I’ve been watching the TV show This Is Us. I love it. Confession: I’m kind of addicted, much like I’m kind of addicted to food and coffee and peanut butter. There was one episode highlighting Thanksgiving. The family in this show was on their way to see Grandma and Grandpa and spend Thanksgiving with them. It started out in the morning with Mom making cranberry sauce. But she wasn’t just making cranberry sauce…it came with all the guilt and striving for perfection that extended family can sometimes contribute to. Any element of joy was absent, replaced with stress, tension, and anxiety.
As the family traveled to their Thanksgiving holiday celebration the children complained about itchy clothing, unpleasant interaction with family, and dealing with the repercussions of a stressed-out mom. It became clear that not one of them wanted to be at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
Then fate happened, their car hit a fence, and they hiked over three miles to a lodge. That’s when their family Thanksgiving traditions began. Unable to make it to their former doomed destination, they created a fun Thanksgiving and one which the family repeated year after year.
Why did it take a car slamming into a fence to create their own family tradition?
Isn’t that what happens for us, too? We have to slam into something before we’re woken up to affect change. The pain of staying the same becomes stronger than the pain of changing. Change can hurt, y’all! We do what our “family” has always done without questioning if it’s what we want to do.
We treat our spouse the same old way because changing who we are for better, hurts too much to consider. We stick with old traditions because considering otherwise tugs in an intolerable way.
And then we hit a fence…
We begin the process of change.
Don’t wait for a collision.
Be willing to assess what’s working in your life and what needs changing.
Start a new tradition.
Treat your spouse in a way you’ve never treated them before—in a good way. Change the way you’ve always done something and make a change for the better.
Often, change starts with a decision to change.
If you don’t like how your marriage is going…change something:
-Start the day with kisses instead of words of “instruction.”
-Greet your spouse at the end of the day with the enthusiasm you would if you ran into your favorite celebrity.
-Hide naked behind the water heater and pop out unexpectedly.
Change. It. Up.
If you don’t like the way your relationship is with your kids do something completely different.
Send them words of affirmation and shower them with praise…even if they just ruined your sofa or blew all their money on what you deem trivial or just wrote all over your walls with markers. [And yes, that last one actually happened in my house! The chosen color was red, by the way.]
More often than not, the best rewards in life start with change. We need to take a step to change who we are or change the way we’ve always done it or break up our daily routine. And at the other end of it can be our treasure.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”
Because what’s more valuable (assuming God is at the top!) than the relationships we have with our spouse and our children? Can you think of anything? I can’t.
Cherish the blessings right in front of you.