The moment I knew my life was about to shift, there was what I can only describe as an internal earthquake at a 9.2 on the Richter scale. I had my youngest daughter on my hip, standing in our kitchen talking to my oldest daughter who was opening the fridge door. My oldest turned to me and said, “Mom you’re going to have to get a job!” I laughed a little, thinking she was just being sarcastic and replied, “Honey, I already have a full-time job! What do you think I’ve been doing for the last 20 years!” It was then that I realized the look in her eyes was not one of sassy pants but one of despair and abject disappointment, even deep hurt. She quietly said, “I know Mom, but it needs to be a full-time job where they pay you a real check with real money!” I just looked at her with no words.
Many of us have gone through this and many may yet go through such shifts in life. Changes that can bring deep pain and cataclysmic effects are often the result of poor choices and behaviors that are often times over indulgences or appetites that have become reckless and selfish. When these times occur where do we go for our advocates and to find peace? What happens to our solid foundation? Sometimes those things are burned down to the ground and lay in ashes. However, the family still remains.
In every society ever created from the foundations of recorded history, one organized unit has remained constant. That organized unit has consisted of a father and mother and offspring. If you study and look into history you will find there are many families that have worked with each other to create and design and influence history. Some have had negative effects, others have had positive effects that have blessed the world. It leads one to think that perhaps the organized unit of the family is not what needs to be redesigned or done away with, but that the intention of our family needs to be clarified. For instance, if power and control are the main themes in a family there may be glamour and fame as a result. On the other hand, if service and influence are the main themes, the power will result in love and abundance. It is the latter example that will have the interests of others in mind.
Often we think of the family unit as a team. We work in teams, we play sports in teams, we collaborate and serve in teams. At the end of the day we go home. It’s what we’re used to and what feels familiar. However team play is success oriented and often the victories are fleeting. So many times we’ve been told we are only as good as our last victory.
The family, however, is structured a bit differently. This is the place, the home that we return to. So it needs to be nurtured differently and in a more permanent way. Significant effort is required and daily tender loving care, with unselfish unconditional love and a mindset of being all in, heart and soul.
This is a saying posted on the wall in our home and thought of as house rules. I offer it as an example for some ideas on ways to accomplish family happiness.
“In this house we dance in the kitchen, say please and thank you, trust in God, think good thoughts, say I’m sorry, say prayers, try to do better, never give up, show respect, laugh like crazy with each other and sometimes because of each other, sing out loud, encourage each other positively and most important we love one another.”
When those life shifts happen, these are the ideals that bring us home and back into hearts and arms of family. There will never be a time when the family is not a source of strength and influence. The family and the contributions of family are indeed priceless. Hopefully, we will take this month to concentrate some real time and invest in our families. May I be bold and say…. may our homes be filled with the sound of laughter and giggles. May friends old and new visit often. May light and magical stories and happy tales be part of each new day. May we create memories to treasure. May extended family come from near and far. May fun and comfort and love and truth and honesty be our focus. May fascinating ideas and conversations be often heard. May hope and kindness prevail and may we pass out hugs and kisses in abundance.
Wishing everyone a great month!