Monday, August 8, 2011

I Am Struggling Today

What is the first thing you think of when someone says the word, "family?"

Move right on down to the comments, be honest and tell us.  Then come back.  I'll be happy to wait . . .


Well, lately, when I think of that word, what comes to my mind is the first line of A Tale of Two Cities.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity . . .
Emphasis on "the epoch of incredulity . . ."

Really,  I only remembered the very first part of that quote, but when I Googled it, and read further, I decided that a few phrases more and the quote would fit much better. Heh.

--  Fair warning:  this concludes the humorous portion of today's post  --

I have a great family.  I know I am blessed. 

-Are you expecting a "but" to go along with that?-

You'd be right.

Why is it so difficult for family to respect your boundaries?  Does anyone else know people that claim to have your best interests at heart but they get tripped up over their own - agenda - for lack of a better word?  They may want to do the right thing, but just can't seem to follow through?  Someone that gives a bit, but takes gallons more and then does their darndest to make you feel guilty for how much they have done for you?

I am struggling today.  Struggling with this very thing. 

We are all human.  Make mistakes.  Are forgetful.  And often selfish.  **raising hand**  And I am willing to forgive.  Not for their sake, but for my own.  It doesn't really hurt them one bit if I hold a grudge, but it does hurt me.  And it puts a wedge in my relationship with God.

On one side we have the world that says, "You shouldn't have to put up with that kind of treatment" and on the other side we have God's perspective, "Turn the other cheek."  He's forgiven me for so much.  Put up with so much from me.  I should be able to do the same, right?

Knowing that makes me wonder if I am the one being selfish for not wanting to continue a relationship with the person that has treated me and my immediate family so unjustly and is the cause of so much frustration.  And the other part of me thinks it is a matter of self preservation to remove myself from any chance of any kind of contact.  Ever.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
James 1:2-4

 I am struggling today.


  1. I think I could write a whole book on this topic! I'll try to narrow it down. ;)

    We're doing this study on total forgiveness. It is just killing me but it is very insightful. One thing it does say is there is a time when a relationship is to be ended. You can walk in forgiveness but that doesn't always mean that restoration is possible. Peace is to be our umpire - what guides us and we need to be at peace instead of being stirred up all the time. Relationship is a 2 way street. Families don't always remember that but after stating your side and your feelings and you are still blown off - then to remain in peace the relationship should be on a time out. And it is God that says when it's time to go back together. His timing and all that. ;)
    There are some people that no matter how hard you try will never be pleased. I'm wondering if that is the whole don't cast your pearls before swine?

    Time outs are a good thing with toddlers and when you have adults acting like one, then a time out is in order. You got to do what is right for your husband and children and if people have a problem with that - too bad! We can honor our parents by honoring our wedding vows of forsaking all others.

    Pour out your frustration to Jesus. Ask for wisdom. While it may be very hard to end a family tie - pray and see where peace leads you. Toxic people will only keep poisoning the well, so to speak. I used to think being a peacekeeper was a doormat but we're to be a peacemaker and that is a lot harder than what it sounds. It means holding the line, not backing down to manipulation, and at times whacking someone with a big ugly stick.

    Sorry family agendas are raising their ugly heads. You can do this! You can stand up for yourself because you ARE worth it!!

    "Fight! Win! And call me when you get back, darling, I love our visits." ~Incredibles

  2. Thank you, Joanna. Maybe since I haven't stood up and let my voice be heard, it magnifies my frustration. I feel like I've been steam rolled. I'm not one for confrontation and being a pacemaker, has always meant (to me) keeping my mouth shut. Have I misunderstood the term all my life?

  3. carri S.8/09/2011

    Dont keep your mouth shut Jen. Your opinions do matter and dont ever let anyone tell you otherwise! When you talk people do and will listen because you have something important to say, Always! Love you and your opinions:)and call if u ever need to blow off some steam. Thats what friends are for!

  4. Carri is right - your opinions do matter!! A peacemaker doesn't put up with people's bull. You would be amazed how freeing it is to say sorry but that doesn't work for me. Anger is the first sign that your boundaries are being crossed and is letting you know to do something. Nothing wrong with anger - we're just not supposed to stew in it and then get into sin.

    God hasn't called us to be doormats. Stick to the facts and speak up for yourself. It is hard but you can do it. You got Jesus walking right along with you. Pray for wisdom on what to say. And even if you are blown off, you tried to be reasonable and then you can go to the next stage of shaking the dust off your shoes. And/or beating them with the dusty shoe. Yeah, I'm still working on me. :}


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