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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

THE Power of the Zipper

I wore THOSE pants to church on Sunday. You know . . . we all have worn them at least once . . .the pants that randomly unzip fast and hard as soon as you sit down. I forgot I even HAD those pants and by the time I realized it was THEM, I was sitting down in a van full of people and running ten minutes late. I had to keep them on. I worked in the nursery, always bending at the waist and never squatting, for an hour. I kept my Bible on my lap during service and re-zipped while standing for the final prayer. I could not concentrate properly all day for thinking of those PANTS!!!!!
A seemingly small "problem" given the seriousness of world hunger, war in the middle east and the plight of the baby seal but, on that day, it overshadowed every move I made.
After church, my eldest son took his siblings shopping and had a minor confrontation with the two brothers closest in age to him. He had to remind them that he is the Kuya and they need to listen to him. When my children came home from the store, I could FEEL the bad attitude in my home and began to conduct private interviews to get the story. Each child agreed that our eldest had spoken kindly and was simply doing his job. (It appears our newest family member prefers BEING the Kuya to HAVING a Kuya and that was part of the problem- ha ha). The reaction to being corrected by his older brother seemed disproportionate to the situation. It made for a hard, tense afternoon around the old homestead and finally, at 11pm, my husband and I called all three of our oldest into our room for a little heart to heart. Everything is back to "normal" because these are some easily-redirected kids when it comes down to it.
As I laid in bed thinking about the day's events, I wondered why the pants seemed to frustrate me so much and yet I was GLAD the "sibling snit" took place. With those black pants (which are somewhere in a landfill by now, I hope) I was frustrated and sidetracked way MORE than the situation called for (much like our new son felt with our oldest). It feels dramatic and silly now even using the word "situation" when retelling the pants problem!
When I pondered the issue between my teens, I had peace and joy. Suddenly, it dawned on me . . . the squabble with the teens was a bonding event because having a tiff with someone (and then working it out) indicates a level of acceptance and familiarity that is reserved for families and close friends. With strangers, a little irritation can go unmended and feel fine. With guests, you bend over backward to please them and put yourself out without a second thought but with FAMILY, you can "keep it real" and know that it won't end the relationship. I'm ashamed to admit, I say things to my husband that I would never say to anyone who had not signed legal documents committing to me. I can tell my kids when their outfits look ridiculous or they need to brush their teeth better because, they are mine and they know I love and accept them. How many times have you been in conversation with an acquaintance who had . . . um . . .a little something in his nose but you refused to tell him because he'd be embarrassed? I have. With family, forget it! Not only do I tell them, I TEASE them until a state of paranoia sets in that causes them to carry around a hand mirror!!! They would do the same to me. So, although the enemy tried to get a foothold in our family with the sibling issue, the Lord reminded me that He is in charge and even things that seem unpleasant have a purpose. Even the black pants? I guess I needed some humbling so, yes, EVEN THE BLACK PANTS!

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