Desiring God by John Piper.

My selfishness. It’s highly connected to shame. One time I was so tired, sad , angry, selfish , obviously blaming and not knowledgeable. This is what I did, I walked further ahead and left my siblings and mum , going with the flat shoes when I was supposed to be exchanging flats with heels with my sister along the way since heels make walking harder. That memory is connected to shame because later that evening, my mum lectured me on how mean that was. I already knew it was mean but her kindly talking about it made it feel more ashaming.

Family . As I have been learning, we look like the ideal family. But we don’t openly show love, at least not in our primary language which might be Words of Affirmation. Therefore, food, clothing, the best education, shelter etc etc is provided despite the hardship involved. Yet , when it comes to saying I love you, or you look so nice on that dress, or I’m so glad you helped me do the work, or it’s so nice that you finished on time , we usually don’t do that here at all. My dad comes from a broken family, four wives, chaos , no money for school , almost never present family members, this looks like an upgrade, the fact that he pays out fees and comes home in the night and tells tv and food jokes feels like an upgrade. Yet still, people crave for kind words. For alittle heads up or politely saying can I use some of that water instead of the usual rudeness that looks like some one is saying I’m entitled. I wish my mum knew I have so much to do and she didn’t call me useless because she does more work than me . I wish my sister Bridget would kindly say , please go to the shops instead of being so furious and angry before a good conversation with me and not trusting me at all, I wish she would kindly say, Emilly you forgot to wash these plates instead of just putting them on the verandah with an attitude that says How dare You or I don’t believe I’m having to do this for you or how lazy can you possibly be and shouting rudely when mum asks about it like somehow everyday I should be trying to please her. I wish Berna didn’t get mad when I told her to remove utensils or give the impression that she wasn’t going to do it, I would be so glad if she kindly said, give me a minute, I’m on it. I wish Elijah didn’t talk as if he was the man of the house, as if I had to obey him , as if giving orders was okay, he’s afterall still the youngest. And I wish my dad didn’t make it feel like my opinions about faith are dumb and immature or like all I do is disrespect authority.

But then again, I don’t claim that relating well would solve all of our problems, I’m just reflecting, not actually trying to solve. There’s more to family issues than just how we relate with each other after all. For instance, I can’t get rid of the fear that the joy in the beloved might mean me being a slave to my siblings all my life, trying to please people I can’t please. Afterall , isn’t it true that one’s Joy depends on them, not on You ?