My Life with God

Family Expectations

photo-1521805103424-d8f8430e8933Sometimes the demands and expectations of family (and others close to you) can be overwhelming. When the baby wakes up at night yet again. When the toddler pulls all the toys off the shelves yet again. When the school-age daughter comes home with hurt feelings yet again. When the preteen gets cut from a team after trying yet again, or when you have to pick up a preteen from one practice and get him or her to another in less than ten minutes yet again (after you agreeing to let him or her play on multiple teams yet again). When the school calls yet again. When the teen is late yet again. When the college student changes his or her life plans yet again.

Not to mention the demands and expectations of parents, siblings, and others.

But sometimes those expectations motivate me. There have been a couple times recently when I’ve considered avoiding a certain activity or event, but then a family member reaches out to make sure I’m going to be there because…[insert reason]. Sometimes it’s easier to isolate myself and ignore some of the better choices I could make, and all it takes to jolt me back to good sense is someone close to me reaching out to say, “Looking forward to seeing you there” or “I could really use your help.”

It’s not about needing to feel needed or prompted. That’s not healthy in excess. It’s not about my choices being dependent on someone else reaching out. That can be passive. It’s about connection and relationship. It’s about communication and sharing life. It’s about accountability and authenticity.

Doing life together is fulfilling. It’s also overwhelming and frustrating and exhausting.

You will see some of the responsibilities of relationships as burdensome at times. But engaging with others is worth the attention and vulnerability, discipline and sacrifice.

It’s often after lifting weights that we feel the lightest and strongest.

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