Thursday, January 7, 2010

What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

Like I have ANY idea.
The "God" answer is to pray. That's the single most important thing I could do. And will do. And will never stop doing.

But it's not enough, yo?
I have to DO something. Not because God needs my help, but because I am a mom and we are wired to DO things.

The number one thing I will do is pray. And the second thing I will do is institute "family games night" on Tuesdays and we will play Risk and Monopoly and eat popcorn and laugh. And I will make sure we eat healthy breakfasts every morning and be in bed by 10 pm every night. And before anyone leaves the premises, we will have a group hug by the front door. IMAGINE the quality of our family life then would ya?

Or. I could smash the TV. And throw away the X Box. And get rid of their MP3 players.

Or. I could force everyone to go to church three times a week. And make sure we have devotions every morning. And sign us up to feed the homeless on Saturday nights.

Or I'll just show them that they are loved.
I will use all 5 languages, hoping they understand at least one of them.
Oh. You don't know what I'm talking about? What planet are you from?

The five love languages are:
1. Touch (this one will be tricky. See *below)
2. Time spent together
3. Acts of service
4. Gifts
5. Words

*The other day one of my sons was lying on the couch dying of a snotty nose. I brought him some juice, ColdFX, Advil Sinus, and a box of kleenex. In passing, I touched his forehead, as if I were checking to see if he had a fever. He shot upright and yelled, "What the heck? Why are you touching me? Don't ever do that again."

I've got my work cut out for me, I know that. So, demonstrating love for them will likely not involve hugs or sitting beside them on the sofa. (Before Clint and Max moved out I used to go into their rooms at night, stand at the end of their beds and give their feet three squeezes (I. Love. You. squeezes) while they were sleeping.

Re: Time spent together. My best shot at this is for us to vacation together. So, yeah. England! I'm sure we all have totally different expectations for this holiday. But at least we'll be in the same country for three weeks. I'll probably cash in some RRSP's to get us all there, but it'll be worth it.
I'm sure it'll be worth it.

Re: Acts of Service.
This would be things like, oh, making a quesidia at midnight because someone's hungry. Sitting in the parking lot with someone because they locked their keys in their truck. Driving someone to a mountain so he can snowboard.

One child has no problem asking and receiving acts of service. One absolutely does not want me to do anything for him.

All I can do is be available when the opportunity arises. And do that act of service with a smile. Maybe at some point they'll understand I'm doing this because I love them, not because it's my job to serve them.

Re: Gifts
My rule with gifts is that if I spend money on one, I spend the same amount on the others. Which is not a hardship. Giving gifts to one's kids is almost always a pleasure, no?
Seeing they are all turning into hardworking young men, it won't be long before their earning capacity will far exceed mine. So my gifts can't be dazzling because of the cost involved... (they can and will buy things for themselves that I could never afford) so they have to have emotional value - the gifts I give will have to say, "I saw this and thought of you. Here. I love you." (That's alot of baggage to attach to a container of the new flavor of tic tacs that I thought they'd enjoy.)

Re: Words
I love, love, love words.
But I have to challenge myself to make sure I'm saying affirming, positive, life-giving words to my kids. They all have blamed me of being critical and judgmental. *cringe*
So, from now on, you will not hear me calling them morons.

What's the single most important thing YOU could do to improve the quality of YOUR family life this year? Any ideas? Please share.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Unexpectedly Clint was at my house after work today, so we went out for pasta together. Love nights like this.
2. I'm thankful for Heather's compassion and wisdom. Thanks Heather for meeting me for coffee tonight - sorry for talking non-stop for 2 hours. Next time, you talk and I'll listen. And uhhh, about that bag of mushy bread starter you blessed me with... thanks I guess? :)
3. I'm thankful that facebook is causing me to smile tonight. Yesterday I noticed September's status was "black" and I thought it was a reflection of her mood. Minutes later I received an email suggesting that, in order to raise breast cancer awareness, I should simply put the color of my bra as my status. Just one word, with no explanation. Us women would know what's what. And the guys would be driven crazy by all the color statuses. Personally, I didn't think any guy would care, but I went along with it.
My status was white.
I forwarded the email to a few friends and watched the virus spread. Tonight, just minutes ago, this is what was on my news feed:
Navy Blue
Periwinkle Purple
Cornflower Yellow
White with really pretty flowers on the straps
Navy blue with white, orange and light blue
White (the only other person on all of facebook that has the same color bra as me is MY MOM.)
Turquoise Blue
Bright blue
Sky blue
Purple and Black
Black and White
Beige (she's Mennonite)
Beige (she's a relative)
Bluey Green
Cream with Polka Dots
Pink Lace
and about a hundred more black ones.

I'm going to tie dye my bras at my next craft night so my status can say violet/purple/lime/yellow/cyan/scarlet/indigo...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh come on Jane. If I were to post something on Facebook that was a reflection of my mood, it would be, "Sunshine and sparkles!" Ahem. You know me. Always lookin on the bright side!
I'm looking forward to the rest of the month as you answer these thought provoking questions. Love September!