There is a sweet family that attends my church – mom, dad and a little boy and girl, both under the age of eight. This family is very active in our community and always seems to have smiles on their faces. Quite frankly – this is one of those families that I look at and envy at times as I wonder if I portray such grace and joy wherever I go (I doubt I do).
The other day I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw that the mom in this family posted that they had missed their families flight to New Mexico. Apparently it was the day before and they simply read the date wrong and thought it was the following day. Regardless, I can only imagine the emotions that must have fluttered by as they realized their mistake. I, for one, would have been bombarded with anger, frustration, worry, regret, and so much more.
What was simply amazing about this post on Facebook was the picture that came along with the post (see below). It was a “selfie” of her and her husband in the front seat of their minivan with their two precious kiddos in the back and they all had bright beautiful smiles on their faces. I have no idea what took place prior to this happy photo, but her post said something like, “Well, I guess we’re road tripping this thing all the way to New Mexico! Family adventure time!”
I know, right? I was floored at their good attitudes. And, I was amazed at how a potentially angry situation turned into a beautiful intimate moment for their family. Again, I’m not sure how they got to that happy place because they certainly could have simply gotten to a good place after sorting through all the negative stuff. But, regardless of how they got there, there they were. Smiling. Excited for their adventure.
I’ve seen other pics they’ve posted along the way and I bet they are happy things turned out this way and glad they took their good attitudes along for the ride. How often have we missed an opportunity to turn our anger into intimacy with our spouses and our families? Anger is such a strong emotion that it is hard to turn that feeling around into something beneficial for the relationship.
My mom used to call this “making lemonade out of lemons” and I’ve tried to do this as often as I could over the years. I have especially done this in my marriage and have found it to be a valuable tool. One instance that comes to mind is when my husband and I took a motorcycle trip to the mountains one Labor Day weekend. I wasn’t super keen on taking the bike because it may rain. Steve assured me all would be fine and off we went. I’ve been known to complain and put down his ideas in the past when I had concerns something could go wrong. But, I tried to keep myself in check for the benefit of this trip and his enjoyment of it.
Well, as I had predicted it began to rain shortly before we arrived at our destination. Oh, and it wasn’t just raining. It was POURING! Steve had to navigate us under a small shelter outside of a fresh produce market in the middle of nowhere. We were soaked! Every part of my being wanted to complain and say, “I told you so!” But, instead I began taking note of what went right instead of what went wrong. We were safe. My head was dry because of the helmet. The rain was cool and refreshing after riding in the hot sun. And, this cool little fresh market had delicious apples, of which I was able to enjoy one as we waited for the rain to slow.
Taking time to turn a potentially angry and negative situation into something positive and intimate could be a valuable tool in your marriage tool box. It takes intentionality to make it happen, but well worth it!