“Check on me in a half hour.” I told my wife this morning.
I planned to knock down 20 feet of rock wall on our 130 old barn.
The barn was built in the 1880′s. I can still see broad ax marks on many of the supporting beams.
As a builder, I am in awe at the type of workmanship that went into this barn . Last September, I noticed the rock wall on the North side starting to lean. I knew if I didn’t do something about the rock wall soon, it was going to collapse.
As I tore into the rock wall , my mind went back to that season in our lives where we lived in a Christian community. For 18 months…. even though we had our own apartments, we shared a common kitchen with two other young families. Boy was that an experience.
Imagine 3 different households trying to coordinate meal times, grocery shopping, and parking. There were some intense moments….
(plus some great memories)
One of the most valuable life skills that came out of that season in my life was learning how to address issues instead of simply ignoring them. Not only did I learn how to address and work through conflict with the other people in our building, we learned how to work through conflict in our marriage, with our children, and on the job.
Our children are now adults. I can see the fruit of conflict resolution skills in their lives 20 years later. They are much quicker to address things in their relationships than most of their peers.
Going back to that barn I was working on this morning, I couldn’t help but see some parallels to that time in our lives….
#1 Sometimes it can get pretty messy when I first wade into a problem.
#2 The bigger the issue, the more time and energy I will probably have to expend.
#3 When I ignore a problem, it doesn’t mean it will somehow magically fix itself…all I am doing is postponing a bigger problem for later…
#4 Living life this way (addressing problems instead of ignoring them) has made my life so much richer… I prefer relationships based on reality instead of walking around on egg shells.
Several years ago now, we were attending a church with a single man who had “emotional issues.”
Long story short, he started wanting to hug my teen age daughters every week. (Not the older women mind you, just the young ones). I approached the pastor and said, he was making my daughters uncomfortable and someone needed to say something to him privately or I would do it myself.
The hugging stopped.
One last story…
Healthy conflict resolution skills were NOT taught or practiced in my family of origin..
They were not part of the family business I grew up in either.
I’ve refused to play along with the passive aggressive mind games and as a result, I am the black sheep.
Well, it’s about time to eat..better wrap this one up….
Thoughts, comments, questions?
As always, thanks for stopping by the blog! DM