Saturday, October 10, 2015

Seven Reasons to Invest in Your Family-Featuring family who have inspired my life!

This is the second in a series of posts dedicated to those who have inspired and impacted my life.  Today I want to tell you about Stephanie.  She is our oldest son's wife.  Stephanie has been a part of this family now for over 21 years.  She brings many talents and abilities to the Bean table.  

They live about and hour and a half away from us and as I was driving over to visit her this week many thoughts raced through my head.  Why is it important to invest in the lives of our family?  How has each individual played such an important role in my own life?  Big questions for sure but there are answers!  Above is the lane that goes back to their home.  As you can see in the pictures the leaves are just now starting to turn. 

It is such a pretty lane.  They have a beautiful home which they have lovingly created.  
Stephanie has been a wonderful helpmate to our son.  He leads a very busy life and Stephanie definitely keeps the home fires burning!  She gave us our first two grandsons.  What a blessing and joy they have been in our lives!  
Stephanie has been gifted with many abilities.  Her home is always immaculate and organized.  They have a beautiful kitchen and often serve buffet style.  She told me that she recently reorganized her dishes around the island for easier access!  I could learn much from her about organization!  That has never been my strong suit for sure!

This is a view of their dining area in the kitchen!  Very pretty!  Stephanie is also a great cook!  (Again I need to take lessons!)  It has been somewhat of an unofficial tradition that at family dinners she makes sugar cookies.  Her and our son have hosted family dinners and she always sends treats home with everyone!  

We have shared a mutual love for Florida.  Last winter when we were there, Stephanie and I had lunch at a little place on Marco island. She had treated me to a pedicure that day.  The whole day was beautiful!  Our son had chartered a plane and taken my hubby and two grandsons to Vero Beach for an excursion to the Piper plant so Stephanie and I had the day to ourselves.

I had asked Stephanie if we could do lunch again in our home area.  She was agreeable-humoring the mother-in-law!  LOL
When we talked the other day she made the suggestion we have a picnic at Lake of the Woods near where they live.  I was quite willing!  I LOVE to be outdoors.  It was a beautiful autumn day.  The lake was shimmering and the sun was trying to warm the day.

We found a spot close to the water and pulled the table into the sunshine.  Stephanie made sandwiches for us and a beautiful caprese salad.  She has been baking bread recently, trying out new recipes and honing what she likes the best. 

What a joy when we spread the table!  She had made the most delicious Italian bread.  She had prepared the sandwiches with what she had made and they were absolutely delicious!  
The salad was prepared in a mason canning jar, which was so pretty and appetizing.  It was wonderful!  I had made unsweet tea and banana bread (which was not even close to being as good!)  We enjoyed the fellowship of catching up about the children and what she was doing in her life.

It was a wonderful time and to me certainly worth it!  What better way to connect than over food, a beautiful view, and good conversation.  I did so appreciate the effort she had made to prepare the wonderful food for us.  It was thoughtful and creative!  She certainly inspires me!

So, what are my top seven reasons to invest in your family?
1.  To Strengthen the common bond that we have.  Stephanie was our first daughter-in-love.  She gave life to our first two grandsons-who by the way are fine young men!  A tribute to her nurturing and teaching them well.
2.  To Share ideas.  I loved it when she told me she was baking bread!  What a wonderful gift to share with her own family and others...and me too!  It was delicious and she sent some home so I have continued to enjoy it! She has given me tips on how she is perfecting that skill.  Stephanie definitely has the gift of hospitality!  By sharing ideas it definitely strengthens the bond of friendship with family.
3.  It is a way to show that we care about our family and what they are doing in their lives.  We had a great time of fellowship and just talking that day and it didn't cost a lot of money.  Stephanie and our son are quite involved in their church.  It was wonderful to hear about not only their church life but their life in general.
4.  When this life is over there are only two things that matter:  a. our own eternal destiny and b. the eternal destiny of our family.  Investing in our family will reap eternal rewards.
5.  The preservation of stories from one generation to the next.  Every family has their own story.  It is wonderful to share memories from one generation to the next.  
6.  Keeping family traditions alive is important.  The connection of family is perhaps the most important part of life.  Life can become too busy but taking time for family is perhaps the greatest joy there is!  I do understand that not everyone has had this in their own life, but if there are strong family ties try to keep them going!
7.  Last but not least, the number seven is the number of perfection.  Do we have the perfect family, oh NO, not by any stretch, no one does.  What we should strive for is to be perfectly united together to keep the family circle unbroken!  

Thank you Stephanie for a beautiful day and for being a part of this family!  You inspire me and have for many years!  Love you.....

We have two other daughter-in-loves, trust very soon I will be able to introduce them to you!  Blessings this day!  Lynn

Sharing with the following lovely links:

1.  Share it One More Time
2.  The Art of Homemaking Mondays
3.  The Scoop
4.  Wow us Wednesdays
5.  Wake up Wednesday
6.  Dream. Create. Inspire

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