A Little Positivity Goes a Long Way
Growing up, I had it pretty rough. My three older brothers both teased and picked on me, and even had the nerve to be really protective of me. My parents were worse. My Dad worked hard to provide for our family so he didn’t come home until right before dinner each night. And I do mean every night! Mom was always around, taking care of the house and making home-cooked meals, which she also made us eat as a family when Dad came home. Every night! Can you imagine growing up in a house like this? A house where Dad was home for family dinners around the supper table and siblings who loved each other enough to pick on each other? I should be enrolled in therapy five times a week!
Oh, how horrible I thought I had it while growing up! (My apologies to those who didn’t pick up the sarcastic vibe in the first paragraph.) I had a great family and childhood. Our family was far from the Cleavers, and I’m sure Jesus wanted to bang His head on a wall on occasion while watching us interact with each other, but really, we had a solid family. Dad really was home for dinner almost every night and we ate together as a family--almost every night. The older I get, the wiser my parents have become. As I’ve reflected on what made my parents so great, I’ve come to two conclusions:
My Dad was incredibly positive. To this day you will rarely, if ever, hear him say something negative about anyone or anything. I cannot count on Dad to start whining and complaining about the state of our country, or what some jerk did in traffic that day. It’s just not in his nature to be negative. Why waste time complaining about something when there is so much in life to be happy about? This carried over into his parenting. My Dad always told us we could do anything. I don’t mean he told us we could all be rock stars or professional athletes. I mean that if we wanted to try something, Dad told us we could do it. If I had a race coming up that I was nervous about, Dad was just positive that I could beat the number one girl in the state. Of course, my 16-year-old self rolled my eyes, but inwardly it felt good to know that my Dad had great faith in me. His positivity has poured over into the lives of my siblings and me so much so that when we get together, we generally have lots of fun talking and laughing about all of the great things in life.
My Mom, on the other hand, was just relaxed. Yes, she worried occasionally about us driving on our own and getting hurt, but overall she was pretty easygoing. While Dad was telling us we could do anything, Mom was telling us not to worry about it. When I was nervous about that race against the top runner in the state, Mom helped me see that in the end it was just a race. She came to my events with Dad and they both cheered me on. She celebrated with me, and she emphasized with me when things in my life were hard. I think Mom’s easygoing nature helped me understand that something I had made into a big thing in my life was really just that--a thing in my life I had to deal with.
Life is life. Sometimes it’s great, and sometimes it’s really, really hard. But life does go on, and you can’t let any one thing keep you from living it.
So if I could pass on one thing to my kids, it’s this: Whatever you are facing, you can do it! And if you don’t do as well as you'd like, don’t worry about it. Life goes on, and our God is so much bigger than the little road bumps in our lives. Keep resting in His Grace and you will be just fine.
Thanks, Mom and Dad. And sorry for all the times I thought you were clueless. Apparently you are a lot smarter than I thought!
Written by Julie Masson
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