As We Grow Older…the Importance of “Framily”

Dear Reader:

Yesterday was Youth Sunday…for many of our church’s graduating seniors it was their last Sunday at home before leaving for college or job opportunities or military service. When I first walked in…we were given a name on a cut piece of white fabric and then asked to write our name on another. The youth had also cut out and made cardboard hearts for every congregational member attending.


The name on my strip was EMMA….and along with the strip of material was a heart. At a certain point in the service my “neighbors” (sitting on the same pew as myself) all joined our strips together tying them tightly. A youth member then came and started tying everyone’s strips of names to a hanging symbol of framily.


FRAMILY – A member of your circle who is more than a friend but not a blood relative. Combining the words friend and family. Someone very significant in your life not in your family. Joined by hearts and souls, not necessarily bloodlines.

The youth were using this word to signify their peer relationships ( after years of being together in youth groups at Dorchester Presbyterian Church, attending Montreat Presbyterian summer camps and special retreats together in the North Carolina mountains) that they had grown so close they all felt like “framily.” Framily was also expressed by the loving and supporting relationship between the church youth and the congregation.

I like this word- “framily”-it made me realize that the older I get the more I understand just how lucky we are  indeed by the end of it… if we have friends as close as our own families AND if we have become close friends with our own family members. If so, then we have acquired both hearts and souls of loved ones in our lifetime.

When I looked up and recognized my youth member’s name, Emma, as she read the Confession of Sin during the service I knew I had gotten her name on my strip of cloth. The confession she read just seemed to fit where I am at the moment…so during a break in the service…I went over, told her I had gotten her name, and gave her the heart. I also asked if I could get a copy of the Confession of Sin she read.

Immediately after the service she came over and transferred it to my IPhone…we talked and she is seriously considering teaching…it made me very happy and with a hug I told her so.

So until tomorrow…I felt this confession about summed it up for me….”Remove any shortcomings so we may shine among those we meet.” At this stage in life that is what I seek more than anything. Let me get out of God’s way…and let Him use me as a vessel for His purposes.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Luke and Chelsey brought me another delicious meal Saturday evening… homemade cooked amazing barbecue sandwich and homemade baked beans. Luke helped tie the long-stemmed sunflowers up off the ground….no doubt Luke and Chelsey are “framily.”



About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to As We Grow Older…the Importance of “Framily”

  1. bcparkison says:

    As Mitford’s Father Tim says.”Make me a blessing to someone today”


  2. Sis Kinney says:

    Good Monday morning, dear Becky!
    LOVED today’s blog! I hope you don’t mind if I “steal” a part of it from you to use myself. I don’t know that I told you, but I am the Editor (since April of this year) of Land Harbor’s monthly “newsletter/magazine” and I typically have a half-page to full-page “column” wherein I – you know – “wax poetic” and all that good stuff. Well, the September issue is looming in my face (along with everything else!) and I realized I hadn’t done my column, which I call “POV” meaning “Point of View.” And your blog about “framily” just smacked me in the face as being SO appropriate. So, I hope you don’t mind if I use a part of your column for MY column! (LOL) I’ll give you due credit!
    And Emma’s “Confession of Sin” was also “right on” target! Wow! Just, Wow!
    Anyway, I’m encouraged and confident and not the least bit uneasy about what looms in my immediate future. There are SO many wonderful people out there who are “in my corner,” and are supporting me with good thoughts and wishes as well as wonderful and powerful prayer! My former church in two states (SC and VA), a church that a friend attends in MD, and just countless other people scattered all over this beautiful country are all praying for ME! Is that humbling, or what?! I AM blessed and I KNOW I am blessed. And, then there are wonderful friends like you who take the time to tell me they’re praying for me and to give me the wisdom that comes from personal experience!
    Keep up the good work, dear one. I so look forward to reading your blog every single day! I got a tad behind back in the middle of July; but I’m all caught up now. And, I appreciate YOUR asking your readers to pray for me. In my humble opinion, there’s no such thing as too much prayer!
    PLUS! I use the little wooden prayer cross at night myself. I use the beautiful prayer shawl – given to me in 2010 or 2012 by the Daughters of the King chapter with which I was associated at St. George’s Episcopal Church there in Summerville – every morning. I am definitely feeling covered in powerful and wonderful prayer.
    And, for that – plus for “framily” – I say, “Thanks be to God!”
    Much love,


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Sis…Sis…Sis….you made me cry, cry, cry….happy tears of course. You know you are welcome to anything that pops out of my brain…like mother earth…it ought to have a sign on it…FRAGILE…but still turning and learning.. Help yourself…just happy something popped out to help you in your new endeavor…way to go girl!. We all love you and want you to know that you are never alone…a hand’s length from God and a prayer and thought from us. Love you! The Chapel of Hope is always accepting wave lengths of prayers and petitions.


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