Have you been blessed by or blessed someone with a five minute visit since reading last week’s story? My favorite visits have been with Tim’s and James’ mothers. Each time I visit them, my love and respect grow stronger and our time together grows sweeter. These wise, wonderful women raised two amazing sons, and I am very proud to call them Mom, for they are both mothers to me. Remembering seasons when mother in law visits were stressed, I am especially thankful that we are so very close to one another and to the Lord. Time has taught us to cherish each day and take time to be together. Lyrics from a Jack Johnson song play in my mind…”It’s better when we’re together”… And it is!
Surely, there are those reading this story stuck in a season not closely connected to your ‘In Laws” or to the Lord. Time is like a fleeting moment with little time to waste. Make things right with Him and them. Make time for one another, communicate openly and honestly, pray and trust God through each season, and enjoy the gift of a personal, precious relationship with His Son and your family. The old hymn’s lyrics, “every day with Jesus (and with a loving, happy, family) is sweeter than the day before” ring truth in the hearts of those who understand God’s promise and provision. Visiting (spending time) with the Lord and loved ones ensures close connections that grow greater as we grow older. Yes, they do!
Visiting Autumn Winds Nursing Home in Roseboro blessed my Learning Station Sonshine Kids and myself recently. God got my attention while standing at the entrance with twelve little children hovering around me after receiving news that Ms. Hales, my friend we planned to visit, died and was buried five days before our visit. My gut feeling was to run, to get back on the van, buckle my children up, and head home. Then, I looked into their wondering eyes and knew this was a teachable moment. Children are God’s gift to grown- ups to train up in the way they should go. They share His love and joy with an innocence and excitement that miraculously melts hearts and molds character. I am blessed to spend time with His children every day. Ms. Katelyn, Brianna, Melinda, and I love the Lord and training up His little children in the way they should go. We spend time communicating through devotion and play time, following the Golden Rule, praying before homework, and visiting people with sunshine and songs. And we’re loving it!
Time stood still, so did I while Mrs. Hales’ memories flowed and my children’s respect for my grief showed. Their teacher stood speechless and sad, which they don’t often see. I closed my eyes and asked God to help me, for I felt limp and lonely in the middle of a sea of people. And He did!
The ladies at the desk sensed my sorrow and suggested we visit the residents spending time together in the activity room. I gathered the children, who were like little baby chicks chirping happily and investigating new surroundings. Thoughts surfaced without warning, ‘Lord, I’m getting too old for this’!
Yet, the joy and peace that fill my heart, when the children and I experience God’s amazing grace and goodness on Sonshine visits, assures me I am good to go…until He closes the door or calls me Home.
We entered the room with high hopes. For one wonderful, we hour sang, laughed, hugged, and showed our seasoned friends the power of sharing time together. Watching young and old bowing heads, holding hands, and praying together taught me once again how God brings good from the bad according to His plans and purpose for our lives. And He can!
While loading my precious cargo, a sweet peace settled inside my hurting, happy heart. Before climbing into the driver’s seat and heading home, I looked into the blue sky, grinning like a possum (James’ favorite little saying) and knowing that a whole host of loved ones were watching us from above while celebrating with Ms. Hales. I whispered, “God, I am in AWE” and we communed in the parking lot at Autumn Winds.
With one foot on the running board and children calling my name, I looked up one last time and talked to my Maker, “Father, I was too late. It hurts. Please let Ms. Hales know I came and I love her, tell Tim and James I ‘love them more’, and I’m okay.
Jesus, You are our Best Friend who watches what we do and waits for your Father’s perfect timing for You to return and claim Your Bride. And He will!
Are we ready or running late? Take time to make things right and spend time with the Lord and loved ones. Even five minute visits can bring blessings. Yes, they can!
Becky Spell Vann is owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.