Monday, July 12, 2010

Friends and Family: A few (or more) thoughts on the subject

Funny when you need some character improvements how God uses other people to speak. Usually there is a common theme in my thoughts, trials, conversations, and so on and finally I get the hint and say, "OK God, I get it! I need to do a little better in this area."

People are important. Family and friends, in particular.

God is my rock, but he gives us people to help us along the way and people that need my help. Family is a group of people that I didn't get to choose, for the most part, that God says, "You are a team. Love each other, help each other, make each other a priority and serve each other.....even if you don't like each other."

I really have not "gotten" this until recently. Isn't family a tough subject? Some family can be easy to love but others that are not so easy for various reasons. I'm sure anyone can relate. Or maybe they just don't like me! I have to thank the Suderman's for being an example of a loving family for me! God has used them, a family that has many different members, some have been harder for me to connect with than others, but all in all, we are family!

For Christmas one year, my Dad got a package to drive at the Kansas Speedway. A few circles around the race track on Easter weekend. Despite the freezing weather people from all over the country gave up a day or two to come watch and experience this together. That is the kind of family we are, as different as we are. There is a feeling of belonging and security in a loving family.

So, if you are my sister, brother, mom, dad, in-law, niece, step anything, (even my husband), uncle, aunt, or cousin. God has said that I should love you and serve you...even if I don't like you (lol) or you don't like me! (By the way- all of my family has something about them that I enjoy. If we focus on these things and not our disagreements life be a little less stressful.)

I want my immediate family to learn this. Even if there is a time you can't stand to look at each other, you must get over it and love each other until you DIE. That's right. Sacrifice for each other even if you can't stand to be in the same room. That's when we need to ask for Grace!

This lesson took a long time for me to learn, too. My church is my family! They should be treated that way as well. I'm still working on all of this....

Friends, we get to choose. I have been blessed with great people that are not relation to me. Some are close...well, as close as you can be when you have a houseful of kids. Some I consider close even though we don't see each other often. I just know I can count on them and they can count on me when needed, and I love them dearly. Friends have enriched my life beyond what I can describe. Some are "friends" that I am not so close to but would love to be if life ever gave me the opportunity.

Two lessons I've learned:

1. Don't take your friends for granted. Make time for them. They are more important than things, a clean house, TV, or whatever else may take up time. True friends will come over even if you didn't clean up the dishes or laundry. They won't judge you based on if you put your make up on or bought the right clothes. I fear that I have not been as good as a friend as some have been to me. I thank those whom have given me grace when I need it.

2. Some "friends' aren't, and don't need to take up precious time and energy. They can suck the life out of you and break you down for their own enjoyment. They need to be dumped to go live in their own misery...and maybe say a little prayer for them. I have too many family and friends that God has told me I must love to spend it on someone he did not intend for me. I am not saying that they don't need a friend and are not important to God, but going outside of God's plan for us just distracts us from his great plan for our lives!

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