her and she was always thinking of me with love in her heart. Those fond memories caused me to want to duplicate them with my children and grandchildren because I remember how those small and simple gifts made me feel. Today, I watch our son as he gently cares for his 10 month old with love and excitement and it warms my heart to see the peace, happiness on their faces and the strong bond between them.

We had our grandson for the weekend and as I was rocking him to sleep, I was singing a lullaby I learned from my mother. I honestly can’t tell at what age I learned it and since our children are all adults, I have not had the need to sing it for many years; but my mind recalled it when I needed it because my mother used to sing it to me as a child. Most of our special family moments were not caught on camera and they cost us nothing. It didn’t cost us anything because we did not attach a cost to it. The time we spend with each other and the simple gestures of love, care and kindness we share with each other will remain with us forever and become a legacy we pass on to the next generations because the greatness of our families is not measured in the size of our bank accounts or our connections with influential people; instead, it is measured in the size of the wealth of loving and joyous memories we hold of each other.

Strong families are created they do not emerge out of thin air. They are formed by setting aside time for each other, and by actively listening and being there to show you care. Thus, we create tender moments that make for strong family bonds.  So many times parents become too wrapped up with work and electronic gadgets that there is no time for sharing at the dinner table because the television, the computer, the cell phones, the network meetings, and iPads are taking our attention away from each other. While technology has served to bring convenience and save time in our everyday lives, they have also served to create stress and  take us away from our family causing our relationships to become strained and disconnected, creating feelings of abandonment.  Soon, we don’t really know or trust each other anymore. We don’t know how much each family member cares or whether they really care. Faith in each other becomes diminished due to lack of communication and interaction, resulting in us growing apart. Eventually we outgrow each other, move away and seldom visit. Instead we keep in touch by sending each other junk emails every now and then because we lose touch and have very little to connect us to each other.

Well, let’s compare this with our relationship with our father in heaven.  Though we have physical lives we must not neglect our spiritual lives because we are citizens of heaven and we are the children of Yahweh and belong to His family. We have a relationship with Him through our relationship with His son Yahoshua (our brother). Would you describe your relationship bond with Yahoshua as strong? Are you aware of the little things He did for you this week or did He do nothing? Do you have constant conversation and communication with Him about your day, your thoughts, your feelings about work and family, and your feelings towards Him? Do you make plans together or do you carry that burden all by yourself and refuse His assistance? Do you get too busy to pray because the phone and all the other electronic gadgets and friends and family, meetings and social events keep you too busy?  Remember, your relationship with Him is more important than your physical relationships because it is He to whom you will turn  for help to fix your broken relationships, broken family and when you need a miracle. It is He who will provide you with strength to face each day at work in this miserable world.   So don’t ignore your spiritual bond because without it, all you physical bonds will fall apart.

Take some time today and every day to lock yourself away in the bathroom if necessary, and spend some time with Him. Add this as an event to your daily calendar and make sure to keep that appointment. It may be 2 or 3 ten minutes or fifteen minutes appointments per day or per week, until you can increase the time and do it more frequently.  If this seems difficult, then on your first appointment tell him about how you are having a hard time keeping your appointment with Him and ask for His help to keep those appointments.  If you are willing to try then He will help you. But if you keep putting it off, then He will know that in your heart you have grown away from Him and He is no longer a priority in your life.  So make it a habit to talk with Him daily. Eventually, your weak bond will become strong and He will move to the top of the chart on your priority list.

I wish you strength, boldness and courage to grow in  faith!

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