Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We are that family. . .

But not the one you are thinking.

There is a blog that I've run across a few times that proclaims that "they are that family" but what follows is encouraging words, uplifting statements about family and faith, and cute little anecdotes about family. Sometimes a hint or two at how to do this or that task. Generally, it's an encouraging place to visit.

However, we are not that family.

These past few weeks have been a journey into humility--not with giant sized troubles, but with nearly-constant, ever-nagging mistakes.

Like not sending your son to a soccer event in his green shirt--and he's the only one not wearing it.

Like the sloppy, wispy-haired, I-can't-do-much-better-with-that-colic bun in my ballerina's hair.

Like blowing the grocery budget every single time I shop. (Curse you, Costco!)

Like forgetting a picture of our family for the preschool classroom for two weeks. And I'm supposed to provide snacks for every day this week. The pressure is almost enough to make me crack.

Goofy on purpose
Like being about two minutes late for everything. Sometimes people are surprised when I show up on time. And even once, I had never been late and I was congratulated for not being late like the previous week.

We are that family.

The one that tries really hard, but always falls short.

Not quite ready for a picture
And this, just now, I realized that the casserole has been in the oven for a half-hour, but the heat hasn't been on for it.

A day late and a dollar short, always.

The budget is always tight, the house is always cluttered, I almost always look mean or angry or frazzled (Thanks gray hair and forehead creases).

Always ready for a picture
But oh, I want to be that family--with beautiful athletic people and gorgeous family photos that reflect the perfect life we lead. I was children who love each other and a beautiful marriage and deep, personal relationships with God (which should involve at least daily family devotions and hour long personal quiet times).

I find myself caught between my expectations of myself and the world's expectations for me. Usually, I am resilient and accepting of who I am. (My house is just going to look lived in, because we live in it. My clothes are older and worn. My kids are...kids).

But these days, it hits me in the gut and drags down my spirit. Why? Because I am trying so hard to do it right. I want my son to experience success and friendship and teamwork on a club soccer team. I want my daughter to excel in ballet, if that is where her heart leads her. I want them to learn and feel joy and love and serve and offer compassion. I want them to be the best them they can be. But the best them involves me letting go and allowing them to be chastised for the bun that falls out or not wearing the right uniform piece or not finishing their homework.

But then for a moment I stop and God whispers into my heart.

He whispers, "Peace."
These beautiful four.
They are my heart.
And perfect for me. 

Then He reminds me of something I still have difficulty fathoming. He says, "I gave exactly the family I wanted for you. I am molding everyone in your family into my image. I'm using your failures too."

And He gives me glimmers in images that make me forget the failures.
Laughter that takes away the sting.
A hug that removes the crabby.
A compassionate act or loving gesture.
A kind word.

And my eyes are opened to the fruit that is growing in all of us, even among the weeds at the Beuker house.

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