The season sets the standard

I am terrible at being a sick person.

It’s not that I’m an awful patient, with a little bell at my bedside to communicate my constant requests for hot lemon drinks and more tissues (honestly, I prefer to be left alone). It’s more that I have a hard time of letting myself be sick.

Instead, I tend to try my best to just keep going at the normal pace and get the things done. Although inevitably I don’t get the things done very well, I’m grouchy, and occasionally the weariness means I do some very silly things – for example, this week I accidentally stuck my fingers in the ceiling fan while leaning out from the stairs to gesture at my mother. Yes, it hurt; no, I did not chop my fingers off (the kids were surprised).

Why not just snuggle up in bed and let the world pass me by until I’m better? Well, four kids… enough said. But that’s just a cover, really the issue is that I struggle to switch to the mode of sick person.

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How to reset the family dynamic

Sometimes you just get into an unhealthy pattern of relating at home. Maybe it’s been a hard week (/month/year), maybe there’s been some hurt and disappointment, maybe the kids have been behaving like little… delights… and you’ve lost your rag with them one too many times.

Whatever the root cause, you can find yourself in the middle of grouchiness on every side.

We were there this week: meanness, hurtful words, withering eye rolls, thunderous frowns… the whole complement of grumpiness. And then there were the kids.

It reminds me of Paul’s warning against “biting and devouring” one another in Galatians 5:15. Or as The Passion Translation puts it:

But if you continue to criticize and come against each other over minor issues, you’re acting like wild beasts trying to destroy one another!

Wild beasts indeed.
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