Thursday, April 21, 2011
The last couple of weeks i have really been thinking alot about the meaning of family. As a parent i am consciously aware of my kids attitudes towards Jeromy and I and each other. Some days i am so proud and some days i am discouraged. I know they are kids and of course they are learning. I love that they are learning. I know some people think i am a little too "law & order" when it comes to parenting and then in the same breath, i error on the side of being too protective and soft. What a balancing act it is. Above all else i want my kids to love God. I want them to treat others kindly, i want them to always remember their manner and put others before themselves. And yet, some days i find that i am harping and harping on them to love one another, share and be patient so much, that i end up yelling it...and when you are yelling "LOVE ONE ANOTHER!" It doesn't do your cause much justice.
As i am dealing with so many dimensions of my own families dynamics and confused and frustrated and hurt by the sometimes careless acts of life, it reminds me to push hard to remind my kids to always love one another. And not just the ol' blood is thicker than water kind of love. I want them to actually care about each other. I want them to respect each other. I want them to encourage. I want them to empathize with each other. I want them to protect each other. And not just when the going gets tough, but always.
This last month i have really witnessed a lack of family in a few different situations with a few different groups of people. In fact i am shocked at the amount of "dysfunction" there is in families. Mine included. Why do we not love one another?
As i watched Parenthood this week i was so touched. It wasn't the main point of the story, but i was super aware of the longing that i had for a situation those characters were going through. Someone had been awoken by a phone call saying her daughter had been in a car accident and she had to come to the hospital. Well, that character went to the hospital and one by one her siblings and family showed up to support her and sit with her. I was just shocked. It is what a family should be, right? Supportive. Loving. And I do have that, don't get me wrong...but you know, everyones got something.
Well, my cousin informed me that that was just television and that not all families are even like that. And she is right. But still, i find myself longing for it and wanting it for so many others. I am very aware that i want my kids to have that. I need them to.
So i have adopted a new saying at the house when the kids are fighting. I immediately stop them and say "Who do we love first?" And they respond "God" and then i say "and who do we love second?" and they respond "family". Yes, i may be acting as a forceful dictator, but i think it is important to remind them that we are family and that its really important. God didn't make a mistake when he stuck us together. Family is a foundation. Good or bad. We either cling to it and rely on its support, or we learn from it and try to find the lesson in it. Yes, not all families are like Parenthood, but i want mine to be (in some ways). I want that for my kids.
Its odd, how one of my brothers in the midst of a rant said something that has stuck with me. I was discussing a family member who had hurt me and how i was trying to mend that relationship and my brother went on and on and on about forgetting them and moving on. He said i should watch Joe Dirt and went on to tell me why. Joe spent the whole movie trying to find his parents who had abandoned him. His family and when he did they weren't even worth finding! The moral of the movie was that its not just about the "family" you were born into, "family" is the relationships we build along the way.
Who knew Joe Dirt had so much to offer? :)
I believe family and family we find along the way are all important in shaping us to be who God wants us to be. It may not be a good situation but we learn from it. It may be a fabulous supportive situation and we grow from it. No matter how you look at it, we are all right where God wants us to be.
This weekend, especially, i want to remember the One who delicately placed us in our perfect situation. It is because of His sacrifice on the cross that i can live in eternity with my Father. My heavenly family is going to embrace me into their arms and its going to be a feeling like no other.............and then hopefully we can have a coffee and discuss what we are gong to be doing for the next thousand years!
I hope you are all loving and embracing your chosen families today! Have a Happy Easter, friends!