I often wonder just why it is that I have a difficult time blogging anymore.  I love to write, I love to share about my life, and I love to show off my grandbabies!  So what is it with me?

Lately I’ve wondered if it’s because my “Pollyanna” has been knocked askew by the last 4 years of my life.  My faith has not been shaken, but perhaps my ability to say with the Shunamite woman, “All is well” has been.  As a middle-aged adult, more things seem out of my own control.  And in these last few years, my self-confidence has been less than strong.  I saw my Mama go through this when we kids became adults and had families of our own.  I didn’t really understand it then.  I was even somewhat condescending toward her.  Now, however, I understand those feelings on fear, insecurity, doubt of my own abilities. 

I am working on this area of my life.  I am seeking the Lord daily as to how to be the best helpmeet to my husband.  You know, that’s way different now than it was 30, 20, even 10 years ago!  I am praying for my children, how I might best serve them and their families.  I am also asking my Heavenly Father how I might best honor Him in my service of others – my extended family, my friends, and my neighbors.  Through my daily time with Him, as well as His voice in my heart throughout the day, He is showing me slowly just who I am NOW!  It is a slow process, but I am seeing His hand in my life at every turn.

As I write this, I wonder if I’ve written these words here already – ah, well, if I have, I have more to work on than I thought! whatevah

Family Day is an area that has needed adjustment for a long time.  When Mama and Daddy died, Dave, Jeanne, and I clung to each other as though our lives depended on it.  Even my Dannye Reigh was in the middle of this tight band – we consider her an honorary sibling – if you knew us all together, you would understand!  Lately, though, both Gen (Jeanne) and I have felt somewhat choked by the demands of our lives (some real, some imagined) and Family Day was inadvertently a part of the death-grip.  We talked occasionally about it, but never came to any conclusion, partly due to fear of another change.  Both our husbands, I fear, felt somewhat out of the loop of our lives.  We have been a very exclusive club, this circle of siblings.  I need them, they need me, and nothing else seemed to be as important as keeping the family together.  As time has gone on, we began to realize (through that sweet voice of my heavenly Father, no doubt) that oft times our spouses have been only receiving the scraps of our time and energy because we were expending an awful lot of both on our folks stuff, our siblings needs, and keeping Family Day going like it always has. 

Now, my precious hubby LOVES my family.  He has completely embraced them, and they, him.  The problem hasn’t been my family at all!  The problem has been ME!!  Family Day was only a manifestation of my issue – I had made Family Day sacred, to the exclusion of Bill’s needs sometimes. 

As we all talked through this issue – Gen, Dave, myself, Dannye, Missy, Kenny, and Bill were the only ones here today – we found that all three of us Sibs felt the same (or similar) way.  Dannye and Missy were not feeling our pain so much, but were very gracious towards us old folks!  So we talked it out, and have decided that for now, Family Day will be toned down to once a month.  Those who want to and are able will still probably go to Starbucks for coffee and visits beside the lake on Tuesday mornings, but the all day event including lunch will be reserved for the first Tuesday of each month.  There may be adjustments, but this seemed like a good starting place. 

I admit to being a bit schitzophrenic about this development.  There is a part of me that is jumping up and down, screaming “I’m FREE!! I’m FREE!!”  But I think as much as that feeling, I have some fear.  Fear that our family will lose its closeness; fear that maybe we won’t miss each other; fear that maybe I’m not nearly as important to them as I thought I was…

This all sounds so melodramatic.  For goodness sake, we all live within 10 miles of each other, with the exception of Bo and Em, and I know we’ll see them often.  Life just has a way of moving much like a runaway train, going faster and faster right by us.  And as you can see, change is difficult for me!

For the part of me that is excited about the change, I am planning to study my husband!  I’ve been asking the Lord to show me how I can bless Bill, and He’s been giving me little assignments that can be an encouragement to him.  I know that blessing Bill will certainly give a return blessing to me, because I love seeing good things happen to my Lovey.  I also know that a stronger marriage makes a stronger family, which in turn will bless our community.  I am looking forward to that, as well.  God has such good things in store for us!! 

I’m not sure this has made sense to some of you.  If you’ve read my blog or known me very long at all, you’ll likely understand what all this gobbledygook is about.  I just kinda needed to write it out.  I hope that’s okay!

God bless your day!



About Petty Bunch

The Petty Bunch is what we have called our family since Bill and I (Janina) began our family back in the early 1980s. We have gone down many roads together - homeschooling our kiddoes, enjoying the freedom of entrepreneurship many years, working at "real jobs" other years. Through it all, we have been loved with God's everlasting love, and have found that underneath are His everlasting arms! We are blessed to have been married for over 36 years, and have 3 incredible adult children, a wonderful daughter-in-law, an amazing son-in-law, and SEVEN grandchildren: four precious granddaughters, three handsome grandsons - so far. We are empty nesters, still enjoy the life of an entrepreneur and the freedom it gives us to continue enjoying our kids and now, their kids!
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10 Responses to Family

  1. inanorchard says:

    “Study my husband”, I really like that 🙂  I should do that too!  I know what you mean about wanting family to remain close.  It does get difficult as time goes on and it requires intentional action to keep that from happening.  It sounds like you all communicate very well thought, that is a blessing!  

  2. You are such a blessing!!!!!I would give ANYTHING to have what you have with the family. But I will tell you, that even if you all tone down family day, you still are going to have so mcuh love between you all. To see this is WONDERFUL. As each of our own families grow, its hard to keep that glue together. Its stretches. And you know, its natural. But oh how I understand your fears and concern. This season of life is definately one of those where each step is like the old saying…”Just enough light for the next step I take.” Relying on faith and letting God show you the path. I too have been having thoughts and such about things. Mom being in the hospital has really made me think of things. Especially when it comes to my Mountain Man. Am I really and truly being “praised in the gates.” What kind of legacy am I leaving? I go often to my book Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. It helps me with specifics. But oh the sweetness of reading this and hearing of the kind of love you all have. Its just simply wonderful!!!

  3. I just got home from a long trip, and I am a little out of it, so it took me a little time to sort out this post.  You have family day every week?  That sounds like it must have been such a blessing for you all during the difficult times of dealing with the deaths of your parents.  Wonderful!  But change is wonderful too!  And you know that your family will never lose its closeness.  I think you will draw closer to each other than ever, as you spend more time apart and not gather as often – when you do get together, it will be all the more precious!  And wow, was I convicted by your thoughts on studying your husband and finding ways to be a blessing to him.  At this point in our lives, I have had to give a lot of time and attention to the needs of my adult children, which has been done with Jim’s blessing, but now that I am home, I do need to focus on Jim and his needs now.  Thanks for giving me that nudge!  

  4. redladybug18 says:

    i enjoyed your post and thoughts.  Sometimes it is good to cut back so you can get back to the basics.  I think it’s great that you’ve able to get together once a week for so long but I can imagine how much time that takes.  I’m sure as close as you still are after so many years you’ll still have a good relationship that will stay close

  5. I am watching my mom go through alot of the same emotions you are. I can totally understand how your children growing up, when you’ve invested so much of your life in them, an your parents passing away can completely throw your life into an emotional tail spin.Sounds like you’re surrounded by the perfect people to help you thru it. Prayers and hugs!

  6. I, as always. am glad to see you posted. I know that this seems to be the best thing for everyone but I am just so sad about this new development right now. I love the closeness of this side of my family. I rarely get to see my side of the family and family day means so much to me even though I’m not always able to be there. This is just really hard for me right now. I’m so afraid of losing the closeness. I have been ever since Mammaw and Granddad passed away. I was just thinking last week how very thankful I was that we were still getting together every week. Anyways. It’s just very hard and sad for me…right now. I am praying that God help me to deal with my saddness over this and that our family will still remain close. Much love, AmyP.S. You have always been and always will be important to me, Aunt Nina! You are such a godly encouragment to me in so many areas of my life and I’m so glad that I get to call you my Aunt Nina.

  7. pettybunch says:

    @michaelswoman – Sweet Amy, I sure understand your heart.  Our prayers are the same – that we will deal with the sadness, and that our family will draw ever closer!!P.S. I’m glad you call me Aunt Nina, too – you are more an encouragement to me than you can know!!

  8. I so enjoy your posts, goodness you have a lot of family time. The only time we get together is at a kids bd party or at the holidays. & us to all live within 18 to 20 miles away from each other lol. I have those same thoughts of late, I sure need to be doing more.ryc: Yes I am loving this ad free space I am so thankful to that person & was very surprised .

  9. I do not think that you are melodramatic; this is a difficult season of life as we face the death or the increased responsibility of our parents in the end of their lives.  For those of us who love motherhood and the closeness that comes with home education or just even having your kids at home, it is hard to watch them leave, even though we reared them with the end in mind.  Add the effects of the weak economy to all of our lives, and it is easy to start seeing the glass as more than half empty.  My secret weapon is that I have women in the same season of life who pray for me and give me needed perspective.  Are you in a local church?  Try to find one or two or a few women to meet with weekly specifically to pray.  It works wonders.  I’m sorry that things are hard right now.  You are not imagining it.  It is a hard season.

  10. I’m just now getting around to reading this post, Nina.  I cannot begin to tell you how my spirit witnesses with your spirit in what you’ve written here.  I think that it is so easy to just keep on doing things we’ve always done because we’ve always done them, and people we love may be feeling like they don’t matter as much to us as other people do.  I am married to a very supportive and kind husband, too, and he always encouraged me to put the needs of our children first when they were young.  As the years have passed, it’s been easy to keep it that way and now that they are grown, not only is it not necessary, it really isn’t healthy for me to think in terms of their needs.  When families are tight and siblings like each other and have so much in common, it is so easy to lose sight of someone else’s pain.  And if our spouse didn’t come from the same kind of family, it’s even harder for them to really comprehend how we feel and why we feel the way we do.  I think you are on the right path, girlie!  God bless!

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