Summer Series: Growing as a Family

Togetherness

When I think of how we can grow together as a family in Christ this summer I think of intentional activities and times spent studying God’s word together.  I think of sweet time reading gospel centered children’s books to my kids, and playdates with our Christian friends.  When in reality the phase of life my family is in, this is a loosely grasped idea.  Our household is busy and full of energy, and short on patience on my part.  So even though this is how I would envision for our family to live as a family in Christ, this doesn’t happen as often as I would like.  However, God provides us daily with ways to show His love to others.
Recently through an injury, God slowed my life pace way down.  He showed me that I needed to practice being together more with my family, and to learn to slow down. I lost my ability to drive and get up and go, for several months. While it was very frustrating, God showed me very clearly it was time to reorganize my priorities in life.  I needed to step away from having a mindset on finding the job that would pay me the best for my skill set, and find one that allowed for more time together as a family. Through changing jobs, I will not only gain more time to spend with my family but I will also receive the ability to be together with my church “framily” more.   
Through slowing my pace down, I was able to see more of God’s daily blessings and life moments.  One day when I was out with my daughter we were approached by a homeless lady at the store asking for money.  I looked down at my daughter, and felt God urge me that this was a teachable moment. Because at the young age of 6, she will receive more of a lesson on God’s goodness through doing.  I pulled some cash out of my wallet, and handed it to my daughter to hand to the lady.  As we walked away I asked my daughter did she know why we gave the homeless lady money? She responded with no, and asked was the lady poor.  I used this moment to tell my daughter that we share the money we have with others, because Jesus blesses us.  That Jesus was always a helper to people in need, and for us to live like Jesus we need to do the same. That simple act of kindness led to a full blown discussion that day about God’s goodness towards us, and how we need to bless others as we have been blessed.  Several times since then my daughter has spotted someone on the road side asking for money, and she reminds us we need to share our blessings with them.  I smile every time because that simple act, has led to growth in not only her mind but her heart.  That simple gesture showed my daughter how we need to live, as Jesus lived.  
I challenge you to look for the opportunities and moments God is presenting you with in your life right now, and think how can this be a teachable moment. How can it be a moment for you to bless others, and to show the love of Christ that is in you. How can you live in family or “framily” with those closest to you as a representation of Christ, and show His love to others?  Maybe you have a young family like me, or you are single.  Christ calls us to live together as a community/family, and to be the hands and feet of Jesus. As we say at Capstone all the time, be a missionary where you work, learn, live, and play.  How can you live that out, in a realistic and tangible way?  Maybe you can organize a play date with some of your kids friends, or a lunch date with your own friends. I challenge you to have my daughters mindset, and “look for the people that need money.” Keep your eyes open to help others, what may be a few bucks to you could feed another person.  Of course not everyone you meet will need money, but everyone needs a friend and community.  Maybe it can be a simple as blessing a family with a new baby with a meal. How can you stand in the gap, and help provide that need for another.  Even the simplest of gestures can show Christ’s love, and make a difference in someone’s life.

“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
Matthew 18:20