Friday, July 2, 2010

Reaching out

A few days ago as I was spending time with my mother, she began talking about one of her first jobs in St. Louis. It was for a factory. They made all the food for the air lines, and packaged it to be sent to the airport. She shared how nasty is was, and in working an eight hour day, she made ninety cents an hour. In working a whole day she didn't get bring home ten dollars for a day's work. We continued on with our chat, and I said to her, "Mom, I didn't know you worked there." I began asking her more questions and she was happy to share.
When I got home, I continued to think about all my mom had shared, and why I never knew she worked there. Well, it's because I never took the time to ask. It was one of those aha moments where the Lord just showed me so much to set me on a new course with my mother. I want to spend more time with her, getting to know her first job, her first love, her summers as a child, and more. I know much about my mother, but I know there is so much more to tell. I don't want to sit back one day and regret not spending time with her. And wouldn't that just make her feel more special, just having her daughter ask her about her passions, and dreams as a child?

I remember when my dad passed away. I was only nineteen. I found myself realizing how much I really didn't know of him. He went to work, he provided for our family, and he loved to fish. He hated hunting. He would rather watch wild life and enjoy the moment. There are special details about him that I remember, but I found myself deep in regret of not knowing more. I was always there, but not there always. It really hurts to know time has passed and I can never gain back what was lost. We not only take life for granite, but the people around us.

It's not just as a teen we get caught up in our own lives. This happens as adults. We become so self centered, we don't ask others how they are any longer and reach out. There is nothing more important that building bonds with others, spending time, and sharing love. Saying, "I am just so busy, and time is just not possible" is a poor excuse when someone is trying so hard to reach out to you. Is it so hard to stop someone and just ask them, "How are you? What's new in your life?" We want others to take the time for us, but we rarely take the time for others. Life is much sweeter when it is spent reaching out to others and being involved in the lives of those around us.

This evening as my son and I were driving home from the movies, we had an awesome talk. One of those heart to heart talks that you will always remember. He shared about wanting to be closer to his brother and sisters, and having friends who are really there for you. I shared with him that you know who your close friends are when you are in a deep struggle, you look around and see who is there at your side, seeing you through. To have a son ask my advice, open his heart and share is quite of gift. He is that giving child. I must say, he has taught me much about life.

We always seem to think we have tomorrow, and that is just not so. As I have recently found my cousin again after not seeing her for years, we are now building a friendship, seeking who one another are, and spending quality time asking questions and listening. I am so blessed to have her friendship and love again after all these years. It is so exciting to be reconnected again after all these years. Reconnecting with friends and family we haven't seen for a while should be priority to us. It seems we are always waiting for the phone to ring, as they too are waiting. Instead, we just need to take that step and reach out. Waiting for the perfect time just creates lost time.

Why is it so hard for us to reach out? We all have those friends who are in our circle, those who are with us through good and bad. Those who bless us with just checking in. Those who bless us with reaching out. I recently had a friend bring me back a wonderful gift from Hawaii. Wow, did it bless my heart. She reached out to me, and gave me love. She is one I can text and ask her to pray for me, and I know right then at that moment she is in prayer.

I have surrounded myself with friends on face book and in other areas who are writers, authors, and speakers. Why? They have the same passions I do. I can learn from them, and they are great encouragers to me. They pray for me. They lift me up, and they ask about my writing. I must be honest and say, those close to me, only a close few ask anything of my writing. And I would so love to share all that is in my heart, and the passions that Christ has given me. But that doesn't always happen. That brings the thought of do we really want to know those around us? Are we really giving an effort to reach out and really know someone for who they are inside? Sometimes it just a smile, and a hello that can begin a great conversation. And time given, leads to an awesome relationship.

I don't really believe friends come and go. I think once you have made a friend, they never leave your heart. They are always there, close by, in your prayers, and thoughts. Friendship adds to our lives. Each one adds something special and unique. I think each friend is a gift from the Lord. We can learn so much from others as they too can learn from us. I believe there are no coincidences. Every one who has passed through my life has been timed perfectly by God who knows just when to send that one special person at that specific time. Every one who passes through has a purpose in our lives. And we will never know if we don't reach back, open our eyes and heart to those around us.

It isn't just friendships, but family. Family are those people around you. Family isn't always blood, but those who call themselves brothers and sisters in Christ. For me, I have lost all contact with my dad's family. They are such a large family, and I have no clue of how to reach them. It is a loss that I feel deep in my heart.

What about you? Are you trying to reach out to others and they are not reaching back? Maybe there is someone on your heart and you just need to put down the business and take a moment and pick up the phone. If they don't answer, just surprise them at the door.

I have friends who right now I am praying for. I have family who I miss greatly, just as my son misses being twelve again when all seemed perfect in our lives. And then, it truly was. We never know when things are going to change, or when that last day will be. Why do we waste our time on nothing, putting relationships last, and putting ourselves first? I don't want to regret another day. I don't want to wake up one day and think, "Why didn't I spend more time getting to know them?"

Friend, I don't know where you are today. You may be missing someone in your life. Maybe someone is there not reaching back as you reach out to them. May I bring hope to you, as my son deeply needed some tonight. Seek Jesus. Walk with Him. Talk with Him. Take time with Him. When we are living in Christ, we can find all we need in Him. He is the One who completes us. He is that family who never leaves, and that friend who is always by your side. He wants to know all about your day and your deepest fears.

My relationship with Christ is most important. I do not want to see His face one day, and have Him ask me, "Where were you when I was trying to reach out to you? Why didn't you spend time with Me? Why was I last on your list? Why was your life so busy, that you couldn't reach back when I was trying so hard to get to know you?" I want to spend the rest of my life seeking Him. I want my relationship with Him to be the best it can be. And it never will until I make changes in me, set aside all that unimportant stuff, and make time for Him.

How do you spell love? T-I-M-E. How much time are you giving? May we learn to show our love to others by the time we spend with them. Reach out to another today. Take the time we say we never have and just simply let those around you know how special they are to you and what their friendship means to you. You might just be surprised at the blessings you receive.
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