So last post was more about the why’s. Why I should love and respect the people in my family. This post will focus on the how’s. How can I love and respect my siblings (parents too!) in ways that I am not now? Here’s a list I made of 7 things we can do everyday to show God’s love.
- SMILE! I cannot stress the importance of smiles. They’re contagious, and good for you. When you look at your little brother or sister while they’re telling you a story, put a smile on your face. Make them feel like the adventure they’re telling you about is the most exciting thing you’ve ever heard.
- Give them hugs and kisses. I know, I know. Hugging your pre-teen brother on a regular basis isn’t something you may be particularly comfortable with, but physical affection is important. It’s easy with little kiddos, especially if you’re blessed with a particularly hug-y one like I am. But I still don’t give my little siblings near to enough physical affection, especially the older ones. I’m sure my teen and pre-teen siblings would be grateful for an encouraging pat on the back, a good night hug, or even just a hand on their shoulder! My younger siblings are always open to cuddles and kisses, and I try to be as well.
- Do things with them. Invite them to help you make a meal, or do laundry. Say yes when they want to play with you. Maybe start a Bible study or prayer time with them.
- Speak encouragingly to them. Ok, this is where I think I fail the most. Why is it so hard to just say nice things to the people you love? I have no idea why, but it’s not cool. Did your brother make a particularly yummy chocolate smoothie for breakfast? Tell him so! Once you get past that weird barrier on your mouth, you’ll realize how powerful a nice, encouraging few sentences can be.
- Listen to them. Let them vent to you. Let them tell you their (super long) stories. Let them ask you for advice. They care about what you think, they need you to listen.
- Pray for them. Another one I fail at all the time. Sometimes I get so caught up being frustrated with my siblings that praying for them does not even enter my mind. Isn’t it awful? It’s so simple, and so easy. God is always listening, He’s always there, and He always wants us to bring our troubles to Him.
- Tell them you love them. It’s as simple as that! Just say “I love you”, and really mean it.
So, what do you think of my list? What are some things you’d add? Do you struggle with any of these things in particular?
Where would we be without them? Who would we be without them? Speaking for myself, I know I’d be completely different if I was an only child. I have an older brother and seven younger siblings, one who went to be with Jesus before we could meet him or her. People commented on our large family when the fifth of us was born. As you can imagine those comments have multiplied as we have. We’re almost double what we were back then! As the oldest sister in a large family I have a particularly special role to play. And it’s hard! I recall a certain arachnid hero being told “With great power comes great responsibility.” From personal experience I can say that Uncle Ben was right! I have a certain powers over my younger siblings that I earned through loving them, and that my parents gave to me for the smooth functioning of our family. Because of that I have a huge responsibility laid on me. My siblings look up to me. They listen to my advice (willingly and unwillingly) and trust that I’m telling them what is right. They follow my example and mimic me, the good stuff and the bad stuff. This is why I need God’s guidance and wisdom constantly in my life. My bad attitudes, decisions, and actions effect many more than just myself. As do my good attitudes, decisions, and actions. I’ve seen myself lay down my family’s mood for the day, and it’s scary sometimes!
For example, one morning I woke up and was instantly put in a bad mood because my mom asked me to change my baby sisters yucky cloth diaper. I made sure everyone knew I was displeased by speaking with a cold tone and wearing a frown on my face. That day was hard for everyone, and when it came to the end of it I realized that it was probably my own fault. My stinky attitude and disrespectful manner towards my moms decision effected the demeanor of my entire family. If I had only just had a good attitude, smiled and spoke gently to my mom and siblings, and changed the diaper cheerfully (it really wasn’t a big deal anyway), our day could’ve been a lot better.
I was convicted this morning by a blog post I read about what I need to be before I am a wife (http://www.moreradiance.com/things-to-become-before-marriage/). I realized that I am not practicing enough where I am right now, with the people who are my only family right now. I realized I am not giving all the respect my family (brothers and dad especially) needs from me, and I’m not giving all the love that my family needs from me. God requires these things! He commanded me to love and honor the people in my life! It is not optional. It is not ruled on the basis of how much love and honor I am receiving, but by how much my Savior has given me. When I think like that, I realize that I deserve nothing, and what I have been given by the grace of God I need to share with the people around me. It’s not complicated, though it can be hard. “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (NKJV)
I’m learning still, I am constantly growing. I want to share the ways I am nourishing my relationships with my family and my Heavenly Abba, so that I can encourage others, and that’s why I’m breaking this into more than one post. Maybe I’ll write the next part tomorrow, maybe next week. I’m not sure. If you’re struggling and growing in this too don’t hesitate to share the things you do to strengthen your relationships! I’d love to hear from you!
(Photo from Pinterest)
Some fast imagined fiction that was inspired by a writing prompt. Hope you like it!
“It’s all here, Elzie,” Charles said with fake strength. She knew how hard it was for him to say those words. Gently, as if bearing the most precious burden in the world, he placed the old chest on the bed. It was more of a box really, nothing special to a normal eye. But to Elzie and Charles it held the memories of a golden childhood, that after recent events seemed almost like a dream too good to be true.
“Do you mind if I open it Charlie?” Elzie didn’t want to inflict more pain on her or her cousin, but she felt she had to see. She had to remember that time.
“No, I don’t mind,” Charles said. His voice betrayed him.
With trembling hands Elzie cracked open the lid. It squeaked on its old hinges and dust scattered into the beams of light. She took a deep breath and forced herself to look down. Resting on a stack of letters was a trio of braided bracelets made of grasses. Elzie grabbed one with her thumb and finger and held it up for Charles to see.
“Do you remember when she made these? That day we—”
“Went to the pond for a picnic! I remember it. Very well,” Charles’ voice cracked and faded, and Elzie looked away. Next she noticed the collection of dried leaves, still showing the ruddy colors of autumn. She tried to smile, and looked to Charles to see if he remembered. His face was buried in his hands, and his shoulders heaved. Elzie could be strong no longer, and the tears streamed freely down her cheeks.
How could she do this to us? Elzie felt like screaming. Instead she glared out the window at the fog, and wondered where Jane was at.
Taking a bite of this muffin makes me think of summer. The combination of the warm, juicy berries, fresh orange zest, and the fluffy white muffin is what does it. And of course a huge squirt of whipped cream doesn’t hurt! This muffin is gluten free, dairy free, and a THM S.
You will need:
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp almond flour/meal
- 1 1/2 Tbsp flax meal
- Sprinkle of salt
- Dash of vanilla extract
- Dash of almond extract
- 3 packets Truvia (or other sweetener, to taste)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- Handful or two of frozen mixed berries
- 1/2 tsp orange zest
Melt the coconut oil in a small bowl. Add all ingredients except berries and orange zest. Whisk well until fluffy. Sprinkle with berries and zest. Microwave for two minutes, and enjoy!
I will be officially 16 in just one hour. Wow, that’s pretty crazy for me to think about! Remembering my sixth birthday, and knowing that it was 10 years ago is weird.
In honor of this most momentous occasion (hehehe) I will give 16 facts about myself. I hope I do not bore you, my dear readers, for you are few and very precious to me. Here it goes!
- My family calls me Absigail. I have no idea when or why it started, but I love that nickname. Abbie-Crabby, now, I’m not so fond of that one.
- I frequently say holy cow, crickey, and oh my goodness. Yup, I’m a dork. 😂
- I have the strange habit of combing my hair with my fingers. And sometimes I rub it against my lips like a maniac. I don’t even know I’m doing it 90% of the time. Now I sound like a weirdo.
- I mess with my hair, bite my bottom lip, and rub my neck when I’m nervous.
- I love dancing to awesome 80’s songs.
- I laugh really easily and loudly. If someone said carrots in a deep, angry voice, I’d probably burst out laughing.
- My favorite food is Butter Chicken or Tikka Masala, my favorite drink is Irish breakfast black tea, and my favorite color (right now) is minty blue.
- I am really liking Audrey Hepburn/1950’s/classic-type fashion. My clothing preferences have changed probably every 6 months or so, but I think I’ve finally decided on what I’m sticking with. Don’t ask me what my favorite outfits were when I was 12. 😖
- I was born with thick black hair, which turned red and curly, and then auburn. It’s stayed pretty curly my whole life.
- If I ever have children (hoping and praying to be a wife and mommy someday!) a name I’d like for a boy is David, and for a girl I like Elanor (spelled just that way).
- I’ve had a crush on Luke Skywalker since, well, forever. As a 8-13 year old or so I went through a phase when I didn’t have much interest in Star Wars (what was wrong with me?). Then I came back as a very opinionated and judgmental-about-movies teen, and decided that I really love the original trilogy. And that Luke is a really good character (and cute to boot!). I still cannot like the prequels though. They don’t stand up to the O. T. in any way.
- I am not very picky when it comes to food and I will try pretty much anything once. Dried squid? Yup. Calf liver? You betcha! Salt and pepper potato chip chocolate bar? Oh yeah! And it was yummy too! I am becoming more of a purist in what I eat though. GMO’s are a no-no, and so are artificial sweeteners and loads of sugar.
- I have owned three beta fish in my life: two I had to give away because of two different moves, one was sick when I bought him and died after I had only had him a few days.
- Some of my favorite actors/actresses are Martin Freeman, Audrey Hepburn, John Krasinski, Tom Hanks, and James McAvoy.
- My favorite authors are C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Jane Austen, and Lois Walfrid Johnson
- I cry very easily at books and movies, but the compassionate words of Jesus never fail to bring me to tears. When He prayed over His disciples right before His arrest in the book of John, when He called the dead girl in Mark 5 “little lamb”, and when He lamented over Jerusalem… His love and compassion for us is so great, and it always amazes me!
So, what did you think of my 16 random facts about myself? What are some weird and random facts about you? Leave a comment, I’d love to get to know you more!