Staying connected with extended family can be a huge challenge. Long gone are the days where everyone lived in the same town. Today families are spread across the globe. Siblings can be difficult to stay in touch with let alone cousins. Families used to readily call on each other for support and help. Today it is more difficult. There have been many times when I wished family lived closer, so I could call on them for help. Recently, I have found myself longing for more of a connection with my extended family. I firmly believe that the richness of the history we share is something my children would benefit from, and I think scripture agrees.
Mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. Luke 1:50
Showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Duet 5:10)
Recently, I was speaking at a Best Life Ministries conference at the Lillian Building in Osakis MN. The Lillian building is owned by my cousin and it is the former United Methodist Church where my grandmother played organ for decades. My parents were married there. The moment I walked through the door I was overwhelmed by the connection I felt to my family and to God. The presence was palpable. The generations of love for God were oozing throughout the building. I am just realizing her living a faithful a faithful life is directly connected to me and my faith. I hardly got to know her, but she impacted everyone around me from my mother to my cousins, from generation to generation.
One of the ways my parents lived out scripture was this one from 1 Timothy. They were always there for family no matter the need. I think a big piece of this scripture is just being present in people’s lives. Being there for the moments that matter and in my case, sending Christmas cards to let them know I’m thinking of them.
8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)
25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25 (NIV).
The icing on the cake was when my aunt walked through the door. I hadn’t seen her in years. I was so thrilled to see her I about hugged the life out of her. We can’t give up meeting together, talking together, staying connected. God intended us to stay connected to our past, our extended family, as a gift to our future generations. That might be the blessing of Facebook, but I want more. I want real conversations, real connections. God loves us so much that he promises continuing His love to our descendants. That is BIG love. My Grandmother’s love for God is effecting my children who never met her. What can my love for God do?
Will you join me in reconnecting? You know who you need to call or visit. Will you do it? What are you going to do to stay connected with family? Share your connection story in the comments below and we can encourage each other.