God cares who you are on the inside

1 Peter 3:3-4  What matters is not your outer appearance…but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.

For the past several years, life interfered with my being able to travel to Europe to see different relatives I have in Ireland. Somehow, it didn’t seem as though it was more than thirty years since I’d seen them, but when the actual math was done, (yikes), it was. Busy working and raising my family, it was easy for the years to pass and not realize how long I had missed the privilege and blessing of visiting other family. It was a pang and a “loss” realizing how much time passed since we shared the camaraderie of reminiscing about former family times.

And I was struck by how much I missed during that time, how much they missed, and how important continuing to be in touch is. Obviously, we’d all gotten older, but we missed our extended families getting to know each other–our children did not know one another. It felt sad in many ways that so much time had been lost when we missed out sharing special events of one another, how lives were progressing and changing, and growing. But it was rich reconnecting.

Life is so special with folks who sometimes are related through blood, and other times related through ideas, values or beliefs. But people enrich our lives, and often times are huge blessings; this is a toast to those relatives and friends of mine who have blessed my life.  

A lot of what made this trip so special was sharing the memories and genuine love these folks had for my parents.  My parents had made wonderful memories with these relatives—sometimes humorous, sometimes, deeply touching, but it was an overwhelming feeling of love they shared for my parents.

Sadly, so much time has gone by. But now, I have initiated the trips again, and it is important for me to continue seeing them every couple of years. My children are now adults, and they have never been to Ireland. It is time they get introduced to the homeland, to the relatives who live there, and experience the Irish culture. Yes, they have met the relatives who have come for a visit…but not the same. They need to feel who their grandparents were from the relatives who knew them from the early 1950’s until their deaths.

I am so thankful I resumed getting to know them again. They are a blessing to mybellaviews