I woke up this morning with a bit of a heavy heart. Sometimes old wounds can surface and we find ourselves processing, or at least re-packaging them again, in spite of years of work, forgiving, praying, therapy….
Wounds leave scars.
Years ago our family was building a log home. We had been living in a three-car garage with no plumbing for a few years at this point and the prospect of work beginning on the main house was more than exciting. I had seen the plans – mom and dad had shared them all – and there were some features I was more excited about than others. I know they felt the same.
One of said talking points was a mud/laundry room coming in from the back side of the house, leading to the kid bathroom. Having four children on five acres, and a husband, all in and out every day, I can only imagine how thrilled my mom was that the mess would be centrally located and not tracked all through our home. When the day came for the inspection after the cement foundation was poured, it was determined that the contractors had read the plans incorrectly, and where the laundry room was to go, would now have to be the stairs leading to the basement. I remember making all sorts of alternative solutions, desperate to find a way to make this dream of mom’s possible. And, I remember angrily admonishing my dad to hold them accountable to fixing their mistake; that our family shouldn’t pay for something not done correctly…
No mud room.
Over the years that followed, in addition to myriad other things, the mess was a constant point of contention. While I know it’s not the reason my parents divorced, I wonder about the added weight. The proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.” Little decisions made throughout our lives can have unseen consequences.
I wonder about the moments I have been selfish or complacent to what someone else needed. I can certainly reflect on the many times that choices others have been made with little to no regard to my heart in the matter. Even something as relatively small as not finding an equitable household solution or common ground in communication, can have a wearing affect long-term.
While it is certainly not without it’s potential shortcomings, how beneficial would it be to have a game plan? A plumb line? What could it look like if we weighed our words and choices against a standard of generosity? Preferring one another? Sacrifice and grace? Empathy and understanding?
To my dad, that mud room was just a room. To my mom it meant peace and joy -hours of work and endless moments of frustration eradicated. Oh, what it would have meant for him to find a solution for her…
Consider today where you can create margin for the success of those you love. Pray for revelation as to where your shortcomings or blind spots are actually causing those closest to you to fall. Humility, grace, empathy … all these things extended to others bring about peace, unity, and deeper fellowship.
Make a plan. Be intentional. Love well. Set your eyes due north and go.