5. Feed Your Common Connections
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"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called." Ephesians 4:3-4
My younger daughter and I have very different core personalities, but we share a common passion for, among other things, the Oxford comma. (For the uninitiated, the Oxford comma is the comma that follows the next-to-last item in a list. There are some who maintain it is optional or even unnecessary; however, my daughter and I vehemently disagree.) We frequently send each other messages laughingly lamenting our run-ins with "unbelievers" in everyday life, such as when my daughter texted me she had discovered, much to her chagrin, that her favorite college professor did not believe in the Oxford comma. We also share a love of baking and will routinely send recipe links to each other, with no preamble or context needed.
With both my girls, we're always looking forward to the next time we can spend together, whether baking or camping or shopping or having a slumber party or watching a movie. When other things in life—personality differences, scheduling challenges, other relationships, geographical distance—might pull us apart, these actions and activities and the memories that grow out of them push us together.
6. Reinforce the Good
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8
At the last home football game of my younger daughter's marching band season a few years ago, my drumline girl was in a familiar funk. Also familiar: I had no idea what the problem was. I asked if she was okay even though the answer was obvious, and she muttered something about a cramp and wandered off. My husband and I picked her up at the end of the night, and her earbuds immediately went in as usual. But when we got home and were walking into the house, she said, "Oh, Mom, I wanted to let you know that I did have that weird cramp, and I thought the rest of the night was going to be miserable, but I ended up laughing with my friends and having a really good time." I told her, "I'm so glad to know that. Thank you for telling me."
Some days, in some seasons, there is much we want from our daughters that we don't get from them. So when they give us something we'd like more of, we're wise to put a grateful exclamation point on it.
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