When I think about all of the people who have influenced me in my life, my list truly spans through so many different individuals.  From my parents to church leaders to teachers, I learned so much about the person that I wanted to be from the people around me.  Some of my best examples were and still are those in my extended family.  I remember my mom handing me the phone to call my grandparents or my aunts whenever I accomplished something great.  It not only helped to build me up, but also reinforced positive choices I was making in my life.

Recently I’ve been thinking about the words, “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.”  How true is this?  Especially when it comes to family!  Hopefully everyone had a great family filled Thanksgiving!  I definitely did and as I was surrounded by family I started taking in all of the little things that everyone does for each other that shows a LOT of love, not just during our time together but through out the year.

The Power Of Extended Family:

  • My mother in law makes it a point to cook specific things that she knows certain people like.  My brother in law has a wheat allergy so last Thanksgiving she made a few gluten free things just for him.
  • My father in law sent me salt water taffy on Mother’s Day.
  • Amanda sends a card to every single person in the family on their birthday.
  • Sharon loves to get you talking about yourself and always makes everyone she is with feel good about what they are doing.
  • Melissa got up early just so she could get more time to play with her nephew.
  • Elisa always welcomes us to stay at her house no matter how many things she has going on at the time.
  • The hosts of Thanksgiving gave up their two beds in the house so both sets of parents would have somewhere comfier to sleep.
  • Sherri picked up Pumpkin Pancake mix because she knew it was my favorite.
  • My husband made a video when our son was born for my sister since she wasn’t able to be there.  He worked hard to include everyone and polish it so she could feel apart of things.
  • When my brother was going through a hard time, each member of our family would send him a text each day to let him know we love him.

This list could go on and on.  I LOVE family!  I have a sister in law who has four boys and has always talked about how much she loves her nephews.  She goes out of her way to show her love for my son and our family.  I loved her boys instantly but it wasn’t until I really got to know them that I realized how MUCH I love them and how much my little guys loves and wants to be with his cousins.

We were able to be with them during some really important times last week and I wanted them to know how proud I was of all of them and the decisions they were making.  I tried to take each one aside at different times and let them know how special they were to me and I’m currently working and notes to each of them to thank them for including us in these special events they have in their lives.  I am definitely not a model example of the perfect aunt/sister/daughter/niece/etc all the time, but I’ve been thinking about how I can be better?

What small and simple things can I do to help support and build my family members?  Send a card.  Write a letter.  Send a text.  Make a phone call.  Pull them aside at a family gathering and have a conversation just about them.  We have so much power to be a positive influence in all the lives around us.  My challenge to you is to think of someone in your extended family and do something small and simple for them.  Remember…

“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass…”