One moved down south a couple of hours, because of a job opportunity. Our youngest moved in with us, along with her husband and daughter. My oldest son and his family, after several temporary homes, moved back into their former home.
So, it's been busy, and it all confirmed that moving is still not one of my favorite activities. But... this is part of life.
Family is important
Susan and I are delighted we've been near our children and grandchildren over the past several years. But things have changed and are changing. One of our sons moved out to Texas last year for a job. Our daughter, who lived two blocks from us, lives two hours away, but is still close enough to visit on weekends.
Our youngest daughter and her family are moving to Germany in mid-October. This will make seeing them and visiting a lot more difficult. But my son-in-law is in the Navy and he has his orders. The good news is that we get to enjoy them in our home for several weeks before they go, even if it's a bit cramped for them.
I think our oldest son and his family will be in the area for a long time. Still, they're farther away than they've been the past few years. But they're pretty anchored in the area with work and ministry.
Distance and time
There was a time when we were separated by several time zones and thousands of miles. For fifteen years, we lived overseas working with two ministries, so we've really appreciated the time we've enjoyed being so close these past several years.
Family has always been important to us, even during our pastoral ministry days when, to be honest, it was hard on our family. Time was at a premium most weeks. Each year we made a point to take a family vacation for a week, two weeks, even three weeks some years. School and sports activities were a major part of our life too, and we were committed to staying involved with our children's lives outside of church ministry.
When we were separated by oceans and time zones, we committed to be all together at least once a year at Christmas or during the summer. It surprised us that this bothered some people, but the value of our family was always greater than the opinions of others, and the impact it had on our wallet.
We are blessed
Labor Day weekend is typically an end-of-summer, beginning-of-school family holiday. We didn't travel anywhere special, nor did we go camping or even to the beach (so far), but we are blessed as a family.
While many families enjoy special activities and events, it's not like that for everyone. Some families are spending time in hospitals, others visiting family members in prison, other families are scattered across the continent or perhaps homeless, and still others are without family.
This is where the church has great value when it functions as one, big, extended family. This doesn't mean under one roof or one locale, but as a community of people who see value in one another, and who care for others who need a family.
Happy Labor Day!
What are you doing this Labor Day weekend? Labor Day is a holiday with a history, an American history. If you're an American, you are blessed beyond what you understand, even if your present circumstances aren't what you hoped.
We have a great heritage as a country, but the heritage of families is one of the most important things that contribute to our national heritage.
Whatever your circumstances, look for something to be thankful for, and if you have family nearby enjoy them.
What does Labor Day mean to you?
How is family valuable to you?