Relationships

My husband and I were talking this morning about relationships. Relationships are so important in this walk of life. Some may be only for a season, and some may be for a lifetime.

One of the many things I love and appreciate about my husband is the fact that he never attempts or intends to burn bridges with his relationships. Even if somebody has hurt us, he still makes all attempts to restore the relationship. This is something I really need to learn from him. I may be more like the umpire at the baseball game who shouts “YOU’RE OUT” to the player who is sliding into home plate. You mess with me too many times and you’re out.

Is this really what God intends for us though? Does He want us going through life from hurt to hurt, never even attempting to recover what once was? I have two sons that are really close together in age and many people over the years have thought they were twins. They would always say they were each others best friend. They are so close and I love it. They would get upset with each other but still be able to get over it quickly and go right back to becoming best friends. Oh, if we could still be like children in this way. Children understand that relationships are more important than holding on to grudges and hurts.

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Heaven is not going to have hiding places for us when we see those who have hurt us.

When people preach about how this is all about the Kingdom of God, this is one of those ways that we are not doing things right. We need to forgive people and be able to look them in the face and be able to talk with them. If we have truly forgiven somebody, we most definitely should be able to do this. There will always be those people who can’t move past things, but we still need to do our part and make those attempts at working things out. We all need to learn from past mistakes and grow in maturity. I hate to think that there are people out there that haven’t gotten past something I may have said or done to hurt them.

There is absolutely power in our words. We can use them to hurt, build up, or restore relationships. Let us be people that show love in all areas. Let us forgive quickly and build bridges rather than burn them. This life is not about us, it’s all about Jesus and His Kingdom.

Perfectly Imperfect

I started another semester of my attempt at a college degree and I am taking a rather large workload. This works against my personality in so many ways. You see, I am a bit of a perfectionist. Getting a 100% at the end of the semester is the ultimate reward. I actually get disappointed if I get below an A on an assignment. Now, I don’t have a perfect 4.0 GPA, but it is still pretty high up there. I only say these things because I am trying to show a major flaw in myself….perfectionism.

Did you know perfectionism is most definitely NOT a good thing?! I have had to work on this in myself for probably the last couple of decades since I was even a child. I realize much of my perfectionism comes from trying to please a parent who quite possibly, I will never please, but it is still wrong. How many times have I redone something that my husband or my sons have done because it isn’t the way I would do it; which of course is the perfect way? I stress over coursework because I am afraid I will do bad and people may think I am imperfect. Well, there is another problem with perfectionism. It allows fear to have a foothold in your life. I have become afraid of being imperfect.

This is an ongoing process for me. I have to sit back and realize that I only need to do my best with school. I have a fantastic GPA and I feel like I am learning quite a bit; which is kind of the point! When I redo something that my sons have done, I am telling them that what they did isn’t good enough. I know at times kids don’t do their best, but often enough my boys work hard to clean something and I have to praise them for what they did and thank them. I don’t want them to give up because they think they will never measure up. When I redo something my husband has worked hard on, I am telling him the same thing…what he does just isn’t good enough; YOU aren’t good enough; YOU aren’t as perfect as I am. Sounds a little like pride too doesn’t it?

This is a reminder to myself just as much as it is to possibly help something out there. I can’t get stressed over one question wrong on a test. I don’t need to check and recheck household chores because I saw a speck of lint on my floor. Well, I may recheck my boys’ bathroom because, let’s get real, boys can be a little nasty!

Any comments to add to this? How do you find yourself buckling under the pressure of perfectionism??

Boys Will Be Boys!

I find myself all too often trying to stop my boys from being boys. No, I don’t mean that literally, but when they take off to jump in a muddy puddle as toddlers, I scramble to keep their clothes, hands, and faces clean. I have to remember that boys are boys. They love to get dirty and not take a bath after. I wrote a post before about going to extremes, and this seems to be another way I go to extremes. I may ever have those toddlers or young boys who are dressed in adorable outfits that stay pristine clean, but they are the best boys ever. I don’t want to squelch their curiosity; which may get them wet, muddy, dirty, scrapes, cuts, or boo boos. 

I love my boys and I don’t ever want to cheat them out of being boyish and dirty. In fact, perhaps I would have more fun getting in the dirt with them. I bet I will have way more great memories of them having fun being dirty than of me constantly trying to keep them in perfect cleanliness! Time to relax and play with my boys!

Adults Only

I was one of those young people who hated hearing the child cry when I was trying to eat at a restaurant. I wondered why somebody would choose to go to a restaurant, or even a movie with a child! Now, after 12 years, I have five of them. Five sons who cry, throw tantrums, yell, sound their alarms when they want me or their Daddy to come running to their rescue. I have seen both sides and I have to say, neither is wrong. When I went out before I had children, I didn’t want to have to listen to a child crying for three fourths of my dinner. Nobody wants to hear that. I didn’t want friends bringing their toddlers over to my home to break literally everything within reach of their grimy hands.

Now I am that mother. I am the one who cannot be in my house one more minute; I HAVE to go out for supper because today has been one of those days and I want somebody to serve me for once. Often, people come up to us to tell us how well behaved our children are, but not all the time! I feel bad when my baby cries out because he dropped something and can’t get it. I see the looks. I hear the mumbled comments. Believe me, I understand. 

We are in a place now where people love to get together, without kids; Adults Only the invitation says. I would say it is 19 times out of 20 anymore we get the adults only invitation. Now I need YOU to understand that we just can’t do that. I respect that you have every right to not want screaming kids running around and breaking your stuff, but you need to understand I have FIVE, yes FIVE, children. Our family moved across the nation to follow what we believe is the will of God for our lives. We have no family and no really close friends yet. We don’t have people who offer to watch our kids anytime we want. We are a close family that does everything together. My husband and I maybe get a date once, sometimes twice a year, but now we are supposed to rush and find babysitters because every invitation we get doesn’t allow children? I don’t even trust many people with my kids. I don’t know any babysitters, let alone a babysitter that could handle 5 boys. I don’t even want to know how much a legitimate babysitter would charge to watch my five kids for a few hours. I think we would have to get another job!

I love adults only invitations. I may cringe now when I get them, but it isn’t because of the hosts. It is because we have five children; we live on a tight budget; we have no family to help; we have five children; we didn’t win the lottery; we won’t let just anybody watch our kids; we have FIVE children! I think you get my point. 

Next time you get the adults only invitation, don’t feel bad. I don’t feel bad about it. We may be the only couple that doesn’t show up. We do NOT want pity. We understand your purpose in the invite. Please understand our purposes when we politely decline the invitation. One day, when our children are older, we will love to come to your adults only parties, but right now, let us enjoy our children, who are five wonderful blessings that God gave us. Don’t make us feel bad because we have children and want to spend time with them. And parents with children, don’t make others feel bad who don’t have children and want those adults only parties. Nobody is right or wrong. Just understand we are in different places in our lives right now and love each other for it. 

White as Snow

I got to be a part of the snow in the south this week. It wasn’t new to me. I am actually from pretty far up north, where there it felt like there was snow year round and it was so very cold! It still makes me excited to see it and smell it and go outside with my boys and play in it. There is just something about that first snowfall when everything turns pristine white. 

My boys make me laugh because as soon as it starts snowing, they are outside ready to built snow forts and have snowball fights. I keep telling them it takes a while for the snow to get deep enough to do those things. I love watching the drab ground and trees begin to gain this white beauty that only God could create. His beauty is breath taking and inspiring. 

One thing that comes with the snow, is the melting of the snow. There is such beauty when the snow covered ground holds this perfection; but perfection is not real. Sometimes things may look perfect, but eventually, the snow melts and what was underneath is seen again. This imperfect beauty is allowed to shine through. That white perfection melts away and reality comes back full force. 

We may try to cover our imperfections with this perfect looking appeal, but eventually, that goes away and our imperfection shows through again. God made us all so unique and imperfect. We need to try to celebrate our uniqueness. Too often I find myself trying to cover myself; to hide myself. The problem with that, is one day, somebody sees what is shining through underneath. Often times, we are blessed with people who see that shining through, and love you for it.

We need to try to be more Christ-like; and He is perfect, but that does not mean we change who He created us to be. What did He create you to be? What gifts did He freely give to you? Don’t cover it all up. Believe in yourself, because underneath all that exterior that you use to hide who you really are, is that beautiful person God created you to be.