The voting has begun for the Trifextra weekend 33-word challenge and will remain open for 12 hours (til 8AM Monday, Eastern time). There are some great entries, click here to cast your vote. There will be no hanging chads, no electoral votes and no re-counts – the winners will be chosen by the blogging community and the most votes wins! My two entries are submitted under JannaTWrites, with the following gravatar (my kitty, Cybil):
Now on to the regularly scheduled Sunday post: I Have A Voice
I am not the most patient person, but I am a peaceful one. I don’t like conflict, or its cousins, tension or resentment. I prefer relationships where each person can speak his or her mind, knowing that the foundation of the relationship won’t crack under such truth. I like to be trusted to hear dreams, secrets, or fears, and I like the security of knowing that someone will do the same for me.
Unfortunately, not all relationships are created equal.
Some relationships are bound by tenuous ties. These relationships require much more effort to keep stable; to keep peace. These relationships aren’t conducive to open communication. The thing is, the longer these relationships are forged, the more necessary it may be to speak my piece in order to achieve inner peace.
At least, this is what I’m discovering.
Last week, my older son burned his chest on a griddle because he decided to make pancakes for breakfast before my husband woke up (I’d already left for work). The burn blistered and he didn’t want to tell my husband because he didn’t want to get in trouble. (This tells me he knew he shouldn’t have been cooking alone.) We had a talk with him and explained that cooking requires adult supervision. We thought he understood so we left it at that.
This morning, our older son came in at 6:45AM and asked if he could make pancakes. We said no, because we wanted to sleep a little longer. Half an hour later, my younger son told us that our older son made cornbread. Sure enough, the oven was going and he was spooning out batter for another 6 muffins.
“We told you not to cook without an adult. We told you ‘no’ on pancakes today. Why on earth do you think it’s okay to use the oven by yourself?” I asked, frustrated.
He had no answer, but I suspected he found it easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission (because our answer would have been ‘no.’) It’s yet another event that makes me feel I’m speaking but am not heard.
I hold my tongue quite a bit where my MIL is concerned. The things I have voiced an opinion about, she often disregards (if it conflicts with what she wants to do.) I don’t want to put my husband in the middle, nor do I want to engage in a power struggle with her. She’s held the power because of my desire for peace…but I’m done being undermined. When she bought my older son the Betta fish for his birthday a couple years ago, I swallowed my anger and let the fish stay because I would only be seen as the ‘bad guy’ if I made him get rid of it. Now, after a week-long stay at her house, he came back with a TV she bought at Goodwill for $1. This is after we already told my son a TV wouldn’t happen because of his disrespectful behavior toward us.
This time, my anger is stuck in my throat and resists being swallowed. All morning, I’ve been seething over the whining from my younger son because he didn’t get a TV. I’ve been fighting with my older son about the way he talks to us. That TV is one more “Why don’t you do it yourself?” away from going back to Goodwill.
I have a voice. I want to be heard. I want peace. In the presence of potential conflicts in relationships, I can still find inner peace, if I look close enough. How about you?
Philippians 4:4-7 – Rejoice in the Lord always . I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.