I came across a piece of paper that I had typed a few years ago… long before Facebook, long before Blogging. There are some “F” words that have significance in my life. Here is what I wrote:
FAMILY – This delicate word indicates many pictures of various lifestyles over time, but for us, we are defined as a large family. We would never imagine our lives in a different way, and our family dynamic is the foundation for our journey. Strength comes in numbers, and our family of six needs each other whether we feel like it or not. Humans were not designed to be alone. I know I crave some ‘alone’ time each day, but we still need the warm bodies around us to know we are loved and appreciated.
FRIENDS – The fair-weathered friend actually exists in Arizona. We have noticed that the longer we extend our roots in the dry, rocky soil of the Phoenix valley, we actually see the similarity between our human relationships and the plants that grow here. We have made some friends quickly, but the relationships only survive when the environmental conditions are fair. If it is too hot or too cold in Arizona many plants will either wilt in the melting sun or be damaged by the frost. They need water, shade, a blanket, nourishing soil, or just some regular TLC in order to survive. Do you know of any friends that can survive without these basic needs?
FINANCES – Okay, we all know that the world should not revolve around the love of money. But, as our current society demands this form of bartering, we all focus on this subject in one way or another. We love it, we hate it, love to hate it, or just spend it (and regret it)! It’s a man-made tool that causes such extreme emotions. If we have too much of it (does anyone have too much?) then we can become arrogant and a magnet to the needy. If we have too little of it, then we can become worried, frightened, and greedy – and people start to keep a nice distance. Money in extreme circumstances either creates or destroys the life we desire to have.
FUTURE – Each new day comes faster than the day before! Didn’t someone write a song about this? What does the future hold for us? Where would we like to be in one year, five years, or 20 years from now? All I know is that the past shows all of our mistakes, our decisions, and our unfinished business. Can we really predict the future? We cannot foresee every step, but we can assure ourselves a nice path to our ultimate destination through small faith-based steps and a little bit of planning. But, who knows, all the planning in the world will never guarantee a trial-free life. We grow stronger from our bumps and bruises – so hang on for a bumpy ride.
FAITH – It is the opposite of FEAR. And, whatever happened to the word ‘religion’? It’s an archaic word now, and ‘faith’ has replaced its predecessor to compete in a politically-correct society. Our family’s faith is both individual and symbiotic. We teach our children to have faith in God so they can be assured that there is hope in this life and the life to come. I would probably be dead today if it wasn’t for my faith in God. I try to make every day, every breath count for the many blessings I have received. Have you stopped to thank the Creator today for your life?
It’s amazing how these words have remained the same in my mind since I first wrote them down. They are the essence of my life. They are encouraging; they are real. They give meaning to the FOUNDATION of what I believe. These words do not FAIL.