Welcome to the 2nd in our Family Stories series for November! Today’s story comes from my dear friend Meredith, who writes at My Journey to Authenticity. Here is how she describes herself on her blog:
- Wife/Mother/Friend/Sister. Daughter of the King. Blogger. Musician. Educator. Knitter. Food enthusiast. One who laughs loudly.
Please join me in welcoming her today!
Family time is at a premium around here.
The school week is filled with frantic mornings, hurried phone conversations that of course coincide with dinner time, chaotic bedtimes and my husband and I not setting eyes on each other with both of us being completely awake until Friday night. Late Friday night.
My teaching schedule has Stephen and I leaving the house shortly after (or before) seven, Monday through Friday. My husband’s custodial schedule has him not arriving home until 11:30pm or later Monday through Friday.
So the weekends are pretty much The Most Important Thing.
On Friday night before I put my five year old to bed I whisper, “Stephen, we all get to be together tomorrow.” And he throws his arm around my neck and whispers, “yay, yay, yay, yay.”
Saturday morning dawns, and Randy and I are exhausted, because we stayed up too late finishing the conversations that we never got to start during the week. Stephen stands in the door way, clutching his blanket and his stuffed animal, and looks at us until we notice him. We make room for him in the middle and he races over and launches himself up onto the bed.
When Jonathan, 19 months, wakes up, we collect him and all trudge downstairs. After some coffee for us, and Netflix for the kids, we are more awake, and the choruses of “Happy Saturday” begin.
Both of the boys have always thrived, and been happiest, when we are all together.
But then . . . so do Randy and I.
Even now that we have planted a church that currently meets in our home, and a good chunk of Saturday is spent cleaning, and preparing, the time is still an oasis.
We remember what it is like to work as a team – – – he will clean the counter in the kitchen while I clear the table and sweep the dining area. He will clean the bathrooms while I mop (or to be honest spot- mop most of the time) the floors. Stephen puts all of the toys away in the play room, and exhibits his servant’s heart in the way he cares for his brother.
And after the cleaning is done, we just settle in and be.
Together, Whole, Happy, Content.
Even when we are doing separate things — Randy finishing up studying for his message on Sunday, Jonathan sleeping, me blogging, and Stephen making his latest “book” about Blue’s Clues or Thomas the Train, or my sister’s dog, Freddie–we are refreshed just being in each other’s presence.
The family unit is a tangible force.
It has the power to heal. To encourage. To build up. To praise. To grow.
It has the same power in the opposites, as well:
To wound, to ridicule, to demean, to berate, to belittle.
Without the presence of the Holy Spirit in my mind and heart, I would fall more often in the second list than the first. And I can tell that my spiritual tank is running on empty when I respond in frustration and anger, and the situation called for love, and grace.
Together, my husband and I are breaking the chains of childhood abuse from his past.
We are building trust instead of tearing it down.
We are fostering love instead of fear.
We are teaching obedience out of a desire to serve the Holy One, and not to avoid a beating.
We are clinging to a Heavenly Father, who has the hairs on our head numbered, and knows every tear that falls. We are trusting Him with our present, and with our future . . . and more importantly, with our sons’ futures.
For even though they are ours, we must never forget that first they were His.