Thursday, May 19, 2011


Snipe, snipe, snipe. My kids were tossing snarky remarks around like confetti and it was beginning to really get on my nerves.

"You guys stop being so crabby!" I cried in exasperation.

"But, Mo-o-o-om,..."

"Just STOP it! You guys are wearing me out!"

"Well, you know how it is," one child philosophied, "The family that crabs together."

I'd love to paint a purely romantic picture of life with a houseful of children, but that would be dishonest. Yes, we do have a lot of fun together. Yes, my kids count their siblings to be their very best friends. Yes, we have stimulating conversations of every imaginable sort, and we have moments when we laugh ourselves limp with silliness.

Sadly, we also have days when it seems that every remark is snippy, whiny, complain-y. When you have eight or nine people hanging around snarking at one another, believe me, it is not pretty.

But, as my near-grown son pointed out, it's all part of being together. And I'd rather have the togetherness - and the occasional crabbiness that goes with it - than to all be living separate lives, where we don't bump into each other enough to even have opportunities to get irritated.

If you've never seen your brother when he's crabby, if you've never been crabby yourself around your brother, if you've never had to deal with each other's bad moods or down-in-the-mouth days - well, then I'm willing to bet you don't know your brother very well. And if you don't know him very well, how on earth can you love him well?

So, after considering my son's remark, I'll take even the crabbiness. It's just part of the "bad" that comes with very much "good" - good that I wouldn't trade for the world. Family life, after all, is a crucible for sanctification - a place for extending grace, for practicing patience, for learning repentance and forgiveness, for slogging through the yucky and for celebrating the sunshine. Besides, I know everyone will be in better moods by dinnertime.

Hmmm, this got me do we experience similar sunshine and shadow in the body of Christ? Am I willing to endure Susie Saint's irritating habits and to walk with her through her "bad" days so that I can know and love her, my sister in Christ, better?

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