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Saturday, June 28, 2014

10 Reasons You Have a dysFUNctional Family...

I noticed something about blogs that have been getting a lot of views and being shared around over the web. They all list things! I thought to myself, "Heck! I could post something that listed an important aspect of my life!" So here it is folks... 10 reasons you have a dysFUNctional family!

I was born in New York and the culture there is A LOT different then it is in Arkansas. Some of my family members have said this very sentence, "People from the south are slow and stupid." Yes, I was born in New York, but Arkansas IS my home. It brings me great joy that we moved to Arkansas because it taught me how to be humble. I don't feel like I'm home when I'm in New York which upsets me more than anyone will ever know. I grew up in a wonderful state where my friend's grandparents were next door or just down the road. I missed the opportunity to have that type of atmosphere with my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. When I go back to New York, it's weird to see them and they not understand who I am or the steps that I took to get to where I am today.

I was told that I should never have to explain myself for the way that I do things because I have my own unique personality. That's how my family is. While some may call us rude, crude, and socially unacceptable... I believe that we are unique because of our personality as a family. We all have our quirks that make our families special to us so why should we change who we are when we are around company or even our extended family? 

Check out these ten things that have made my family dysFUNctional!

1. We fart.
Everyone does it, it shouldn't be that surprising or disgusting. Every time my family gets together for a family dinner my dad will fart, my mom will drop her fork on her plate and act like she's surprised as she says, "Really Fred?!" She tries to be frustrated, but in all actuality we can't stop laughing.

2. We eat with our elbows on the table.
Just because we eat fancy food, doesn't' mean we shouldn't be able to dig in?! Am I right?

3. Coasters? What's that?!
An Aunt of mine asked me if I knew the purpose for using a coaster over Christmas break. I'm not stupid, I understand the purpose and I can't believe she said that. Those little ring stains on our tables? Those were made from memories.

4. Our furniture comes from Estate Sales.
The couch we have in the living room is the only thing we bought new. Everything else we got for a bargain. We aren't in the business to impress and we know that it doesn't match. We spend our money on things that matter.

5. Footrest?
That's what the coffee table is for. Seriously though, who wants to buy uncomfortable furniture just to impress company?

6. We can talk about awkward topics comfortably.
If you can't talk to your family about what actually goes on in your life, there's no point. Your family is there to help you not make the same mistakes they did. I know, it's insane that they actually understand what happens in the world!

7. Dirty jokes aren't rare.
It has come to the point where I can come up with a dirtier joke than my dad (thank you RTV boys). It's rare, but when it happens we applaud each other for fast thinking and come backs.

8. Politics.
My dad knows everything when it comes to politics. If you are going to mention something about the society, you better be ready for an hour long conversation. I'm pretty sure he knows we aren't really listening. I just think he likes the sound of his own voice!

9. Mess with us.
You mess with one of us and you'll get the wrath of all of us. If you think you can talk behind my sisters back to me and get away with it... you're real funny.

10. The welcome mat is there for a reason.
We actually want to welcome you! Once you step in our house, you're part of the family. The door is always open and you can walk in whenever you want. 

People look at my family and wonder how we operate on a day to day basis. With my dad having his business right next to the living room, my mom having her business at the other end of the house, and all the craziness in-between. We operate from a few things that we learned through the good book. We forgive, love, care, and extend a hand. If we have to put a mask on in front of each other, there's something wrong. We should be able to talk about anything and even have the occasional PMS break downs at the dinner table. We often chose netflix and ice cream over work and we are okay with that. And best of all... we don't need a game or movie to be the reason we spend time together. We spend time together through real conversations because we want to and because we love each other. 

If people tell you that you have a dysfunctional family... remind them that word wouldn't be possible without "FUN" in the middle.

"But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15b)


Thursday, June 26, 2014

I Have No Sympathy Because...

"I have no sympathy because....."

That phrase has started a lot of sentences that people have told me lately. At first, I understood, but after thinking about it for a while it made me really mad. It's just another way of saying, "I don't care about you." 

When does this phrase usually occur? You probably hear it from an elder or mentor that you go to for advice during a difficult situation. They think of it as complaining about petty problems. I don't know if it's supposed to give us encouragement knowing that they went through the same thing and got through it, but none of us want to hear that. We want to know that we are cared about. 

When I was a teenager I was told that I just had to "get through" school. I took that advice because those people told me, "I have no sympathy for you... I was in high school and people make fun of me too. It makes you a better person. Get over it." 

I understand, I really do. You are older than me and you have had more experiences than me. Does that give you the right to tell me that my experiences are tiny compared to yours? I would like to believe that it's not. I would like to believe that there are better ways to say exactly what this phrase is trying to say. 

We are allowed to have our off-days and be irritated every once in awhile. If we didn't have those days we would be perfect and we know that we are not perfect in any way. Let's be honest, when you say that phrase it's because you are having a bad day and you don't want to listen to other people's problems because you have your own stuff to deal with. It's a good way to get rid of a person. 

We have a lot of excuses and they usually sound a little like this...
"But he has a drug problem and he brought this on himself."
"But she was sleeping around, why should I feel sorry for her?"
"But she spends her money on things that I think are useless so why should I help her out?"
"But he's gay so it's not in my place to help him with his relationship issues."
"But they have an un-holy relationship so even if I tell them something about relationships it's just going to go in one ear and out the other."

So we justify these excuses by saying....
"I have no sympathy for you because I got over my problem and I quit cold turkey. Why can't you do that?!"
"I have no sympathy for you because you got in bed with him. You knew he was just going to break your heart. You'll get over it eventually."
"I have no sympathy for you because you spend your money on things that I don't approve of. I think I should look at your receipts before I offer to help you."
"I have no sympathy for you because you chose that lifestyle."
"I have no sympathy for you because you don't go to church and you won't care even if I try to help you."

...and going through the brains of these people is this one thing....
"But I came to you! I want to change my ways, talk about real issues, get help, discuss solutions, and get closer to the one thing that keeps you alive and well! I want to understand how you came to the solutions of your problems that are just like mine. I want you to tell me that it's going to be okay without throwing me under that bus for the choices that I made that got me here. I need a friend and I came to you."

I'm not going to assume that everyone reading this is a Christian so what I am about to say should not be thought of as only applying to Christians. We are humans. We all make mistakes. We all should have each others backs no matter if they are atheist, gay, mental, stupid, or broken. We are all sinners. We are all on the same level.

My point? If you have gone through the same thing that someone is talking about, if you understand the situation, or if you care about humanity at all.... Help each other. Have sympathy. Be human. Don't take advantage of the situation and act perfect because you see a struggling person. Be humble and love.

"For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard." (Romans 3:23)