Are you busy? I bet that you are and that the next 10 days are going to get more and more so. This is a very special time with many wonderful events and experiences. But something that often received the "short end of the stick" during my ministry during Holy Week was my family. Maybe you do a better job on that score, but for me the minutes disappeared, energy was soaked up by so many demands and, as a result, I put my family on hold. I would like to suggest some things to do, whether you are clergy, staff or lay leader, during the next 10 days for your family:
1. Pray specifically for them. You might even let them know you will be praying, when, as well as ask for specific things to lift up.
2. Share positive stories of things that happen during this hectic time. Too frequently I "unloaded" the frustrations and struggles but then didn't lift up the joys and successes. Our families need to hear these too.
3. Allow them to be helpful to you. They often want to be helpful but may not know what specifically to do at this time to be helpful.
4. Ask how you may be helpful to them. Now before you say "I can't add one more thing" I would suggest that they care about you, know that you are full up, and will be very sensitive about what is requested. If not then there are probably bigger issues to deal with. If they do put something on the list it might be because there it is a very important need that can't wait.
5. Watch your 'tude'. You know the 'attitude' you get when you are tired and your boat is full...for me I could get a bit short and would tend to snap at them. Be careful not to take your 'tude' out on them.
6. Sent a text, email or get a card expressing appreciation for them and sharing your love.
7. Go for a soda (or Coke as I am used to saying) or coffee. It doesn't have to be long in time (15-30 minutes) but those minutes can do great things.
8. Bring them a gift (flowers, candle, bubbles...)
9. Celebrate them. How about keeping a list during these 10 days of the things that they do that are meaningful to you and then set a day right after Easter to sit down and share/celebrate these. You could go out for a special dessert or make a setting festive with balloons and decorations. Shows that you were thinking of them and noticed what gift they gave you.
10. What would be particularly meaningful for your family? Do it!
April 14, 2011