I spend a lot of time thinking about women these days. By “these days,” I mean this time of year. And I don’t mean just women in general, but specific ones.
During the months of April and May, I celebrate birthdays of my mom, stepmom, mother-in-law, favorite daughter, Mrs. Sweetie (who just had one of those significant numbered birthdays), one sister-in-law and two nieces.
Throw in Mother’s Day and that’s a high concentration of estrogen that affects my life this time of year. This past weekend, we went to see our son in a production of “Legally Blonde, The Musical.” Talk about estrogen overload! But, I digress. After the sold-out performance, we gathered in the crowded lobby of the theater to greet the cast members. As we stood visiting, congratulating and repeating funny lines from the show, my son’s future mother-in-law lined the kids up for a photo. She couldn’t get the photo taken because her future son-in-law kept harassing her by looking away just before she pushed the button.
I think he was actually pushing her button, but I digress again.
I had a flashback watching this hilarious exchange. I fear he comes by it honestly. I messed with my mother-in-law’s photo taking for 25 years.
Mamaw was always armed with one of those little one-use disposable cameras. I couldn’t convince her to go digital. It was actually a bittersweet moment to watch this new generation of harassment on what would have been her 84th birthday. She went on to heaven four years ago, and I miss her. I can only hope that my son has as much fun with his mother-in-law as I had with mine and for at least as many years.
We all have the family into which we were born. Some of us have a family we got because of someone’s choice. But however we got them, we get to choose how we interact with them.
I’ve got some nut cases in my family. One of them lives in the house with Mrs. Sweetie. Family can drive you crazy sometimes, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. What that means is that you care enough about each other that the way you interact affects your life.
I can pretty well forget the random person who does something goofy that affects a moment of my life because I am unlikely to interact with them again. Since I can’t forget family, I’ve got to choose how I interact with them.
Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you [emphasis mine], live at peace with everyone.” I am only in control of me. But I am in control of me. The reason I had such a great relationship with my mother-in-law is that I chose to ignore some things about her, and she chose to ignore some things about me.
I’m probably going to be writing about women for several weeks. Embrace the estrogen, guys.
Dr. Lewis is director of missions for the Harvest Baptist Association. His blog is at www.lifematterstoday.blogspot.com.