I have thought of quite a few blog posts lately. I am not sure how to put things once I get to the computer though. The kids and I had a great discussion this evening about our many glaring weaknesses and frustrations about ourselves. We certainly have a culture of our own here in this household. We also came up with the plus side of this odd family. I would say overall the plus sides are that every single person does seem to have a sincere desire to serve other people and help them in their hours of need. We have a special empathy towards large families as quite frankly, watching or helping a family with a lot of kids can simply be overwhelming and not exactly the first thing that people think to jump up and do. Large families are not quite able to lead glamorous lives either so we empathize. We don't care about glamour as there is no time to consider that we are missing it. So....we helped the brides family as I could just only imagine being in their shoes when it is considered a feat just to get through a regular church service and actually stay in the pews. Enjoying your daughter's wedding and not having to worry about little children who might cry and crawl on your head was not my picture of enjoying a daughter's wedding. So we helped to watch them when we could. Everyone in our family just sees that need and does it. There can be parties going on, or friends beckoning, but help we will. No, I am not trying to sound like a martyr but this is just what this family enjoys to do for fellow parents similar to us. We concluded that we love to do this and it is certainly a plus. The kids were having a sort of "we are a bunch of losers" sort of mood this evening so the time came to discuss what sort of losers we really are. Of course we are sinners to the core, and we DO realize that, but seeing my kids so depressed was I suppose a teachable moment.
The other thing we discussed was our great dislike of being criticized or have stupid questions asked of us like....."why is there laundry all over the place" or the assumption made that because we have a bunch of kids that we don't have any passions or ability to make it without the aid of the eldest. Or that all we do is change diapers and do housekeeping duties. Or we just don't handle criticism in general very well. When you live with this many people, criticism can just abound. After all there are 9(actually 10) sinners running around bumping into each other and of course criticism happens. We have our pleasant routines but there are also two parents here who are not always good at giving praise or appreciation to anyone. Making it through the day can just be wearing. I have personally had my share of people in my life who criticize me for my decisions, my grammar, my political views, my theological practices, my house keeping inabilities, my marriage etc. to the point that I have pondered designing a t-shirt with a target on it. Yes, that is sarcastic but truth be told I get sort of tired of it. So this family tends to be a little defensive. Who likes to be corrected or criticized anyway? Yes, there is the ability to take constructive criticism but I not so sure the comments that irk us fall in that category. So.....we pray and forgive and keep forging ahead. We remind each other to pray and forgive and that we are forgiven in Christ. Sigh.
On the flip side we also discussed that because we do have a large family that it makes PERFECT sense that we bond with people who also do. There are certainly those who love us and I truly enjoy spending time with. I thank God for that. I do not love the fact that I feel misunderstood and that some people seem sort of afraid of me or something. I am not in my comfort zone when I sense that I need to help people understand this large family or that I am being evaluated for my abilities or knowledge. I AM in my comfort zone with people I find interesting who I can take the time and enjoy them. I SO enjoyed talking with the Great Grandma at the wedding about her farm and her love for her family. She is a kindred spirit from afar who I may not have the privilege to talk with again. I think I am attracted to the quiet, hard working humble people of life who do not live a glamorous life but do have passion, love and care for those they have been given to care for. They are inspiring to me.
I am sorry I make some people uncomfortable including some of my relations. I am not exactly sure what to do about that but keep praying. I am usually just taken by surprise and sometimes stumped as to what to say in response. I guess I do not like either to be pressured or forced to agree with people when frankly I don't always agree. So at times I am forthright and say something. I don't think I am really THAT scary but of course I was told in High School that no one in HS wanted to ask me for a date as I was intimidating....smart.....whatever. This is getting long (not competing with anyone.....) but I do still struggle with the stereo type that because I have a bunch of kids, from nearly out of the nest to babes in arms, that I am not capable of making decisions or having many brain cells left. I have passions and interests that are most important to me and I AM NOT helpless because there are some younger kids around. I am not looking for pity at all and sort of resent it which is not too friendly or forgiving on my part. But really, PITY????? We love our family the way it is and I do happen to know what to do with this crew and really am perplexed with comments that insinuate that I can't handle contributing things because after all I have all these little kids to take care of. Two of the little kids are taller than me now! One could probably fly the coop now but I don't want her to, not for reasons of needing help, but because I love her and will miss her, so am I helpless?????? The help I love is from people like our new members who make dinner on Monday nights so at the catechumens (can't spell that tonight) can make it through the day without totally falling apart. It is a quiet help but is greatly appreciated by all. It is also a sort of humbling, wonderful kind of help to accept. Thank you H's for all of the stress relief you have contributed to.
So this post may sound as weird as the apple that fell from the tree's posts, but these are things that I am struggling with and would appreciate prayers for. How to not get depressed with misunderstanding and hurtful comments, decisions made for us , that may not have been intended to be hurtful but in the quiet background have been. I know, forgive them, but truly just getting over hurt is hard as well.
Love from this weird family....