Our family has the privilege of being restored after divorce, addictions and has caused us to be separated even when we were together. After being restored for 14 years and our children coming into adulthood, we purposed to stay close in spite of physical distance. We moved to Florida while our children stayed in the Midwest. We hoped they would join us but they have their dreams, relationships and desires they want to fulfill. We as a family decided that since we overcame emotional and spiritual distance in the past, we would not allow physical distance to ever separate us so we have decided to use these simple 5 ways we devised as a family to stay close!
Hope this will help you as much as it helped us.
1. Stay committed and connected: Each of us is committed to keep our relationship with God intact by being active and attending church regularly. It keeps us encouraged, uplifted and inspired. We even share what we learned with each other. It doesn't matter what your religious affiliation is it’s important to keep yourself connected and committed.
2. Social media: Taking advantage of the opportunity to see, post current and past pictures, activities and being involved in celebrations (birthdays, anniversaries and accomplishments) closes the gap on the many miles that separate us physically. Remember what you post can encourage as well as discourage so please be positive in your choices.
3. Face Time, Google chat, Skype and other tech options: Using these tools can allow you to see your family anywhere in the world—anytime and anyplace! They allow you to read those bedtime stories to your grandchildren and even open Christmas present. There’s nothing like being there but using these options gets you as close as you can. With some of the options you can use a group setting so you can see more than one than family member at the same time!
4. Group Text messages: We send group texts every morning and night just to say hello, encourage and touch base with each other. We can share important information and pictures. We used this tool to shop for presents at a distance –Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Birthday gifts were a huge success for us!
5. Internet and conference calls: We use this option for our family meeting, especially our annual family meeting at the end of year to prepare for the following year. We set goals, dreams and desires for the year and share them. One person is responsible for taking notes and sending each family member a copy to remind us and keep focused on success throughout the year. As victories are won we document the date and celebrate each other individually.
"Celebrate the Minors as well as the Majors!” Whether it's a promotion, announcing a major life change, or simply taking a trip down memory lane, take time to always celebrate those special moments. Because even though they are far they will be able to feel the love. Stay in touch!
These simple steps helped us plan and participate in our daughter Jennifer’s and Tony's wedding from several places around the country! As you see we use advanced technology to our advantage. We still write an occasional letter so we don't lose the personal touch.
We encourage you to not let technology stop you but help you in keeping your family close.