משפחה

Family.

Be Remarkable in obscurity. This is the theme in my head lately. Home is where everything starts and ends, and all the messy, good, and hard stuff in between.

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My husband and I are two broken people, in an imperfect marriage. We are imperfect parents. If I were trying to tell you we were the perfect couple, that we had it all together, and I had a to-do list for you to become as perfect as we are, that would be one thing. But I’m not. I’m putting my stuff out there to show you that if we can do this, so can you. We have been working at marriage for decades now. Still trying, still struggling. I’m just open to sharing the fact that the struggle is real because our society-including Christians- is hemorraging marriages. We, as a society are bleeding out God’s design and plan for us like it’s no big deal. But it is.
Look at us; at what we have become, and what our children have become. Look at what we tolerate, accept, and consider as normal now.
It’s not normal to be so fractured and isolated. It should be abnormal to quit so easily. To give up everything costly and worthy to sin.
But we eat it up until we are bloated with it. Entertainment, pleasures, cravings, and self-obsessions. What other people literally eats itself to death? Lives in enormous empty houses? Rents buildings to store all the junk we can’t possibly fit into our oversized homes? We are gluttons for everything but what counts.
Why can’t we be gluttons for good? For blessing others and setting ourselves apart to do right? To pursue solid ground for future generations? To build for our grandchildren so they have somewhere stable to start?
Our foster care system is glutted with more children than can be managed.
Sixty year old couples are starting over raising children because their kids have abandoned their babies.
Women my age aren’t focused on being good grandmas. They are focused on their looks and reinventing themselves. Okay. What about your grandkids?
Sometimes I think fixing our own families is as simple as staying home and baking cookies. But what do I know?

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Last week I got an ugly, anonymous comment on my blog. I don’t get them often, but occasionally, and usually to be fair, I will publish them. However, anonymous smacked of cowardice so in this case I simply chose to delete it. It was pretty personal, very likely someone who knows me. But, like I said, I’m putting stuff out there not so people think I have it together, but to show them that even though I don’t, I still try, and I hope you do too.

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This morning as I write from a pillowy soft bed in front of a fireplace, in a condo overlooking gorgeous hills and craggy ridges dotted with tall pine trees and capped with snow, I reflect over God’s goodness to me. I’m in Lake Chelan with my husband. We are away together celebrating our anniversary. We do most years get away for a couple of days together. We leave behind our troubles, our responsibilities, children, ranch, and animals and we just go somewhere beautiful alone. We don’t exchange gifts, but we share a peaceful experience together- just us. Imperfect as always, but together still and that’s what matters.

I slipped out of this gorgeous condo early this morning while Doug was still sleeping. A quarter of a mile up the road to the Starbucks we had scouted out the night before (#thankyoujesus) I picked up our morning coffees.On a whim I stopped at the local artisan bakery and got an entire bag of flakey, still-warm pastries. Normally we aren’t breakfast people but the idea of a cozy treat overlooking the lake and the rest of the astonishing view this morning was too good to pass up.

One of Doug’s co-workers, who is one of my own personal heroes for a variety of reasons, arranged for our stay here this year. He is a good man, family-centered. He and his family quietly bless us over and over. That’s just the kind of people they are.
The more I think about him and his family, the more I see a theme forming. A theme of being remarkable simply because a person is content live in obscurity. Working hard, seeing needs, doing something about it. An unremarkable formula for being remarkable?

Ordinary people doing extraordinary deeds.

When I aspire to do better, I think of this guy. I’d like to be more like him. Quietly thoughtful, seeing people. Keeping his family together and celebrating small things and living what he believes without being loud. His home life is a safe harbor. But I happen to know it took some work. His actions speak volumes.

Sometimes mine do too, and it’s not favorable. Real life is nitty-gritty and not so glamorous and I often fall short of my aspirations and goals. But God is gracious and brings me back over and over again to start fresh. Usually He is kind enough to send a loving person to illustrate a concept and often it’s someone I wouldn’t have first expected.

I’ve had a lot to reflect on lately, and I hope the changes I feel coming reflect the goodness I’ve received so often. I’d like to think that I’m becoming more of what I admire and less of what I despise. But you know, one step forward and one step back, right?

 

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