Yesterday we took the Tanzer 22 out for another sail. This was the first trip with all 8 of us on board.
We have it parked at a lake/ river about 2 hours away. There wasn't a lot of wind this time which is ok with me. Keeping 5 kids from going over board and out of the way of the rigging can get a little crazy.
We spent most of the afternoon in a little cove enjoying the sunshine and water.
We entertained ourselves watching kids swing off of the boat.
We're cramming lots of fun into the summer while my sis-in-law and nephew are here. Only 1 more week left of our visit. I think they'll be tired of our crazy noisy full house by then.
The water levels were a little higher in this dammed off part of the river so our little private beach was nearly gone. The kids didn't seem to mind and were convinced they could find precious gems or gold if they dug deep enough.
Can't you just hear the shrieking and laughter?
These two little munckins could entertain themselves in the sand all day.
Cece spent nearly 3 hours in one location on a few feet of beach digging sand and dumping it on different parts of her body. She was one happy girl, despite no naps.
This is our little picnic spot.
Silas had a much better experience on the sailboat this time! (thanks to Dramamine)
It's like throwing an octopus.
This boy is getting so big I think he'll be the one doing the tossing in a few more years!
This girl ADORES her Daddy.
He hasn't dropped her yet.
I'm so thankful that God has given us the chance to get to know, and love, the nephew that we didn't even know existed three years ago.
He's such a big hearted, silly and quirky kid. He fits into our tribe of goofballs well.
I mentioned earlier the classes about Christian relationships and healthy conflict resolution I attended while we were at family camp.
One quick thought I want to share with you was the concept of superficial community versus authentic community.
Pseudo community or superficial relationships are full of facades and pretending. They may appear healthy and normal because there is nothing beyond the superficial. Conflict is ignored rather than resolved. Topics are skirted around rather than worked through. Hurts, bitterness and unforgiveness fester under a pleasant smile until eventually something breaks and the slow death on the inside shatters even the phony image making the carnage complete. Marraiges can last for years in pseudo community. Families can build whole phony realities while the dysfunction is hidden behind deception and ignored.
Pseudo community eventually equals death. Death of a church, destruction of a family, the end of a marraige. When people or churches don't learn how to deal with little conflicts in a constructive, loving, biblical way they will be completely annihilated when a major crises hits. Relationships can appear peaceful on the surface but in reality there is no authenticity. Pseudo relationships are defined by an absence of trust, a fear of conflict, a lack of commitment, and an avoidance of accountability. There may be an appearance of harmony but there is no lasting fruit.
Authentic community involves the willingness to speak truth in love. It involves the tough work of forgiveness, communication and grace. Feelings aren't easily hurt and emotions aren't used to manipulate. Problems and breaches of boundaries are worked through respectfully as they arise, before they are given a chance to fester and build offense. Communication is ongoing, honest and constructive. Words aren't used in slander, pride, deception and gossip. Sometimes moving into authentic relationships in our families, churches or friendships involves some healthy conflict. It may mean moving through a period of transparent, honest chaos in which assumptions, lies and hurts are uprooted and discarded in order to move into an authentic relationship.
Authentic relationships are defined by a foundation of trust built by time, effort and healthy boundaries. They include transparent communication, unified commitment, mutual accountability, and an awareness of each others needs.
Having house guests for a month is great practice for these principles of authentic relationship. Combining two households into one functioning home is a perfect test in practical application :) Because we are committed to the authentic relationship and the principles that define it we are able to deal with the little irritations and personality conflicts that will inevitably arise.
A peace maker is not the same thing as a peace keeper.
Keeping the peace at all costs involves overlooking sin, stuffing hurts, and sweeping problems under the rug. In order to keep an appearance "peace" we would need let others trample what is ours and invade healthy boundaries. This is where many Christians like to take the "turn the other cheek" verses out of their intended meaning. Jesus was talking about aggressive love for our enemies and intentionally removing ourselves from the position of victim into an interaction between equals... not a lesson in "How to be a Door Mat 101.
Being a peace maker involves a willingness to wade through crap in order to be reconciled into an honest healthy relationship.
Living with authenticity, healthy boundaries, forgiveness, and free from offense isn't easy but it's a pretty sweet place to be.