Nicole gives Natalie a big hug on graduation day at the University of Richmond. May 2011.
Home. Episode 9. Guest Nicole LePere
Yesterday, I let the dogs run free and took them off leash. They loved chasing the squirrels and running up and down the driveways. Yet, it didn’t take long and they sat right next to me. I wondered what it was that always brought them back, then it dawned on me. Nothing is better than being home. Just like for us, any incredible vacations or journeys out there nothing beats coming home. Our bed, home cooked meals, the pets, the laundry, the comfort of wearing your pj’s, your jogging pants, your glasses; you can be yourself. You are loved and accepted.
Isn’t that just like life? God gives you free will to go out and explore and wander. But nothing is more satisfying than doing the right thing and coming home to our Heavenly Father when we are called to go home.
The famous G unit!! Named because they were in apartment G. Nicole, Katie and Natalie.
Natalie and Nicole recorded memories of their years as student athletes before the graduation ceremony on the large score board.
Coach Matt enjoyed playing jokes with Natalie because she had the personality for it. Here are the senior swimmers from the class of 2011. Chrissy, Natalie and Nicole.
Doesn’t it feel great to look out the window when your plane is ready to land in your hometown and you can recognize the familiar sites down below? The comfort of seeing things you can identify and knowing that somethings at home never change? How we would do anything to hear Natalie walk through he door and yell…”I’m home!” in her upbeat voice. We will never know when our Heavenly Father will call us home. But knowing He will welcome you home is our greatest motivation on this earth. He has such love for all of us. Love your home and nurture it. Have faith. It’s your choice. God is there for you to welcome you home.
Everyday with Natalie was special. “Natalie was able to make everything hard in life easier” said best friend Katie Sieben.
EPISODE 6. The Family. Guest Katie Sieben. Click Here:
The family is the core of society. Nurture it. Value it. Love it.
Natalie and Katie on another adventure.
Here is the picture of the kids on our tour of NYC in 2006. Natalie was a junior in High School. Our kids had not left for college yet.
Inside the chambers of the United Nations building, the large picture shows the family being the core of human existence. Excuse the quality of the picture. It was taken on 2006 on our trip to NYC.
The family is really the core of society and human existence. When the family goes so does society.
There are a few things that can contribute to a closer more united family.
1. Don’t expect so much from your spouse. How often do we say “I wish he would do this..or that..why can’t he finish what he started?” “I wish he/she was more like…” Go easy one at other. After all, there is only one God.
2. Slow down the busyness. Talk to one another, ask how their day was, engage in each others lives. It is amazing how much conversation and compassion gives us insight into what one another is going through when you gather together. Light a candle. Pray. Understand what everyone is going through. Soon you will be asking what you can do to help lessen their burdens.
3. Turn off the Technology. We love everything instant in today’s world. But the old cliche of good things take time, is true. Good, lasting bonds come through spending time with one another rather than constantly relying on distractions and short texts.
4. Love each other’s faults. It makes all of us who we are. Too often we focus on negatives on each other, but it is more important to remember how many positive attributes there are to a person.
5. Open your home to others, and make a family of friends. Because life is just too hard to get through without friends. They are the family we are able to meet in various stages of our life.
6. Enjoy the everyday moments. Contradicting what the word everyday leads you to believe, everyday moments will not be everyday. We grow up, we grow old. But to the eyes of a family, we all remain ageless.
Inside the United Nations building, Natalie took a picture of the mosaic of the Golden Rule.
The everyday moments of having a family are truly the most treasuring. It is when you get to know each other at their best. You learn how one another likes their breakfast in the morning, their favorite sleeping top, what kind of tooth paste they use, how they like their sandwiches for lunch, how they tell stories, and you become more attuned to their emotional cues, both happy and sad. When asked to think of a favorite memory of those we are so close to, in our families, it is extremely difficult to come up with one specific example. More often than not, it is the essence and aura of a person that becomes your favorite memory. The stability and predictability of knowing someone completely. A strong family helps you achieve that loving bond, and through those loving bonds we all hold so close to our hearts, we are able to translate that into our everyday life, and serve our jobs, our friends, and even strangers with the love we have received from our family.
Families are not necessarily only blood related, a family can be created from friends, much like Natalie, Katie, and their other friends in Richmond, VA, who are away from their traditional families. The built in support system from being part of a family, is there for you when things seem to be going well, and they are also there when things take a turn for the worse. One of my favorite things that Katie mentioned was how Natalie made anything hard in life, seem easier. I hope we all have someone in our lives, wether it be in the family God gave us or the family God led us to crete amongst our friends, who we can turn to when things get hard in hopes of relieving our burden.