I asked friends and family to give me three virtues that make a family. Here is what I received:
The first and foremost key to any relationship is communication. Understanding each other is extremely important. You don't have to agree but you do have to understand WHAT the person is saying and WHAT they say they feel.
Understanding the WHY is often very difficult. I've learned that WHY someone feels something can sometime be tied back to past relationships, history or just previous experience telling you one thing and your partner another.
When you focus on the WHAT, you can break down current feelings and begin to understand the built in expectations that your partner might have.
Start with an easy exercise. List the top three virtues you feel make a family. Ask your partner to do the same. Do they match? If they don't it might help explain where frustrations begin. If consistency is #1 on your list, yet it's 5th or 6th on your partners list that might explain why you get easily frustrated when your partner changes things or doesn't do things this week similar to how they did them last week.
Try this exercise between parents, a parent and a child or with any relationship you have within your family, immediate and extended. Try asking the question and let me know if you find out anything interesting!
On our way to church we stopped at Starbucks. The lady in front of us received her beverage then asked for something different, so I knew we were in for a wait. Windows rolled down and settled in behind the car in front of us, I overhear the "customer" telling the Starbucks employee that maybe her church could help him?
His pleasant smile turns sad, his head tilted down and I thought I heard him say, well I've been gay my whole life...
I try to see this woman through the back windshield, thinking perhaps I see a middle age, Caucasian woman, long dark hair... then something catches my eye. A church sticker. Ironically it had the name of the church where we are headed.
It's my turn, I pull up look at the now saddened young man and said, I have no idea what you were speaking about with that lady and I apologize for eavesdropping but my partner, my daughter and I are heading to church right now and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, my God loves me for exactly who I am.
His hand reached out for mine and the sunlight reflected off a small little tear. He said Thank You, I can't believe this has just happened. I was making small talk with her while she waited and she proceeded to tell me that her church offers conversion classes that would help me.
My jaw dropped. We were going to be late for church but I firmly believe God had me where I was supposed to be.
As I held his hand, I smiled and said, "I believe in God and I believe I am who I am as a member of God's family. I think the only thing that matters in this world is Love. Everything else exists around ones ability to give, receive, and feel love... God is the essence of love. God loves you for exactly who you are!"
He hands me my drink, while still holding my other hand and says to me... "I love you. Thank you, you have no idea how much it means that you followed after that lady."
I smiled, eyes now brighter than before and as his smile returned I thought... What is it inside a person that can suggest to their Starbucks barista that they attend "conversion class" while casually waiting on their caramel macchiato?
My blog is about what I've learned, my life, being a mom, foster and adoption and what it's like to LIVE aLIVE!