Last night we went to a cook out at my husband's aunt and uncle's house. This aunt is his mom's sister. He and his first cousin, Cindy were born only about 12 hours apart, and our kids are the same ages, too. Cindy has an older sister, Jacque whose son Max is about the same age as my oldest, Brock. Did you get all that? lol All together, there were four boys and two girls, and did they have fun playing with each other.
We had a cookout with way too much food and a table groaning with sweets of all kinds - cookies, pies, ice cream. Then we went into the backyard and watched as the kids played. It was wonderful watching them run around and have so much fun. They didn't have any tech toys or expensive things. Mostly it was balls and baseball gloves and cornhole and racing each other. I even played kickball with the kids (of course, now I can hardly walk since I twisted my ankle in my sandals which were not made for rounding the bases! lol)
There is just something about watching the innocent play of children that is almost magical. Maybe because childhood is so fleeting and the days seem to feel like water running through your hands.
The evening came and a chill hit the air. We all started to shiver. So Uncle Lee started a fire in his little fire pot thingy. We drew our chairs around. There was laughing and giggling and teasing and playing. I took a picture of all the cousins together which represented three families. I thought as I looked at the picture, they will see this photo of all of them together when they are older and remember this night as one of those perfect times. We'll probably say to each other as we get older, "Remember when..."
It occurred to me then that I am so lucky. I have my parents right here in town with us. My husband has parents, plus extended family, right here in town too. My kids have cousins that they see and play with all the time. My youngest son and his cousin Jonathan are almost inseperable. (I think Brody would like it if he could have JJ live at our house one week and then go live at his house the next week and so on lol)
But not everyone is surrounded by family or even friends. I and my family are blessed. God just nudged my soul last night and said, "Share your blessings." So, the next holiday that rolls around, I'll be looking for someone whose family is maybe far away or who has recently lost a loved one and will be spending their holidays alone. Loneliness is always lonely but it just seems to be magnified on a holiday when it seems like everyone else has someone and you don't. I'll be praying for those I know of that are far from home (like our troops in Iraq) or are newly widowed or that have lost a child.
It would be fairly easy for me to start to feel guilty about my blessings, but that isn't what God would have me to do. HE blessed me and to feel anything other than thankfulness and privilege is a slap in HIS face. BUT, I do believe He wants us to see our blessings and not take them for granted, and then out of that thankfulness and gratitude to share them with others so they in turn can feel God's blessing too. So, as we head into the balmy days of summer, I'll be looking around for people I can share my blessings with. That is the best way to tell God thanks!
~ blessings, Bronte