Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Are You Doing HOME Maintenance?

We just experienced extended, freezing temperatures in Austin, TX. That doesn't happen very often. We even got an inch of snow, the kind of thing that only shows up once or twice a decade! Unfortunately a lot of homes and their owners weren't prepared for these unusual stresses.

As a result, pipes froze and broke. And before long what started as a slow leak turned into a major flood and some unfortunate damage occurred for some.

The same can be true in families. They don't prepare well, haven't provided the kind of insulation and warmth their homes need and let slip some of the important emotional maintenance that should have been taking place all along.  And if they're not careful, the drip, drip, drip of family or spousal concerns can become a damaging flood that no one saw coming.

So, while we can't avoid family struggles and concerns, we can at least do our best to manage and maintain.  How?  Well, don't get apathetic.  Don't assume everyone's just fine. Listen to each other, take inventory now and then, ask some questions.  Sometimes just spending meaningful, focused time with your spouse and/or kids will help you know what's going on and what needs attention.

Anticipate the potential problems.  A lot of people where we live found out they didn't know where the water shut off valve was and when the flooding started were in big trouble. Have you determined what you will do in a crisis?  Do people in your family see you as a cool cucumber when stress comes or are you the one who freaks out every time something goes even slightly wrong?  Do you have some helpful valves so to speak that will help deal with anger, disappointment, and even tragedy?

Do you have  resources and people who you can call on to help you through the hard times?

Keep learning. None of us has all the answers. Our community shared a lot of ideas through an email connection I happen to facilitate when the problems started happening.  We all learned a lot, some the hard way.  Nonetheless, I think everyone knows now that we need to be a bit more intentional about learning what we can in the still water (excuse the pun) before we hit the rough waters.

So keep reading, listening, and gaining from the insights of other wise people about marriage and parenting.  Grow your soul through your relationship with God and spend time with others who have walked the path before you.

And when a family pipe bursts at your house maybe you'll be a bit more ready next time. Or perhaps you'll have done enough to keep it from happening in the first place! 
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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