During the holidays, two of the following statements were said to me/us, and the last one came in a Christmas letter to me . . .
1. "I love you guys, you are the perfect family". (Friend of Baby Girl)
2. "You guys have such a perfect family". (Friend of our Wild One)
3. "To be honest, Satan hit me with some jealousy and I had to stop reading your blog" (My friend)
I suppose some people enjoy receiving comments like these, especially the first two.
We are not a perfect family. We don't even try to be and I don't want to ever portray that we are.
When it comes to blogs...you probably wouldn't be reading right now if I talked about the daily dysfunctions of our family and the sometimes dysfunctional interactions with each other and our extended family. Some things we just don't share with others.
However, let me assure you, we struggle. We are normal. (or is it abnormal)?
Much to my dismay, and embarrassment, our kids fought with each other through most of their childhood. Sometimes they STILL get on each other's nerves and irritate each other. Sometimes unkind words are even said.
We have a messy house now and then (mostly when the kids are home), including dirty dishes on counters, and gross toilets. My closet is a disaster.
Sometimes I feel jealous.
Sometimes I get mad at DIY Guy and he doesn't even notice that I'm barely talking to him. :)
We've seen Ds and Fs on report cards.
One family member takes medication for depression and anxiety. Three of us have been in therapy. One has been in a day clinic for outpatient mental care. We have struggled through failed friendships, estranged family relationships, divorce, disappointments, and hurt feelings.
As I look back on the dadgum junk we've lived through, I can't help but think, "wow, we had it pretty darn easy". For that I am thankful. For those of you living turbulent stories now, hang in there. You can do it.
If you are someone who works hard at being perfect and maintaining an image - please give it up. The effort and work, and pain is not worth it. (I know). If you can't share your struggles, how can others help bear your burden? How can we learn from you? (Note: everything is not meant to be shared publicly -- use discretion).
In spite of all that stuff, I've learned some things:
1. We should never expect perfect lives or perfect families. People can't be perfect.
2. We can learn from mistakes and each other, and strive to be better.
3. EVERYONE has skeleton's in their closet. Everyone.
4. If people are not authentic with one another, we can't love, support and learn from each other.
5. God can use the tough stuff in our lives to help others.
and this is what I know . . .
The pain and struggles I've experienced in my story have made me a different character than if I had skipped those parts of my story and shown up at the end in an easier way. My story, and my experiences have changed me. I no longer think of myself as incapable of hard challenges. I am a better person (but not perfect) because of the tough parts in my story.
oh, one last thing....I don't take that many good pictures --- for every good one, there are many bad ones! And, I edit like crazy!