Friday, November 28, 2008

Quick Takes Again

(1) I'm already feeling a little Scroogish. Call me a grump, but the Christmas season is not my favorite time of year. I hate the shopping, the pressure of finding the perfect gifts, and cramming as many events as possible into a few weeks. I want Christmas to be about more than stuff and stress. Every year I ask God how we can celebrate better. He hasn't given me any definite answers yet, but I know there must be a better way.

(2) I had a Sophie's Choice kind of moment this week (okay, it wasn't nearly that dramatic, but tugged at my mommy's heart nonetheless). We had planned to travel to see our older son before he left for his big audition in Wyoming, but our younger son was sick, practically horking up a lung, I tell you. Do you risk the health of the younger one to make the older one feel loved or do you coddle the sick one, stay home and tell the older one sorry?

We told the older one sorry, but it was a tough call to make. He was fine with it, but it sure made me sad. Sniff. It was the first holiday our family was not intact. I know it's part of life and people do this every day, but I didn't like it too much. It was one more thing reminding me I'm getting older.

(3) Do you look forward to family gatherings? I do. I am fortunate to have good family relationships, but yesterday I was reminded of how I need to work harder on a few of them. I've dropped the ball and have tried to acquit myself by saying the other parties have too, but there's really no excuse. I can't blame anyone for my own lack of connection.

It seems harder to open myself up to my family than to other people. I think it's because they know all about me. They know where I've come from. They know my weaknesses. They know if I'm full of it or not. I've been working harder in the last few years to be myself with my family, even if I don't think they may understand. After all, how can they know me if I don't share my real thoughts or feelings?

Family members can be guilty of assuming too much about each other too. We tend to peg each other and make the labels stick--she's the dramatic one, he's so cautious, etc. There's not the same discovery process we go through as in other relationships. Because we've spent years living together, we assume we already know each other. We don't always give each other room to grow and change. Or maybe we don't work as hard to "get" each other because we know the relationships will always be there no matter how hard or little we work at it.

(4) This next week will be especially busy at our house as we finish up preparations for our Christmas production at church. Sometimes I like the busyness. I am WAY more efficient when I have to be. After the busyness is over, I'll look around my house and think, NOW WHAT? But the bad thing about busyness is I tend to run in survival mode, which I don't really like. There's no cushion for a timely phone call or refreshing lunch date and I feel like I disappoint everyone.

(5) I always get nervous for the debut of the production. Will people respond well? Will they be critical? Last year our program included an unequally yoked couple and a gunshot. Scandalous! It was well received for the most part, but not everyone could see the point.

This is what scares me about writing in general. No matter what I write, someone will not like it. Someone will bristle or make a judgment call on me. Someone won't understand my heart. If I didn't feel such a nudge from God to keep putting myself out there, I wouldn't do it. Too risky.

I figure the best thing to do is keep seeking God, keeping asking for wisdom and keep doing it. So far God hasn't given me an out. My fervent prayer is for everything I do to point others to God. It's my responsibility to do what God says, His to make it minister.

(6) Does anybody else find it strange that Mr. Change is picking so many old guard Democrats for his cabinet?

But what do I know about it? I'm some middle-aged housewife in Nebraska.

(7) It's cloudy and dreary right now in my neck of the woods. I kind of like this sort of weather. There's something soothing to me about clouds and darkness, like a blanket to hide under. Sometimes I think I would do well in England or Seattle where the fog and rain hang on.

I'm hoping you all aren't finding this Quick Takes thing on Friday too self-absorbed. It is fun for me to look over the last week and think about what's been on my mind. Be sure to visit Jennifer F. at Conversion Diary to see what's on the minds of others.


Ginger said...

I think the reason it's hard to be open around family is because we want so much to individualize and to differentiate ourselves from our families. There's such a strong pull to be what you understand your family to be, to mimic parents or family dynamics, and most of us would like to make a change for the better in some area or other. Putting distance in those relationships helps us feel that we are doing that, and at the same time helps us feel like we're resisting the pull to repeat the patterns of generations.

At the same time, I think God tries to remind us that our families need our love and interest as much as anyone else to whom we give it freely. And therein is the tension.

That's my two cents.

Emiley said...

I'm going to pray for you and Kevin and the whole production this week!! And, I plan to get down to see it on Sunday. Can't wait!!

MiPa said...

I love your quick takes and a look into your life. I'll be praying for your Christmas production. Ours opens on the 13th--German and the girls are performing, I'm not. Next ten days are a whirl of rehearsals.

Having been the child that broke the "everyone must come home for Thanksgiving" tradition, let me just say that it is great how much freedom you have given K to pursue his dreams. It will matter down the road that this grace was given now.

As far as #6, that has been my thought the past few days as well. What change??

Have a great week my friend!

Vicki said...

Hey Tami! Just wanted to pop over to say I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. Enjoyed your post...your take on family relationships is so true - I find my own family has me seemingly pegged, not allowing much room for growth or change:-) I'd not thought about that before, but it makes sense.

I'll be praying for all to go well with your Christmas production - would love to be there!


Dianne said...

I concur, on most of these. Especially re: Christmas/holidays and family gatherings. And the two together - ugh! But we muddle through. Oh and I had to chuckle at the last one (Mr. Change)! haha!