Children, Family, Uncategorized

Lifelong friends

df2820c4-b8b6-4134-9482-82d6ce1118fb-jpgYou know what I love?? Seeing my girls being friends.

Sure, we have bickering and melt downs every single day but something’s starting to happen that I am so happy to see. There’s a friendship brewing!

The girls are about four years apart, which will be a lifetime of distance once girl child gets into her teenage years. But for now, they are still kind of close in age.

They share a room and they are also homeschooled so they are together (along with boy child) much more than other siblings usually would be. This is helpful as we try to cultivate their friendship.

Whenever we can, we try to remind the kids how important family is. We remind the kids that they will always have their brother/ sister to rely on. And it’s important to be there for each other. Even when they’ve grown. We’re talking about that now. Just so it’s in the back of their minds…brewing.

We like to put things in their minds to just marinate…things like always looking out for brother or sister. Like when the kids go to their Sunday School class. I remind boy child to look out for baby girl and make sure she’s ok. I remind him that he should make sure baby girl is safe because that’s what brothers do.

I remind girl child that she has a little shadow in baby girl. And sometimes that annoys girl child…the responsibility.

But…that’s family. God made girl child to be a big sister. When I remind her of that, she seems to take her job more seriously. After all, God gave her this assignment to be a big sister.

She does a good job, too. Baby girl looks up to girl child. She wants to be friends and she wants to do whatever girl child does. She values girl child’s ideas and she depends on girl child’s confidence when baby girl is unsure.

Even at the dentist. Recently, baby girl had her first dentist appointment and she was a little nervous. We all went since all the kids had appointments…but when it was baby girl’s turn in the chair, guess who she asked for?

Her friend…her big sister.

That’s what we want to see and that’s what we’re gonna try to keep instilling in the kids.

When the kids are grown and when they go their separate directions, we want them to be close in their hearts. We want them to remember they have each other when they feel like have no one else. When things aren’t going the way they hope. They will always be able to count on each other. And they’ll have each other long after Momma and Daddy go to heaven.

A lesson we continually teach now for a lifetime of usage.

Social media, Uncategorized

Well, this is awkward!

Awkward…that’s a great word. And that’s how I feel about 64% of any given day.

Here’s another great word…well, two words. Emotional Intelligence. These words, I think, cause me to feel awkward. I hope this doesn’t come across as bragging but I have high emotional intelligence. Some question it’s mere existence, but emotional intelligence is real. It can be a really good asset, but lately I have found it to be the root of my melancholy. Emotional intelligence is a great tool when you are a leader or manager because you can better anticipate your subordinates’ needs and respond accordingly. You’ll “know” them so well and you can spread responsibilities and workloads in a way that makes those subordinates shine through their strengths and gifts. They will love you for that “sense” you have to bring out the best in them and most times they have no idea how you do it.

In a social setting, this is a totally different ballgame. I can see genuine care for others just as plainly as I can see subtle facial expressions that contradict pleasantries coming forth from another’s mouth. I can see these subtleties like I can see a billboard. And for the record, I have been tested and my accuracy is on target. It’s amazing how fleeting that facial expression is before the phony one replaces it and most can’t see it, but it’s there. Muscles have to be used to force a smile that isn’t genuine and those muscles twitch in a slightly different way than they would had they been activated by true happiness, laughter or appreciation. Eyes glance more frequently in a “hostage social situation” than they do in a mutually desired interaction.

With genuine care and interest in a person, I can see eye glimmer, focus, intensity and desire to be in the company of another. I see a tendency to draw into the other person, to connect through hugging or a simple touch.

No matter the interaction type- forced or desired- I see the clues in interactions with myself and I can see it in interactions with other parties. Sometimes it’s neat to watch and sometimes it’s painful because I can see the truth. I can read you like a book…and sometimes that book has a crappy ending.

I think social media has exacerbated awkwardness in us all…we don’t know how to be social anymore. We know wayyyyyyy too much about each other. Every opinion on every little thing. And we use that to judge whether we want to be friends with others. Social media has become the litmus test of friendship. That is sad. And I am just as guilty as anyone else.

So, here we are…knowing too much about each other, secretly annoyed by each others’ political views, quietly judging obviously bad parenting decisions we’ve noted online, generally irritated with incredibly dumb interpretations of scripture as if we are the “be all and end all” of what Jesus meant when He spoke. And then, we contradict those feelings inside with a fake smile and banter when we come in contact with each other. The depth of relationship development is gone because we are so irritated with each other. And I see all of this on the expressions of those around us.

So, here we are. Unable to depend on most “friends” because we’ve inadvertently driven them away with our own views and opinions we stupidly shared with the world through social media.

Lesson learned.

Don’t worry, my next post won’t be this dreary and this isn’t a cry for help. I just wanted to put this out there to see what you notice in your world. Carry on.