White flour poofing in the air. Sugar all gritty on the counter tops. Empty egg shells and measuring cups everywhere. The hum of mixers, Pandora Christmas music and laughter in the kitchen. It was cookie making day at our house today.
We decided to gather all the gals of the family (and the four littlest boys) for a day of baking cookies…in six different varieties. It was a full, all-day event. The older boys/dads floated in and out for meals and random cookie tastings. Two meals and 22 dozen cookies later, we were tired but happy. Short-lived as it may be, sprinkles and frosting can give you a beautiful sugar high that can double as happiness. Memories were made today. Three generations of ladies in the kitchen…including a three-year-old little girl with sparkling eyes. What could be better than that?
Family. They see all of our corks, don’t they? Our family see our good days and our bad. Our weepy times and our mountain-top experiences. They are there for our sour attitudes and our glee-filled surprises. I’m sometimes amazed mine still loves me through it all!
I’m grateful for my family. I have awesome parents, great brothers and sisters…plus two amazing sisters who I gained through my brothers getting married. (Who, by the way, feel every bit my blood sisters as ever could be!) Then five little people who call me “Aunt Faith”, and baby #6 on the way in March! I’ve been blessed in the family department.
What ingredients make a BRAVE sister, daughter, auntie, cousin, niece and granddaughter? As I stirred cookie dough, washed greasy spatulas, and retrieved toddlers from hot ovens…this was the question on my mind. How do I live BRAVE at home?
The truth is, home is where it’s sometimes the hardest for me to live courageously. This is where people know me the best. They have seen every angle of who I am. They know when I’m faking it, when I’m depressed, when I have something up my sleeve, or when I’m struggling with one of them. When I think of being brave at home…it usually amounts to apologizing.
I’m a work in progress, y’all. I say stupid things that hurt people. Sometimes those things are said in innocence and my statements or questions get perceived otherwise…and then things spin out of control and I’m left with picking up the pieces of World War 3. Why on earth don’t I THINK before I speak?
Other times I just say crazy, mindless things…caring little or nothing about the other person’s feelings. Then I see the pain on the faces of my family members and I wonder— how did I get here? What makes me be so ugly or inconsiderate? I’ve cried many times over the senseless words I’ve spoken to the people I love most.
“If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 (HCSB) “Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14 (HCSB)
It takes a brave heart to ask forgiveness to those we wound. Believe me, I know…I’ve had to eat a lot of humble pie. Way more than I’d care to admit.
Maybe you know how it is. You feel that little prick in your spirit and you know Jesus is telling you to fess up and repent for your wrong words or attitude. On the way to apologize, you can think of a thousand reasons why you really weren’t wrong after all. You feel justified in your sin. I’ve probably tried on all the same excuses. I’m a pro at trying to get out of apologizing.
There have been times I’ve turned around and decided to walk in my own justification. Can I just tell you…those where among the worst decisions I’ve ever made? I took the easy way out. The coward’s road. It costs to take the path of least resistance.
Some of the most pride-hurting moments in my life have turned out to give me great freedom. The burden lifting off my heart when I repent is worth the 2-3 minutes of discomfort.
Family. They can bring out the best and worst of you, can’t they? I wouldn’t trade them for the world, but I’d be lying to say that I always LIKE them. I love them dearly, but they can rub me wrong. They can push my buttons. They’ve seen Faith Walker in the bad and the ugly.
Family. They are my life. My reason for keeping on in the hard moments. I wouldn’t want to be without them. They make me laugh. They bring me some of the greatest joy and memories. Like today.
Today was a whisper from heaven about what really matters. I want to live courageous EVERYWHERE. Especially at home, with my family. I want to live full…with lots of frosting and sprinkles. I want to live free…free from a clouded conscience. I want my biggest cheerleaders to always be the people closest to me. The people who REALLY know me.
Family. They know what we’re really made of, don’t they? I’m grateful mine loves me anyway. I guess that’s Brave Family Love.