#6 A Word to the Wise
A Word to the Wise
As I hung up the phone, my older-and-wiser father attempted to encourage me. “It’s okay to be disappointed. If I’m honest about it, I’m sad too. But don’t let your disappointment turn into anger. Anger festers and damages relationships. It’s just not worth that.” Of course, Dad was right; but at the time I just wanted to give in to my frustration.
For several months, we had worked on planning our family reunion. It was Mom and Dad’s “turn,” which really meant that my sister Kathy and I would be doing all the leg work this year. The decorations were bought, food was planned, and even a few fun things such as a photo booth were all ready for Saturday. This was Friday. Already I had realized that our youngest son couldn’t make it, as he now lived 8 hours away and didn’t yet have time off with his new job. Our oldest son had just called to say that his wife and child, our grandson, couldn’t make it tomorrow due to illness. And that last phone call was our middle son, calling to say that he and his wife would now be attending an event with her family instead. All of my previous bubbly enthusiasm suddenly gave way to self-pity. I had really wanted all of our boys and their families to be with us on this special day.
Fortunately, Mom and Dad had both taught us to try to look at the bright side of every situation. Dad’s little “anger speech” was beginning to sink in, and I decided to try to make the best of things. After all, I was going to get to spend time with my oldest son, which was very rare these days. My sister and brother in law were in town, and I couldn’t wait to spend time with them. Reunion day came, and we all had a wonderful time catching up with many of our favorite aunts, uncles, and cousins. We took goofy pictures in the photo booth, ate a lot, laughed a lot, and simply enjoyed being together.
As I write this article, I am reminded of all of the additional wonderful advice that my parents have given me over the years that has helped me not only be a parent myself, but to deal with the changes in the seasons of life that we go through. Mom often quotes Philippians 4:11; “……I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” She lives that out every day of her life, and said it again recently as we discussed the inevitable changes that may occur for her in the near future. What an inspiration.
Another piece of advice that Dad has often given me, when I’ve been hurt or offended by someone is this: pray for them. “It is very difficult,” he says, “to have hatred for someone that you are praying for. Pray for their heart to soften, pray for their circumstances. Prayer is a powerful way to help bring about positive change in lives, both yours and theirs.” I have often been humbled by these words, and have found myself on my knees more than once as I struggled through a situation with another person.
The wisdom that my parents have bestowed upon me throughout my years on earth has had a profound impact on the person that I have become. I appreciate those tidbits now more than ever before. I am also now feeling encouraged to begin to write down as many pieces of advice that Mom and Dad have imparted to me as I can; something that I should have done long ago.
I’d love to hear from you. What advice did your parents pass on to you that has helped you on your journey? How does it continue to impact you today?
Hi Susan! I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I’m not sure if you remember me or not but we did indeed go to high school together! I have been a west-sider now for 32 years and have five children and four..count them…FOUR…grandchildren! I know I can’t believe it either:)
I love your latest post. I just returned from a wonderful weekend in South Carolina for the baptism of my daughter Sara’s youngest little girl, Audrey. It was so much fun seeing them and very bittersweet having to leave. I still have a senior at home and one in college but I am definitely feeling the pain of the empty nest.
I am going to take your dad’s advise about how to react when things don’t go as planned. One of my mother’s favorite bits of wisdom is “this too shall pass.” I really needed those words raising five teenagers!!!
I hope you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Easter. Keep up the good work on your blog!
Sally, Thanks SO much for taking a moment to say hello. Of COURSE I remember you! Wow – I cannot even believe you have four grandchildren; they are very lucky to have such an awesome grandma. Please check in again; it was wonderful to hear from you; and especially thanks for reading the blog. 🙂
Hello, just found your blog. I like this post because I love the advice your dad and mum (I’m from the UK) have given you, what great words to hang on to and live by. Also, I love your owl photo!
Thank you so much, Sarah! It’s great to hear from you. I plan to check out your blog as well; thank you again for your kind words.