Spending Time with Family and Loved Ones…You Will Never Regret It!

Happy family of father mother son and daughter smiling looking out wall isolated on white background with copy place

I am blessed with a husband that taught me the importance of making memories and spending time with family and loved one. I hope that you are able to spend time with your family and loved ones this holiday season. If not, I hope that you will make sure that they know of your love for them!

Today, I want to share a story I love!:

by Stephen on October 14, 2008

After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, “I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you.”

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally. That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. “What’s wrong, are you well?” she asked.

My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. “I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,” I responded. “Just the two of us.” She thought about it for a moment, and then said, “I would like that very much.”

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s. “I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed, “she said, as she got into the car. “They can’t wait to hear about our meeting.”

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. “It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,” she said. “Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor,” I responded. During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation – nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other’s life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, “I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.” I agreed.

“How was your dinner date?” asked my wife when I got home. “Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,” I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her. Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: “I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates – one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son.”

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: “I LOVE YOU” and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till “some other time.”

Story shared from the following website: http://academictips.org/blogs/give-time-to-our-family/

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To Be Happy…Love Everyone

To be anybody, you must love everybody. Patricia T. HollandLoving everyone around you may not always be easy – but it is always life transforming. Love doesn’t always give approval. Love doesn’t negate accountability. What is does do is open doors, open hearts and instill joy.

I love today’s story! I love the message and I love it’s symbolism! I think when you read it, you will feel a little more love in your heart! I hope you enjoy!

The Devoted Son

Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, and many others adorned the
walls of their family estate. The widowed elderly man looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son’s trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors around the world.

As winter approached, war engulfed their nation, and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, the elderly man received a telegram that his beloved son was missing in action. The art collector anxiously awaited more news, fearing he would never see his son again. Within days his fears were confirmed. The young man had died while rushing a fellow soldier to a medic. Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness. The joy of the season-a season that he and his son had so looked forward
to in the past-would visit his house no longer. On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man. As he walked to the door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that his son was not coming home. He opened the door and was greeted by a soldier
with a large package in his hand.

The soldier introduced himself to the old man by saying, “I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you.” As the two began to talk, the soldier told of how the man’s son had told every one of his-and his father’s-love of fine art work. “I’m also an artist,” said the soldier, “and I want to give you this.” As the old man began to unwrap the package, paper gave way to reveal a portrait of the man’s son. Though the world would never consider it a work of genius, the painting featured the young man’s face in striking detail.

Overcome with emotion, the old man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the portrait above the fireplace. A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, the old man set about his task. True to his word, the painting went above the fireplace, pushing aside thousands of dollars worth of paintings. And then the old man sat in his chair and spent
Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given. During the days and weeks that followed, the man learned that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet stilled his caring heart. As the stories of his son’s gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease his grief, as he realized that, although his son was no longer with him, the boy’s life would live on because of those he had touched. The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the priceless pieces for which museums around the world clamored. He told his neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received. The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away. The art world was in anticipation, since, with the old man’s passing, and his only
son dead, those paintings would be sold at an auction. According to the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned on Christmas Day, the way he had received his greatest gift. The day finally arrived and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world’s most spectacular paintings. Dreams could be fulfilled this day; greatness could be achieved as some
could say,” I have the greatest collection.” The auction began with a painting that was not on any museum list… It was the painting of the old man’s son. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid, but the room was silent.

“Who will open the bidding with $100?” he asked. Moments passed as no one spoke. From the back of the room came, “Who cares about that painting? It’s just a picture of his son. Let’s forget it and get on to the good ones.” More voices echoed in agreement. “No, we have to sell this one-first,” replied the auctioneer. “Now who will take the son?”
Finally, a friend of the old man spoke. “Will you take $10 for the painting? That’s all I have. “Will anyone go higher?” called the auctioneer. After more silence he said, “Going once, going twice…Gone!” The gavel fell. Cheers filled the room and someone shouted, “Now we can get on with it and bid on these treasures!”

The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced that the auction was over. Stunned disbelief quieted the room. Then someone spoke up and asked, “What do you mean it’s over? We didn’t come here for a portrait of some old man’s son! What about all of the other paintings? There are
millions of dollars worth of art work here. We demand an explanation!” The auctioneer replied, “It’s very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son…gets it all.”

Just as the art collectors discovered on that day…The message is still the same…the love of the Father….a Father whose son gave his life for others…And because of that Father’s love…Whoever takes the Son gets it all.
Story shared from the following website: http://www.rogerknapp.com/inspire/devotson.htm

 

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Loving Others…and Practicing Forgiveness

Never let a problem to be solved become more important than the person to be loved. Thomas S. MonsonLife can hand us truly heart-wrenching situations. No matter what life hands us, we always have the choice of response. I love today’s quote – not because I believe it is always easy to love those who hurt us or even to love being confronted with difficult situations and/or people, but because I know the profound difference it can make to find the loving solution no matter what the situation is.

True love does not mean that we do not hold others accountable for their actions. True love means that we will love them and do the responsible thing – not the easy thing or the enabling thing.

I hope you will join me in trying to practice unconditional love. It is not an easy quest but it is a very worthwhile quest! I hope you enjoy today’s story!:

“You don’t know me, but I am no longer dating your husband…I’m sorry for any pain I caused your family.” Christy recalls the exact moment she read that sentence, in an e-mail sent to her last March. “My heart just stopped,” says the mother of four (to stepson AJ, 26; and Skye, 9; Blaze, 8; and Hayes, 6). “I felt paralyzed.”

Until that point, Christy, a relationship coach, believed that she and Adrian, 46, her husband of 10 years, were happily married. Certainly things weren’t perfect: Business was slow for Adrian, a car salesman, and their bank balance had taken a hit. “Adrian and I were feeling pressure about money,” says Christy. But she had seen no other warning signs. “We still had date nights and did things as a family. I never dreamed he would betray me.”

After reading and rereading that e-mail, Christy called her husband at work. Voice shaking, she demanded an explanation. “Adrian was defensive at first, said it never happened, and even hung up on me,” she remembers. “But a minute later he called back, crying, admitted it was true, and begged me to forgive him.”

The story unfolded: Adrian and a customer had flirted. A one-night stand had turned into a four-month affair. In February 2012, when the woman asked Adrian if he would ever leave his family, he broke off the relationship. “I was furious,” says Christy. “It was hard for me not to tell Adrian that we were over and make him hurt as badly as I did.” Instead the pair talked and wept together all night.

“Once the initial shock passed, I was faced with a choice,” she says. “I could either fight for my marriage or let this event change everything.”

Christy made a conscious decision to forgive. It didn’t happen instantly. For the next six months, she struggled with resentment and the fear that Adrian would not be committed to making the marriage work. “There were many times I asked him, ‘How could you live with yourself? How could you look me in the eye and lie for months?’ And to get closure, I needed to know every last detail of the affair. It was extremely painful for Adrian to answer my questions, but he did so with humility,” she says.

“Forgiving him was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” says Christy, “but his honesty made it easier.” So did the fact that Adrian confided his wrongdoing to two friends from their church. The three of them began meeting each week to pray together and discuss their faith and the importance of marriage. “I appreciated that he wanted other people to hold him accountable,” says Christy.

While on vacation in Virginia last May, Christy and Adrian spontaneously renewed their wedding vows. “We continue to work on trust issues,” she admits. “But our marriage is stronger for it. I have no regrets.”

Story shared from the following website: http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/inspiration-motivation/stories-forgiveness/cheating-husband

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Setting Priorities…Spending Time on Things That Are Important

SeMost of us spend too much time on what is urgent and Not enough time on what is Important

Setting Priorities – easy to say and not always easy to do. It may seem like getting that pay raise or new car is important. Or perhaps, we are intent on getting our garage cleaned and organized or the kids have to be taken to practice. It all seem important until something happens to a loved one and then, as their life hangs in the balance, none of that is important at all.

When you are setting your priorities, do you look at your responsibilities and weigh the importance of what effect your schedule will have on your relationships? Do you look at your life through those glasses that allow you to see what would truly be important if everything non-essential were stripped away?

This last summer as I sat in the hospital beside my granddaughter, I was reminded of the importance of keeping my focus on the truly important things.

It can be so easy to get caught up in living life without really giving importance and priority to the things that are eternal and timeless.

As we start out this new year, it is my prayer that all of us will give time to those things that are truly important and stress less about those things that aren’t.

I loved the sweet humor in today’s story. I hope you enjoy!:

Putting First Things First

Gordon J. Pennock

I once read an amusing story about a farmer who told his wife, as he tumbled into bed, “I’ll plow tomorrow.” “The next morning,” as the story goes, “he started to lubricate the tractor. But he needed oil, so he went to the shop to get it. On the way, he noticed that the chickens had not been fed. He started for the crib to get some corn, but he found some sacks there which reminded him that the potatoes needed sprouting. He headed toward the potato-pit. En route, he spotted the woodpile and remembered the shortage of kindling at the house. But he had to chop it first, and he had left his axe in the chicken coop. As he went for his axe, he met his wife who was feeding the pigs. With surprise, she asked, “Have you finished the plowing already?” “Finished?” the farmer bellowed, “I haven’t got time to get started!”

This story illustrates what happens to too many of us on too many days-especially preachers. We plan a day’s work, but then, we get an unexpected telephone caller or visitor who wants to discuss with us some personal problem or Bible question. And of course it is important that we do so. So the work that we planned must be set aside for the present. Or, it may be that we are informed of someone who is sick or hospitalized, so the planned activities must be postponed in favor of such missions of kindness and helpfulness. These interruptions are of course gladly and cheerfully accepted, because we recognize that priorities must always play a part in every plan.

What we must avoid is the upsetting of meaningful and important plans by trivial incidents or matters which are mundane and of but momentary value. An interesting Biblical lesson along this line may be drawn from the record in Luke 10, verses 38 through 42. While visiting in the home of Mary and Martha of Bethany, Jesus saw contrasting dispositions in these two women. While Mary “sat at the Lord’s feet and heard His word, . . . Martha was cumbered (distracted) about much serving.” Poor Martha! She was so concerned and preoccupied with the details of entertaining that she failed to take advantage of Jesus’ presence in her home by sitting down and listening to His word, like Mary did. And, thinking that what she was doing was so important, she felt unjustly treated by her sister and complained to Jesus about Mary’s indolence, as well as His apparent indifference toward it. He responded in words. which need to be heeded by all who are faced with the sometimes perplexing problem of priorities. He said, “Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful; for Mary hath chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Yes, it is also necessary for us to make careful evaluation and give proper priority to the many worthwhile demands upon our time. Surely, we will never have the time to do all the things which can and should be done. Consequently, we must use discrimination in choosing what we do. Like Martha, we need to be careful to choose “the good part” or that which is “needful.”

When we speak of priorities we refer to matters all of which may be proper but only of relative value when compared with others. It was in this vein that Jesus was speaking when He said: “Seek ye first his (God’s-GJP) kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things (food, drink and shelter) shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). Note, that Jesus did not say, seek ye only God’s kingdom and righteousness, but rather seek them first.

Jesus certainly knew as well as we do that man has certain physical needs which must be satisfied if he is to survive. Spending time and energy to provide for these needs is not only proper but a serious obligation, as spelled out in such passages as these: “If any (man) will not work, neither let him eat” (2 Thess. 3:10); again: “Let him (the Christian-GJP) labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have to give to him that hath need” (Eph. 4:28). Plans and provisions to supply these needs nevertheless become sinful whenever we allow them to subordinate and displace our obligations to God and the neglect of our spiritual needs.

Friend, let us keep our values unmixed and our priorities straight. Put God, His kingdom and His will, first in your life and everything else that is needful will be enjoyed as a bonus.

Truth Magazine XIX: 48, p. 757
October 16, 1975

Story shared from the following website: http://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume19/TM019330.html

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