Love is a powerful part of our lives. But often, we limit our gratitude to just the love we experience in our marriages or romantic relationships. But if we stop and look in our everyday lives, we can see the power of love moving in what many might call ‘ordinary’ moments.
At Buckner, we have the opportunity to experience being on the first row to the many different types of love and the ways love can empower, transform and comfort.
Think of the grandmother, experiencing an overwhelming amount of transition and change as she moves out of her own home and into a senior living community. And picture the now adult children who are on the other side, caring for their parent. Meet Betsy Bixby.
Her 97-year-old mother moved into a Buckner senior living community. She has four daughters, 11 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
“No one prepares you for when you raise your children and they’re out the house, but your parent now needs your help,” Betsy shared. “It’s challenging to care for the elderly. The staff here are lovely and kind.”
Betsy shines light on a love many of us might not have experienced yet: caring for your parents in a way they once cared for you. And her mother experiences comfort and hope through her children, grandchildren and the Buckner associates who care for her daily.
As a single parent, it’s hard to imagine a life where you have time to fit in a romantic relationship in between parenting, working and checking off all the other to-do items. But there’s love there you might miss if you don’t look for it: the love a single parent has for themselves and the love those children have for that parent.
For Annette Chavez, she experienced a challenging childhood where she was raped, involved in a gang, and later, became a mother fighting for the life of her two children in the hospital. Today, she is a college graduate and full of hope for the future.
“I believe in myself and in my children,” Annette said. “Jesus died for all of us – he suffered in a way that we can’t even fathom – and the fact that God gave us his only son to go through all of that for us.”
Through the love she’s experienced from Jesus, the love she found in community through Buckner Family Pathways® and the love she has for herself, Annette transformed her life and her family’s future.
Opening your home to someone new isn’t always easy. There may be awkward moments as you try to get to know each other. For the Epling family, love looked like learning to cook a childhood meal outside of their comfort zone.
James and Sarah Epling opened their home and adopted their 17-year-old son in 2023. He was a Waiting Texas Child, meaning his biological parents’ rights had been terminated and he was set to age out of the foster care system unless he was adopted.
While the Eplings had pictured adopting a younger child, they knew this was their son. One place they bonded was at the dinner table.
“Our son had told us he really missed traditional Black American food. Definitely if I don’t cook, I don’t know how to make Black American food,” Sarah said with a laugh.
But she was determined to help that homesick feeling her son faced and learned how to cook more traditional soul food from a friend. From fried pork chops and green beans to mashed potatoes, Sarah’s dinner menu was full of love for her son.
This month, don’t be afraid to add a little extra love in everything you do.