Steve and I absolutely love times when ALL of our children, their spouses and the grandchildren can be in one place at the same time. We invariably retell the same stories that have made us laugh for decades, and we assume old familiar roles — one is the clown, one has the quick wit and unexpected zinger lines, one is sweet and compassionate, one waits to speak and then has the perfect words for the moment, and all of them enjoy “cracking on Mom.” (As I’ve told you before, my funeral will be a roast. You won’t want to miss it). 🙂
The grandkids, in LARGE part because of the years they’ve come to Cousins Camp, also take up where they’ve left off from their last time together with bonds, familiarity, inside jokes and connections. In other words, we “get” each other. Some of it, to be sure, can be attributed to shared DNA. But most, I believe, is because of time spent together and relationships that have ever-deepening layers. We are all very different, but we love each other and have a shared history.
A few weeks ago, I spent several days in Clarksville, Tennessee. I met three ladies — Michelle, Cindy and Karyl — who felt like family members almost immediately. I got to spend an afternoon with one, two whole days with another and only about 30 minutes with the third, but we had a bond. Why? We were/are spiritual sisters. We share faith in Jesus, a love for His Word and for His church. We each try to live our lives in ways that would be pleasing to Him. Two are public relations and tourism representatives. They do an amazing job of showcasing the businesses and attractions of Clarksville to outsiders WHILE they maintain strong marriages and train their children. Their families aren’t perfect, but they trust in God to give them wisdom and guidance. The third lady owns a popular catfish restaurant. She took over when her parents decided it was time to step aside. She oversees 50 employees and hundreds of customers who frequent her place of business. Yet, she doesn’t use that as an excuse to miss church. She just goes to the early service on Sunday mornings. Her parents decided long ago that they would never serve alcohol in their restaurant and believe that God has blessed them as a result of that commitment. One is a Southern Baptist, as I am, but the other two are in different denominations. That’s not important. What IS important is that we share a “heart language.” We have the same foundation and the same motivation for living each day and doing what we do. Clarksville, Tennessee is a great town, but meeting those three women was THE highlight for me.
How blessed we are when we are members of a loving family (the Bible often calls it a “body”) full of blood relatives AND brothers and sisters in Christ!
“So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” – Romans 12:5
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” – Colossians 3:15
Ephesians 2:19-22 – “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
Galatians 6:10 — “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”