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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Connecting with our Roots

I think it's so important that we, as young-ish women and young-ish wives, have role models and make connections with people who happen not to be in the exact same age bracket.

And, like many things, this starts in our own families.

Of course, that's easier said than done, especially now that families tend to be farther apart geographically. I have relatives from Pennsylvania to Colorado to Tennessee. Connecting with far-flung family is a tricky thing, and if you're not intentional about it, can easily get pushed to the back recesses of your mind.

I'm a forgetful type of person. I never remember that we have extra shoelaces in the drawer in the back bedroom. And now we have lots of extra shoelaces in the back bedroom, because I never remember and always buy more.

That forgetfulness extends to relationships, unfortunately. If I don't have someone right in front of me, I don't remember to connect with them. Thankfully, I've been blessed with a few dear friends who know that if I don't call, it's not because I don't care- it's just because I forgot.

But just because that's the way I am doesn't mean that's the way I'll always be. Putting on a new self and all. It just takes some work, some prayer, and some grace.

With family far away, I have to be very intentional in order to maintain relationships. So, as silly as it seems, I schedule it. I actually write down, on my calendar, when I'll be making phone calls, and to whom.

Connect with your roots! (Terrible pun, but just go with it.)

And if you're not sure about what to talk about?

I'll be honest, I run into dry spells in conversation, too, especially with my grandparents. I don't really have a very interesting life, and hearing about Bingo again isn't necessarily relationship-building. Don't get me wrong, just making time for one another matters quite a bit, and the Bingo stories can be pretty funny.

Sometimes I plan "I was just thinking" calls- when I call and ask a question. Usually with my grandma, I ask about a recipe. My aunt is a dental hygienist and a great shopper, so I ask her about gift ideas or any tooth-related questions. You get the idea.

Generally, when I call to ask a question, the conversation shifts into something more. If I call to ask about a casserole that freezes well, my grandma may tell me about when she made a particular recipe for a cousin of mine when she had a baby... and then we're talking about caring for those in need, the struggles of raising newborns, and how that cousin's baby is now in Kindergarten and lost a tooth the other day.

Creating community is important, but it's also vital for us to nurture the community we already have!

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