I get asked quite often, “What’s your favorite Duck Dynasty episode?”  If I were asked that today, I would have to say that last night’s episode, “Sweet Home Louisiana” ranks near the top.  It showed how our family rallied together in support of Jep after he suffered a series of unexpected seizures, something he had never before experienced.  These seizures resulted in Jep being in the hospital in intensive care under heavy sedation for 6 days while Jessica and the rest of our family hoped and prayed that he would come out of it unscathed.  Jep said it best in the episode when he attributed a lot of his recovery to humor.  Sitting around in Phil and Kay’s living room, rehashing what Jep did and didn’t remember during those 6 days turned into lots of laughing and some crying. 

Actually, that’s the same characteristics that are in my other top favorite episodes – “Til Duck Do Us Part”, “A Home for the Holidays”, and “Stand by Mia”.  All of these stories are not just stories.  They are our real lives.  These are things that happened to us or that we decided on our own that we wanted to accomplish.  Ultimately, I’ve learned from so many of our viewers and fans that these, too, are your favorite episodes.  While the antics of our bearded men are funny, entertaining and quite ridiculous at times, it’s these meaningful and down-to-earth stories that really grab hold and stick with us and are talked about over and over again.  Why, do you suppose, that is?

True, meaningful, deep relationships.  We all crave them.  Paul tells us in Romans 12:9-13, “Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.”

There are many traits that the Robertson family lacks in this life, and any member of my family will be the first to admit that.  However, I can honestly say that we strive on a continual basis to follow the teachings that Paul laid out above.  In “Til Duck Do Us Part”, we tried our very best to honor Phil and Kay’s commitment to each other during so many hard times in their lives.  In “Sweet Home Louisiana” and “Stand By Mia”, the joy our family showed while hoping and praying for good physical outcomes for Jep and Mia were an overwhelming sense of support for Jessica, Jase and me.  I can also say personally that Jase and I have learned how to have patience and to wait on the Lord when it comes to answers for Mia.  And in “A Home for the Holidays”, our family showed how we were able to share our own physical blessings with a dear friend whose life has been an inspiration to all of us for many years.  And I don’t think anyone can argue with the zeal and spiritual fervor that overflows from our family, especially from Phil!  And he wants to pass it onto everyone he meets. 

What do all of these things have in common?  Relationships.  It’s what holds our family together.  Our commitment to God and to each other keeps us bonded no matter what circumstances the devil decides to throw at us.  The words Paul gives us are not random commands.  They are straight from the Father in Heaven who loves us more than anything else and knows what we need most on this earth – each other.  If you lack these relationships in your life, start now with your own immediate family.  Tell them how much they mean to you.  Tell a friend how much her/his friendship sustains you, how you need them in your life.  If you do have these relationships, treasure them.  Don’t take them for granted.  Speak your appreciation and love to each of those people. 

Start today and see what blessings come your way!

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