Wednesday August 1, 2018
I have a sister that lives in the Southwestern United States. It is where she moved after college, where she met her husband, and where her children grew up. My niece and nephew have stayed with Brian and I on and off each summer since they were preteens! It was a way for them to enjoy their midwest roots and allowed our kids to get to know their far away cousins!
This summer is the last time we will be together in that setting. My niece moved here to continue her education and my nephew will be getting married and continuing his education. It is a bittersweet time for all of us. We’ve been having so much fun remembering all those past summer memories and rushing to make the remaining ones that we have time for.
Way back before I became such a health food nut, we did frequent fast food establishments. When my niece and nephew were here, we took a few “late night” trips for food. One was to McDonalds and one was for Chinese food. Both were brought back to our house and enjoyed in the family room with each other. My kiddos were pretty young back then and I’m not sure they even remember it. But my nephew did, and we decided to re-create that moment before he leaves us at the end of the week. Since I refused McDonalds and he did not want Chinese – we compromised on Chick-fil-A.
Since he is marrying a woman who’s family owns Chick-fil-A’s he informed us of the “nugget tray”. It may not be on their menu but it is a pile of yummy chicken. If you’ve never ordered before give it a try. Here is what a small nugget tray looks like (we ordered the fries separate)…..
In talking with my nephew, we both said that his living far away allowed us both to have a cousin/family relationship quite different then we would’ve had otherwise. For my husband and I, we were able to be “Auntie and Uncle B” in the most special way because we were with each other almost 24 hours a day. We were responsible for these two people while their parents were thousands of miles away. How blessed we were!
It made me think about the fact that so many people walk into and out of our lives on a pretty constant basis. Many people walk with us on our journey of life for a season or two and others for a lifetime. God knows that sometimes the burden of life will be too much for us to handle. He wants us in harmony with others – he brings others into our lives – to “make your load lighter, because they will share it with you”. – Exodus 18:22 Just last night I was texting a friend about our relationship. I told her that I felt that she was one of the ones who seems to love me for me. Even when I don’t tell her exactly what she wants to hear. I turned to my husband and told him how blessed I was to have her as a friend. How wonderful it was to know that we each had someone that could tell us hard, uncomfortable truths and know the other won’t run away. I know that – so I am assured she would be there whenever and wherever I am in need of her.
One of my favorite stories in the bible reiterates this. Exodus 17:8-13
The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up – one on one side, one on the other – so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
People…..we NEED each other. We need community. It’s much more then mothers and fathers or aunts and nephews. It’s our neighbors, our churches, our work, and our friends.
Who can you love on today?
Who’s arms can you hold up today?
Who’s burden can you carry?
Who’s load can you make lighter?
This world is LITERALLY a nugget tray filled up with God’s loved people!! Today let’s be present for someone. Today lets be an active listener for someone. Today let’s pray deeply for someone. May be that someone is a person that is different then us. In doing any or all of these things, we can be a blessing to others, the blessing of being the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth. Someday, someone will turn around and do the same for you.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2