Staying Close from a Distance

mm1Moving away from home can be very difficult on family members – even though you’re busy with new friends, new classes, and new activities, their lives are basically the same as usual except you’re not there, and they are more likely to feel your absence (and miss your presence). While living far away, you can stay emotionally close to family members, and allow them to be involved in your life, in a number of easy ways.

Social network: A social network (such as Facebook) will allow you to leave comments on your family members’ pages in just a few seconds to let them know you’re thinking of them. You can quickly wish a sibling good luck on a test, or tell your mom you hope she’s feeling better after being sick. You can also upload pictures or videos of things going on around you to help them feel included in your life.

Phone: Whether a quick phone call on your walk to class, or a text message that says, “I aced my math test!” you can use your phone to stay updated on your family’s life without spending hours talking to everyone (although the occasional lengthy conversation is nice!).

Blog: If you love to write, consider setting up a blog on a website such as,, or to write about your everyday happenings and thoughts. It will also be fun for you to go back through and read old entries later on.

mm2E-mail: If you want to write, but don’t feel comfortable putting your words on the internet, consider sending an occasional e-mail to your entire family, updating them on your life and asking for an update on theirs.

Snail mail: Especially if you have younger siblings, this kind of mail will be eagerly received. For really young siblings, include a sticker sheet for them to play with. Birthdays and holidays are times that are great for sending snail mail even if you don’t normally write cards or letters.

Keep in mind

Remaining close to family throughout all stages of life is one of life’s greatest blessings (Ephesians 3:14-19). Although your family will be eager to hear from you, make sure your conversations aren’t one-sided. Ask them how they’re doing and be interested in their lives, no matter how big or small their news is.

By Davonne Parks


  1. This week I was reminded of the Serenity Prayer. I was 5 steats away, traveling for work and my toddler daughter got the stomach flu. My husband just started a new job and doesn’t have a lot of sick time. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. I couldn’t be there to help. It was heartbreaking not to be there to help, to make sure my husband could go to work.Then the next line hit me: The courage to change the things I can. I was scheduled to fly home the next evening. We had nothing on our agenda for the next day, but my flight availability was such that I was stuck for that last day. But, I found the courage to explain to my boss what was happening. He let me fly home that night in case my daughter needed to stay home another day, and allow my husband to go to work. In the end, my daughter had a very short bout with that flu (normally it’s a 2-3 day affair), but having the peace and security of being home just in case was a huge blessing. Praise God!

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