Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day by Day with JOY!

Lately the house has been falling apart. It has been one thing after another, but thankfully it is all getting fixed. Dryer repair, oven repair, water leaks, flooring repair, braces, back pain, toilet leakage and breakage, drywall repair...we had all that this month. But it is ok. I probably seem to complain about it, because it can be frustrating, but I really am not complaining. It is an expected part of home ownership.
Kind of like encountering issues raising kids. Trouble comes. Not all humans are the same personality nor do they respond the same to discipline and correction. One thing I had to learn is that you can read the bible, all the best books, get the advice from older moms, and try everything, and your kids still will be who they are. Mine are not yours. Our family dynamic and goals are not yours. What I choose for my kids is not what you choose. And it is ok. Comparing us to others and constantly feeling the need to justify choices is exhausting, and a thief of daily joy. The times I find myself defending to myself why I choose certain things through no questioning from others, are times I find I am not so happy with the choices I made.  There will always be someone more conservative, more liberal, more "green", more diet conscious, more family oriented, more strict, more relaxed, more media oriented, less media oriented, more judgmental, farm loving, city loving, louder, quieter, more involved, less involved, more supervisory, less supervisory, more introverted, more extroverted, whatever. You name it.
Our family is fine and we are daily doing our best. I bet the same is true for you. I would also bet we are going about our life choices quite differently.  I could not, and would not want us to be much different than we are. I think we are a pretty fun loving bunch. I bet you like your family the way they are, too. If we don't, we are probably working on it. I know I am.
Our family is louder, rowdier, not always as conservative, or as disciplined, very active in outside activity as they get older, selective about certain things, lovers of media, socially out and about, creative, suburbanites. We have our individual struggles and we get lots of things wrong, but we try to do what is best for our family, for our kids, and we try very hard to center around God first. I think we are pretty family oriented, and as the kids grow, they get to be socially around lots of people. I love that they are as comfortable with peers as they are with adults...well, most of them are. We all have our socially awkward aspects I suppose. Even me. We all have our personality quirks. But daily we all try to live as lights.
My friends come from all walks and all religious groups and all kinds of differing choices. Some I am closer to than others. Naturally. We tend toward those who are most like us, behaviorally, goal wise, and with kids the same age. And that all changes through different stages of life. My close friends now are not the same ones I had 10 or 20 years ago, and I bet it looks much different 10  and 20 years down the road. I know it will, because my life will be different.
So I am enjoying daily life with the kids while they are young (not all are so young anymore). They grow quickly and start to become independent people ready to go into the world and make their mark. I want them to be ready for that, and I need grace and prayer to be ready for that, too. It is bittersweet to watch them grow up. But seeing them go out there, independent of us, thriving, making an impact on their own, well, that is a true JOY! It really is!

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