It has been as quiet as a mom with a sleeping baby around here lately. And I’ve been as busy as . . .well . . . as a person can be. :0) And in the process of all this busy, I’ve contracted some sort of something. I’m not quite sure what it is, but it’s a whole bunch of up and down, sneeze and blow, rest and unrest, uugghh and uuuuurrrrrggggghhhh. So I am saying a prayer for myself, my baby girls (who are actually getting much better by the day) and everyone else who may be getting over the uuurrggghhhs (you define what that is). I certainly want to feel better, for good. Next week I am making my way to my hometown to spend some time with my family. I’m looking forward to wrapping my arms around my nieces and nephews. There’s a juicy little dimple faced boy who looks just like my little sister when she was a baby. Then there’s my other nephew with the golden ears which have been switched to the off position, for whom I’ve been brushing up on my sign language so that he and I can have a conversation and perhaps he’ll better know that I see him and I love him. The crew of what feels like scores of nieces each with their own tv variety personalities and a new, precious wonder of a girl who I cannot wait to hold in my arms for the first time. Oh yes, I must get better! So many joys ahead.
For some people, though, going home for the holidays is often a very sad and often painful time. Since my parents are divorced, this used to be true for me. I hated the idea of dividing up my time between the two houses and the stress that accompanied that type of planning. Considerations flowed in and out of my mind in capital, oxblood red letters like breaking news scrolling across a ticker: I have to make sure I get to daddy’s house. How will my mom feel while I am gone? Will she feel alone or abandoned? Will daddy feel like I spent enough time with him? The whole thing could easily give me a case of the uuurrrggghhhsss! For real. It was very heart-wrenching and difficult for this people pleaser to feel as though there was no hope for me to make the people I care about the most, happy. It was as though I was approaching Mt. Kilomanjaro in stilettos and a clutch bag without so much as a 4 oz. Deer Park for the journey. I found myself praying off anxiety before each visit or just avoiding going home altogether. And because I know that there are some of you who may be experiencing the same for similar reasons or reasons completely different from mine, I want to offer you hope.
How about instead of thinking about all the dysfunction in your family, you take out a pen, right now, and jot down a list of thanks, to God, for anything and everything right about your family. Before you roll your eyes and call me an idealistic Pollyanna wanna be just try it. I really believe that in every family, there is some redeeming quality, some glimmer of hope, some semblance of goodness if we look hard enough. And the alternative to seeing and appreciating the good is your misery and the risk of making an idol out of every grievance you legitimately have with each person in your family. And we all know who so badly desires your misery . . . So take a few moments and call forth the good. Conjure it up. And be careful not to allow your enemy to overshadow each sweet thought with a memory that negates it. After you have a hefty list of only the sweet, thank God for each item and enter into a time of prayer asking Him for whatever it is you need to experience His joy and be a light for Him while with your family.
I am sincerely looking forward to going home to be with my family. And I sincerely believe that it is going to be a beautiful time as we make new memories together. And I am going to accept nothing less than that . . . and I challenge you to do the same.
Disclaimer: Above are not pictures of a dysfunctional family . . . they are actually a very sweet family with dysfunctional tendencies. :0)