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As I sat through these memorial services, listening to the families recount the things that made their loved one so special, I couldn't help but consider my own role of husband, father, and friend. As I reflected, I thought about these things...
Every day we live is one less day to live. A morbid thought, but true. Both of these men we celebrated lived intentional lives. With their families, with their friends, and with Jesus. That intentionality left a mark in those the loved. Living each day to take advantage of the time we have with those we care about reminds us to live intentionally.
As a husband, am I intentional with my wife; building her up, loving her well, and encouraging her to be all God has created her to be? As a father, am I intentional with my kids; encouraging their dreams and ambitions, pointing them towards Jesus, and loving them with grace, mercy and patience? As a friend and leader within the church and community, am I intentional in caring for others and leading them to the feet of Jesus? I want to take advantage of every moment I have with the ones I love and care about.
Say the Hard Words
I love you. I'm proud of you. I'm praying for you. What is Jesus teaching you? How can I help you? These are the hard words that need to be said and asked more. I want my kids, my wife to know they are loved, precious and valuable. I want them to know they are unique and special, images of the Creator, made with purpose for a purpose.
I don't want my family to assume that I love them, or that I am proud of them. I want them to know with certainty that they are loved. That only comes when it's said. And, that only happens when we say the hard words.
Even as I type this blog post, my mind is in overdrive thinking how we can have more fun. And not just planned fun, but the spontaneous fun that happens at random. The fun that happens when you're not expecting it. The fun that leads to uncontrollable laughter and unforgettable memories. I want to look for more moments of fun.
Laugh A Lot
There's nothing like laughter, especially when it's with the family. You know the laughter I'm talking about. The kind of laughter that makes you snort like a pig. Laughter that makes your insides hurt. Laughter that leaves you in tears. We laugh, but I think we need to laugh more. I want our time together as a family to create memories of us laughing. And not just the laughter from great dad jokes or hilarious pranks (although that kind of laughter is great). I hope for the laughter that comes from great story telling, laughter as we remember someone saying something funny.
As we look forward to the holidays, I am hoping for those moments as we sit around the dinner table, exchanging stories, watching as our kids laugh together. It's going to be great.
Talk about our Faith More
Probably the most moving, and maybe the most challenging thought involves our faith. We are a family of faith. We have done our best to raise our kids knowing who Jesus is, and what it means to have a relationship with Him. Church. Sunday school. Kids Ministry. Student Ministry. Small groups. Summer camps, mission trips, and weekend retreats. From serving in the church to serving in the community. We have tried to expose our family to what it looks like to live with purpose; to love God and others, to use their talents to serve others, to share their faith, and to know it's not about them.
But faith also needs to be a conversation. And we need to have more conversations. Conversations to lead to heart-change, which leads to life-change, which leads to discipleship, which leads to a life living for Jesus. More conversations. More talk about faith. More opportunities to see Jesus in the lives of our kids.
There are many lessons to learn in this life. But there's something about learning from the lives of others. These two men were amazing men of faith and family. And while I only had the opportunity to know these men for a very short time, their legacies will live on in the lives of those they impacted. As for me, I'm going to do my best to take every opportunity to live out these life-changing lessons.
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.