My husband and I have four adult children which does not seem possible. It seems like just yesterday they were all still at home and busy with all their activities at school and church. Life flies by when you are not looking and soon you have one child married with a wonderful wife and a beautiful daughter and the other three busy in their own lives going to college, working, and figuring out what it is like to on your own. One thing that is cool about having older children is seeing them as adults (knowing how they were as children) and spending time with them. It is almost like you're getting to know them all over again.
We have almost survived the college years with at times two in at the same time. We have helped move them each several times. A couple have had a few first jobs. I remember the beginning of one summer a few years back when we had a high school graduation, a college graduation, a wedding and one preparing to go on a 9 month mission trip. There's always something going on... Well, we are adding another thing to our list of life memories.... our youngest is engaged and planning her wedding for early next summer. It is very exciting. I went the other day to help her try on wedding dresses! She was feeling anxious to get that marked off her list and of course, the gal said most of the time you order your dress a year out from the wedding. Yikes! She only tried on a few and we were pleasantly surprised - she found one! We had planned to have a group going along like some have on the wedding dress show on television, the mother of the bride, the sister of the bride, the sister in laws of the bride, and the best friend but it was just me. Sorry, girls! The first couple dresses were very pretty but when she walked out in 'the one' you could just tell!!! Yes, I cried!! ( Side note: luckily it did not cost as much as the ones on the tv show. Our 'price point' was not $4000-$5000! Yikes again!!)
Which brings me to my point of this post - four different children, four different personalities and different stages and situations in life. Loving them all so much, still wanting to take care of them all, wanting to please them all, and not wanting them to be upset. Sometimes, we as humans make things harder on ourselves and on each other, don't we!! It makes me think about and wonder how my mother of eight does it and it makes me think about times when I've been upset with or at odds with some of my sisters and brothers. My poor Mom!! I'm ashamed of myself! But still I continue to let things bother me at times. I wonder what God thinks about it all. Actually, I think I know because he is constantly reminding me that I need to love - sometimes it is the hardest to love those closet to us.
I was reminded last night as I watched a Beth Moore video called "Loving Well" that first we need to allow God to love us well and then in turn to love others with His love that flows in and through us. She talked about the 'Joys' in our life that are easy to love, the 'Testy' people that challenge us to love them, those she called 'Far' who are those we meet in our daily life that we need to show God's love, and the hardest of all to love, the 'Foe', those that for some reason have hurt us beyond our comprehension. I struggle on a daily basis with the 'Testy' and 'Foe' in my life. I know I need to allow God's love to love those people until I can and I know that He will help me with this.
Another thing Beth said in another bible study was that we need to be encouragers of each other in these times. That 'the evil one' hopes we don't get along with our sisters or brothers, (our real families or even, our church families) and that he in a way wins when we choose to be upset or petty like we can be sometimes. I'm again challenging myself and you maybe, to love 'all' people with God's love. I'm reminded of 1 Corinthians 13 where it talks about what love looks like - it is something we all have to strive toward. Thank heaven God is willing to forgive us when we fail and continues to love us no matter what so we need to forgive others with that same love.