If you have been following my blog for the last week, you will know that we had a terrible wind storm that knocked down several trees and required some major clean and debris removal. My aching joints are still “feeling it.” As I was dragging and pulling limbs over the weekend, I was reminded of things that are hard. It was hard dragging the limbs and getting them in the right place where we could get a chain under them and through them to pull them off.
There was a learning curve. My sister and I figured out that we needed to tell dad to cut the limbs just below a fork on in the limb and that we could hook the chain in the fork and then drag them limbs more easily to the debris pile with Dad’s tractor. Man…that was a slick assessment by the Brown progeny…because it worked like a charm.
I think back of working side by side with my younger sister and I remember our childhood days together. They were mostly really good! (I know you were wondering what I would say, Kim :)) But, there were times that we disagreed and had arguments. The same is true for my own family today and I bet yours too.
There are times I wonder if I’m getting anything right with my children. It seems the chain at times wants to slip off and it doesn’t seem to be “grabbing hold.” Do you know what I mean? Don’t get me wrong…Pam and I are blessed with wonderful children…but, unfortunately, they all take after me…so, they are “big-time” not perfect. So, what do we do? We don’t quit. We keep re-assessing and make adjustments and go at it again.
But I want to be real honest. Sometimes I just want peace in my home. Do you? If there has been a bad night of bickering and fighting…sometimes I just want to sacrifice principle for peace. How ’bout you? Want a little peace and quiet? Get tired of the battle? Want to give up? Move to Siberia? Dig a hole and crawl in and pull the hole in after you? Sure you do! We all do at times. Why? Because we get tired and we need time to rest and recharge.
As my Dad was cutting up all those tree limbs Friday and Saturday,
we had to MAKE him rest, because he’s so driven! I’m just like him (it takes one to know one :)). But, we finally had to pull him aside and say, “Dad, you’ve got to rest a minute or you are going to overheat.” Boy, that’s me in my home so often. I get “overheated.” You know…angry. Then I say things I shouldn’t.
Man…this is a hard job!
Yes…it isn’t easy. No manuals come with our children when they are born to us or adopted. No one gives us a “How-to” guide do they? But, we don’t need one. Why? Because we actually have one. The Bible of course. I think of all of those passages in Proverbs that Solomon wrote to give us guidance and I think of one of my favorites in Hebrews 12:
3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
Isn’t that good? Let’s be reminded that the Lord Jesus is our example. We are not to grow weary or fainthearted in the battle.
So what do we do? Keep talking. If we get angry with each other as parents and children and don’t keep talking we’ll never work anything out. We have to keep hammering at it. And I’ve learned as a Dad that I set the tone. If I’m being sarcastic or mean-spirited, then my kids will too. If I’m willing to take some bumping and grinding in the paint on the basketball floor…surely I’m strong enough and tough enough to roll up my sleeves and listen in my home instead of just pounding my fist in anger and saying “This is how it’s going to be!”
Sometimes, I’ve learned the best thing I can do encompasses two words:
Yep…just admitting I’m wrong softens the situation no matter what’s going on. Do you know when I try to flee to “peace” instead of being willing to roll up my sleeves and listen and talk and love…I’m really telling my children “I don’t care what you do…I’m tired and I just want to rest.” Well, that’s when we take a deep breath and look toward heaven and ask the Heavenly Father for strength and calmness and take a break before we get overheated.
When my Dad sat down and got some water and cool towel for his neck…the work was still there…staring him in the face…along with the rest of us. Tree limbs everywhere the eye could see.
But, just resting for a moment…drinking in some water and taking 15 minutes to reassess the situation made it all better.
Hmmmm. I’m feeling better. Are you? Ready to go back in again? In Christ…with the refreshing of the water of life “His Word” we can do it. In our own strength…we’ll just seek peace and never pull the debris from our lives. I’m thankful for the sustenance of the Word of Life and for the Savior who gives it!