When Relationships Get Messy at Our House

We’ve had this sign longer than I can remember. I remember the store I bought it in, but I am fuzzy on what town it was in, who I was with (a dear friend, I think), and what year. Most days I barely notice it. But this morning it spoke to me as I stood in the kitchen doing my physical therapy assigned stretches. On the days I give it a glance I get the warm fuzzies about my family.

This morning it caused me to pause and feel more deeply. The last four sentences—Yes—fun and easy. The top five—well, they require real work and sometimes heartache and pain. Sometimes it’ s easy to do them. Yep, I messed up. I’m sorry.

And sometimes it’s hard. Like I’ve said before, our family is not perfect. I am not perfect and neither is Gene or the girls. Sometimes in our disagreements and misunderstandings I feel miles from the other person and like our relationship will never be the same. In those times I need space and time to process, to not say something out of hurtness and fatigue. I need time to discern–What is truth? What is my part in this?

My family knows that the first discussion of the topic is never the last. I will revisit it once I’ve processed. I come to them with an apology and an explanation of what I was feeling. I hear their hearts too. Sometimes we come together over the topic; sometimes we agree to disagree. I often need to remind myself that our relationship is more important than me being right. As I said often in my book, Love No Matter What*, without relationship you have nothing.

So today I had a couple of conversations with family members in regards to yesterday’s disagreements. I rehearsed them over in my head a dozen times. The conversations were not easy. My process was kinda messy, but so worth it. These relationships were not only mended; we grew closer as well.

Life as a family who love each other and are growing in relationship, requires all these things on the sign, especially the first five. They are challenging and hard at times. They feel risky, but they are so worth it.


* For more ideas on growing in relationship with your growing kids, check out my book, Love No Matter What: When Your Kids Make Decisions You Don’t Agree With.


Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.

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