In earlier years some children left home for university and others were still at home. At holiday times those at university would return home to Ireland with their luggage. They would have to find a spare bed or share with others for the duration of the holidays. We all had to adjust to being in close proximity again.
When children leave they have more space in their new surroundings. So returning to a confined space stretched their patience and they had to sacrifice their own comfort. They usually were stressed out after exams at university and tired after all the activity student life demands. They would crash in bed and sleep late.
I had other expectations. I looked forward to their company and some help to give me a break from working in the home. Instead I had more work to do, more cooking and shopping. Home was somewhere for them to get their batteries recharged. My batteries were running out.
In my dilemma I would get frustrated with the children and made demands they were not able to meet. Children would get frustrated with each other and disputes would have to be settled. All this was too much for me. I would call on my husband to talk to any child who was misbehaving and settle disputes between me and the children, or between each other.
Brendan had his work cut out. He called these times “Norming and Storming.” The children were disciplined and reconciled. Often I felt disciplined when I had to be reconciled to my own children. The father has the ability to do this for his family. He can bring unity. While living together as a big family we had to get on with each other and forgive each other. We had to go through the process each time we were together.
Despite all the Norming and Storming at the beginning, holidays always turned out to be refreshing times when we could spend time together at meals and at play. My husband and I were stretched at these times. When everyone left we needed to take a break ourselves to forget about our troubles and spend time together.
When any group of people get together to do a task, they have to take time to know one another. Each one’s skills and gifts are needed in the Christian life to help each other. I needed others to help me get healed. Someone with the gift of healing helped, another with the gift of prophecy encouraged, a deliverer, the doctors, nurses, family and friends were all needed to love me back to health. God works through people. We are his hands and feet. That is why it is important to get on with each other and forgive each other.
We make up the Body of Christ. Where brothers dwell together in unity The Lord commands a blessing.
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” (Psalm 133:1, 3 NIV)