Last week my mom invited all the women in our family over to her home for a 10:00 breakfast. I’m just gonna call it brunch because in my household we are all early risers, so our day was set to be breakfast…brunch….lunch. I always feel really out of place at big breakfasts because I don’t like breakfast food, I just don’t, never have. My kids really don’t either. I”ll admit that most mornings we have cereal, oatmeal with some fruit or once in a great while my ladies will get the treat of a frozen waffle. There are mornings when I wake up, make biscuits and gravy, monkey bread, or something that you would think my kids would love only to find out that they didn’t really get the breakfast gene either. So, I don’t do it much unless it’s a special occasion or my husband is home to eat with us. I usually have coffee and my daily Kind bar and I’m set until lunch. I feel like everyone is wondering why I’m not enjoying several donuts and greasy bacon…but it’s just not my thing. I’m telling you all of this because when I’m invited to a big meal, it takes some convincing for me to get myself to go. For me sitting around eating doesn’t equal fun, and it took me a long time to unravel my relationship with food. For a very long part of my life people constantly questioned what and how much I was eating and I just wanted to enjoy my Saturday morning coffee and granola bar.
I know…a lot goes through my head when someone invites me to brunch right?! Fortunately for me and my children, I love the ladies in my family and this day turned out so much better than I’m sure any of us could have ever imagined. My grandmother had 5 children (God bless her), 3 daughters and 2 sons. The daughters then had 4 girls and now we have children, so you can imagine we are a big group of women and it can be a bit difficult to get us all together. I walked in with my 3 kiddos, fruit bowl in hand and of course my little guy’s new toy mower and everyone was already relaxing inside. As we went outside and sat down my mom informed us all that she wanted each one of us to take an index card and write something encouraging down for every lady. Some of us rolled our eyes, some were feisty (maybe me maybe not) with her but we all agreed and a few got to writing. No big deal.
UNTIL…it may have been that she was on meds for her strep throat…it may have been the heat of the day….it may have been that her husband was sick and she had been alone with her kids but my BFF (my daughter once called her my “bif if” , it started one day when she was trying to read BFF) and cousin decided it would be a better choice to speak our words aloud. Let me tell you a bit about our family, we have been through a lot; loss, divorce, long term deployments, marital issues, broken hearts, lies, anxiety, depression…in other words life has happened.
But something amazing happened, she spoke those words, and then the rest of us followed. And let me tell you what came from all of those nasty, evil, heartbreaking parts of our stories that I mentioned above; tears, forgiveness, love, joy, laughter, peace , goodness, healing, understanding, truth and support. We all said things that needed to be said that we wouldn’t have ever written on paper. It wasn’t all happy, some of the things that have happened were horrible, but they were real and they helped shape us all into the women we are today. I think that too often we forget the power of spoken words and it breaks my heart to think of all the conflicts, miscommunications and issues that wouldn’t exist if we gave those words the value they deserve. I fully believe that text messages, emails and Facebook accounts are not healthy avenues for working out issues.
So my lessons for the day:
- Don’t let your own issues get in the way of doing something fun. Nobody cared what I ate, it’s just an old wound that can open itself back up and I’m aware of it and so completely happy I spent the day there. In the past I have felt under attack for my food choices and that was not the case at all here.
- Tell people what you think of them. Tell them what you appreciate, what you love, when you are concerned for their well being. Tell them you’re sorry. Don’t email them, don’t write a card, don’t put it on Facebook for the world to see, tell them to their face. Yes, it might make you feel a little bit bad or uncomfortable, but you might need to feel a bit badly or uncomfortable.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22