Family

“You don’t choose your family.  They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”  -Desmond Tutu

Saturday morning I was rushing, trying to get a good breakfast on the table (gingerbread pancakes, maple syrup sausage and coconut banana-orange smoothies) before a long day in Washington, PA.  I asked Rafal and Ania to pitch in and help.  Rafal balked waiting for his first opportunity to check out of the kitchen and ran up to his room, slamming his door, because I didn’t  answer him quickly enough.  
When he came back down, I yelled at him, “This is not your day!  This isn’t about your whims and your likes and dislikes.  It’s Dad’s day.  We are going to celebrate the opening of his new restaurant!”  
I am not a yeller.  Ask anyone who knows me, it takes a hulking straw to break my camel’s back.  Saturday, it shattered.  When we got to the van, I apologized and asked him to forgive me, adding,
“I am not sorry for what I said.  I am sorry for how I said it.”
He replied, “I’m sorry Mom.  I yell at you all the time and you hardly ever yell at me.  Thanks for the food.”
This incidents speaks of things that have been percolating in my heart this month as I revisit a study on family.  I should have been yelling at myself (although Rafal did need some correction) because of my attitude.  I was running behind already because I was reading a book ‘I couldn’t put down’.  I knew it was Jerry’s day, friends and family day at Olive Garden in Washington.   
The family is the micro-unit of society.  Each unit has a system of government and set of presuppositions they live by. Nehemiah understood the importance of the family unit.  When he went to Jerusalem to rebuilt the wall of defense around it, he had each family build in front of their own home (see Nehemiah 3).  The wall of defense must be built first in our own home in order to build a strong family,community, church and nation.  
In Saturday’s incident, I wasn’t building a wall of defense around my family, being proactive and leaving plenty of time to make a nourishing breakfast before a long day out.  Instead, I was self-serving, reading a book and lingering too long on myself.  Oh but, I was learning so much from that book, I told myself.  Hogwash.  I let my sword slip out of its sheath, clattering to the ground in carelessness.  Maybe the story above seems like a minor in a world of majors, a world that seems to be breaking apart at the seams, a society built on shoddy gods and humanistic pursuits, why does preparing a hearty homemade breakfast and honoring a dad even matter?
Each micro unit of family provides a strong block to build a society on.  Examine every society that has fallen, when individual units become more interested in pleasing themselves than in pursuing activities that enhance the lives of others, the family will crumble and with it goes the society leaning on it.

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3 thoughts on “Family

  1. Amen! What a timely word, Kath.

    I have found myself doing the same thing: wasting time with “important” things that I “need” to get done when I should be attending to my children and my home, and then taking my frustration out on my kids when I get behind.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow…this hits home. I've been reading(and thanking the Lord for…) your blog. Having adopted two Russian boys 9 years ago, it hasn't been easy, and it seems to be getting harder now that one who still suffers from RAD is about to enter Middle School. Your posts always hit home…and frankly, I realize have been pitying myself for the past 9 years instead of thanking the Lord for my little family. Lately I have gotten into the habit of, milking those moments between my part-time job and their getting out of school. Instead of taking advantage of the solitude with prayer, I catch up on Castle (TV Show). When I am interrupted by their naughtiness, I have been getting exasperated. Thank you for your honesty and wisdom in your posts,there are those of us out here who are reading, and really need them.

  3. Nora, thanks! I know it is difficult to parent children with RAD! I will keep you in my prayers! May God give you the grace to enjoy the little moments and see the goodness of God in your boys. I pray that for myself, too! Blessings!

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