I love sitting across from people, over plates of food and long conversations. That's where connections are made, that's where community is built. We have been given amazing gifts with each relationship we have. We are given an opportunity to learn. To learn about ourselves and to learn about others. Relationships stretch us and they challenge us.

The older I get the more I cherish the relationships that we have. I hold a special place in my heart for everyone we build relationships with. They have encouraged me and challenged me. I was thinking about how relationships take time. Not just time to build, but time to maintain. Our time is precious to us, but what a great gift it is to give our time and give of ourselves.

Building community and building relationships hasn't always been easy. There were times when I was closed off and distant, fearful of the pain that might occur because of relationships. But overtime I met people who poured into my life. I met people who loved me through my struggles and stubbornness. It was through their love for me that taught me to be a better friend. They taught me how to build better relationships. They taught me the importance of community.

The sweetest moments in life are rooted in relationships. We were made to cherish one another, we were made to be in community together. It may take work, it may hurt and leave us feeling wrecked. But it's worth every moment, it's worth every tear, it's worth every smile. xo. Samantha