Monday, May 18, 2009

Star Wars, Sock Monkeys and Siblings

I’m sitting on my bed, listening to country music - and my five year old sister playing with Star Wars action figures. The rest of the family is scattered all over the house, some are working on craft projects, others have homework to do. The baby, who really isn’t a baby any more, is giggling in the living room. My older brother is sleeping and my mom, who got up early this morning, is still working on her never-ending list of things that must be done.

Such is life in a family of thirteen.

I’m down to the wire on this post again this week and am wondering if God has anything in particular He wants me to write about. He’s been pretty quiet about writing with me lately; one story idea keeps bumping into the sides of my head, persistent but not quite ready. Blog posts? They’re pretty well-hidden.

But today, I keep getting the nudge to talk about family.

My second-littlest sister is five, going on six, keeps chattering away to me tonight. She wants to know what the singer is talking about in this song. Holding her Star Wars action figures, she tells me, very seriously, that Leia’s father is Anakin, because he was Anakin before he became Darth Vader. “That says ‘and’,” she says, pointing at my computer monitor, “and that’s, ‘she.’” She has a question for everything and a story for anyone who wants to hear it.

She’s five. Adorable, and she knows it. She’s a bit of a distraction, I will admit. Kids are magnets, don’t you know? Five minutes ago there was just one child on my bed, and before I can finish writing three more sentences, three siblings are clambering about, asking questions about music – “Are they married?” my sister inquires of a song that a country artist is singing on my computer. “Yes,” says I – and paint on the ceiling and why don’t I ever wear that dress in my closet?

Life is always interesting in a large family. Distracting, noisy, head-enducing, prone to drama and well, interesting. Interesting can be good and interesting can be bothersome. Today has been a busy, gray day in our corner of New England. A few of us have come down with colds (again) and others are grumpy. Tempers are fraying now at the end of the day. There have been moments when I, sniffly and sore-throated, have hidden in my room with a pile of tissues, just to get away from the noise and chaos.

Life isn’t peachy. But this life that I lead…in spite of the noise, in spite of the chaos, in spite of the arguments and the fact that grumpiness is incredibly contagious in a large family, in spite of this…

This is where God has me. He has me in a house with five sisters and five brothers; He has me sitting on my bed tonight, writing to you all and listening to my sisters ask a million questions and tell me all sorts of stories that I’ve heard before and I’ll hear again. Living with little children has taught me patience; they teach me to listen and love and learn. To see things that I’d forgotten to see and hear things that I may not hear.

They teach me unconditional love.

They teach me how to maintain a sense of humor – when your sister shows up wearing your pantyhose on her head at the dinner table you have a choice: laugh or cry. And when they start telling family friends every secret they know about every member in the family, you have to laugh (while covering their mouths with your hands to prevent anymore secrets from escaping). Laughing is much more fun and just may prolong your life.

They teach me to find joy in every day things. It is so easy to forget the excitement of the first violets of spring and the joy of sleeping with not just one, not two, but THREE pillows.

They teach me that love is a choice and not an emotion. I don’t always like my brothers and sisters, old and young. But I will always love them, because they are my siblings, they are my family. None of us are always loveable, including myself, but my siblings have shown that love to me: forgiving me when I’m hurtful and sin towards them, always loving me.

So, I may never have my own room. I have to remind Mia that my diary is not for her own perusal and I know to hide behind my bedroom door when getting ready for bed at night because not everyone knocks before entering (small children are somehow so forgetful).

But I don’t think I’d trade them.

Love your siblings. Enjoy today while you can. Sock monkeys and questions and stories and stuffed animals being thrown about the room. Um, yes. You’ll have to excuse me; there are now four children in my room and I have to deal with an argument over who gets to play with my sock monkey.

Have a blessed week.

3 comments:

Hannah May 18, 2009 at 6:58 PM  

Thank you for posting this Krista. It really spoke to me. Especially this part.
"To see things that I’d forgotten to see and hear things that I may not hear. "
It's so easy to get wrapped up in our busy adult life and forget the wonder God has put in the world around us.

LeAnne May 18, 2009 at 8:11 PM  

Great post, Krista. :)

Sarah Dee May 19, 2009 at 12:27 PM  

"They teach me how to maintain a sense of humor – when your sister shows up wearing your pantyhose on her head at the dinner table you have a choice: laugh or cry. And when they start telling family friends every secret they know about every member in the family, you have to laugh (while covering their mouths with your hands to prevent anymore secrets from escaping). Laughing is much more fun and just may prolong your life. "

SOOOOOOOOO TRUE!!! last night.... lol.....


Thanks for the post. It is just what I needed. Thank you for lsitening to the God nudge. *hug*

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