Nap Time Notes on Family

Little Miss Naomi fought and fought to go down for her nap today, but she is finally out and I have just enough brain power to type out a few words.

This past Saturday we said good-bye to my sisters after they spent a week spoiling (deservedly so) their new niece. It brought so much joy as I watched my sisters love my little girl! It was fun to see my sisters’ personalities come out as they played and cuddled with her. Naomi is one blessed girl to have my sisters as her aunts.

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We spent the week mainly trying to stay cool in the Arizona heat that seemed to spike the moment they stepped off the plane, but we were able to create some fun memories. Like the one pictured above when we went on an early morning hike through Sabino Canyon.

When we said goodbye at the airport yesterday, I shed plenty of tears because I was once again reminded that we live very far away from my family and most of Jason’s family. It’s hard to live states away from loved ones because there are so many things we can miss out on. Holidays, birthdays, weekend family get togethers, etc. It can be easy to dwell on the things that you miss out on, but I’ve learned a few lessons during my 3.5 years of living a plane ride away from family.

1. The time that I do spend with family is priceless. The memories that we make and the discussions that we have around the dinner table feel more intentional. I truly want to hear about their lives and learn about what is going on in their heart. I know my time with them is limited and so I want to capture each moment. Even if it’s done while shopping at the mall to escape the heat!

2. I have to find family where I live. When Jason and I first moved to Tucson, we knew that in order for us to feel grounded in where we lived, we needed to find community. Thankfully we were able to find that quickly at our church. We have celebrated Thanksgivings, Christmases, 4th of Julys, birthdays and countless other occasions with our Tucson family.

3. It takes intentionality to stay in touch. Phone calls, texts, FaceTime and emails have made it easier to stay connected. Thankfully we live in a day-in-age where technology makes the world a little smaller. It still takes some work to stay connected, but it is so worth it.

4. Live where I’m planted. This one is similar to finding family where you live, but I think it needs to be reiterated. It’s so common now for people to be living far away from their family roots and it can be easy to constantly be thinking about home and wanting to be somewhere else. I believe that God wants us to fully enjoy where we live, for however long that may be. I’m reminded of what God said to the Israelites in Jeremiah. “Build houses and live in them, plant gardens and eat their produce…Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you in exile and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:5-7) Now we are NOT living in exile whatsoever, but I can see in this passage that God wants me to fully plant myself in the city He has sent us to, to love it and serve in the city. It can be easier to think about the next thing or dwell on the past, but that’s not really living and embracing the life God has called you to live!

5. Visit your family when you can! When my brother was still in high school, I tried to make a few trips each year to watch him play basketball, soccer and baseball. Now that Naomi is here, I want to try to make visits so they can see her as she grows. We are actually taking our first plane ride together next month to see family and because I’m in a wedding! Any advice on traveling with an infant is welcome! 🙂

Do you live far away from your family? What have you learned about family?

 

 

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