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I’m in the midst of a countdown list of things to do as I prepare for a mini-vacation with family…I will be with my children and all my grandchildren for the first time ever!

While we all maintain contact through various technologies on at least a weekly basis, we definitely look forward to the face-to-face visits with great enthusiasm. At the same time…between all the pre-vacation preparations, the long days of driving to another state, and the fact that I really love my home, I sometimes find it difficult to make the journey. Yet, I’m always glad that I do. The connection we have as a family is stronger than any excuse not to go.

It takes time and energy to maintain quality relationships, whether it’s with your spouse, children, extended family, friends or groups in which a person is involved (such as church, work, hobbies, etc.). Oftentimes, and sadly, relationships can deteriorate and even fade away just from the lack of attention they so desperately need.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received about relationships is that they need to be fed. For example, in a marriage, both individuals need to contribute love, time, energy and respect (plus more!) in order for this vital union to survive. Both people need to contribute to the connection they share. It’s like a three-legged stool. It’s necessary to think of the relationship as a living entity, one of the legs, and the two people involved as the other two legs. Such a stool will never stand on its own with only one individual trying to make it work. A two-legged stool will never stand.

The same is true for ANY relationship to survive…parent and child, friendships, employer and employee, client and customer, or whatever. We must take the time to nourish the bonds that connect us…if we want them to continue.

I find it interesting to observe and be part of the evolution of a relationship. They’re precious no matter how long they last; the memory of a special connection can live in our memories forever. I get a warm, fuzzy feeling when I notice the seeds of a friendship taking root amongst members of our congregation. I melt in the love of a grandchild’s hug. A text from my adult children can turn into a laughing fest. An international phone call from my husband any time of the day or night is a testament to our long-term commitment. By whatever means available, making an effort to stay connected to the ones you care about deepens the joy of living…it helps to balance the three-legged stool…and turn it into a large and comfortable recliner.

I believe and teach that what you think, say and do is returned in some manner to you. How beautiful life is when those seeds of love and friendship are sowed with all you know and returned exponentially from many directions. There is no end to the Good…to the Love. Why not share it abundantly as often as you can!  See you after my trip.

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