We live right across the street from my parents. It has potential to be disastrous but it’s worked out beautifully for us. We help each other out when we can and give each other space to do their own thing. My kids have the benefit of having their grandparents close and they (kids AND grandparents) love it. My folks don’t meddle and they don’t get in my business. With one exception.
I love to mow. It’s instant gratification. You take a grubby, overgrown lawn and in no time you have a fresh carpet of green. I put on my head phones and jam. And I hit rocks. My husband and I have an unspoken agreement: I mow the lawn and he doesn’t give me grief about hitting rocks and dulling the blades. My dad doesn’t know about this agreement. Or he chooses to ignore it.
I imagine that when my dad hears our mower fire up he grabs his notebook labeled “number of times Abbie has hit a rock” and goes to town filling up his tally sheet. If that’s not enough, he gives a report when I’m done. Within a day or two he will remark something along the lines of, “I heard you out mowing. You think you’re about to get those rocks chewed up yet?” Or, “I thought you were supposed to pick rocks, not hit them.” It’s innocent and he thinks he’s being funny but honestly, it kind of pisses me off. But you know what? When I know he’s home, listening to me mow, I’m more deliberate about NOT hitting rocks.
No one wants to hear when they’re screwing up. It’s not fun to hear what you’re not doing right. But. There’s something about being held accountable. It’s not my favorite thing but it’s good for me.
To be held accountable you must first admit that you’re not perfect. Ah, humility. And vulnerability. Ugly words sometimes, aren’t they? Well, I am not perfect. Far from it. Here’s one of my (many) shortcomings: I have a nasty habit of noticing people’s faults. Embarrassing to admit, but it’s honest. I give way more slack to the world but tend to hold my brothers and sisters in Christ to a much higher standard. And when I don’t think they’re doing what they ought to be, I get a little judgey.
I need to be held accountable for it. Don’t allow me to engage you in conversation about what others are or are not doing that doesn’t meet my expectations. My expectations are skewed and don’t really matter. Only God’s opinion matters.
I don’t need you to slay me or lecture me or counsel me. Just a gentle reminder, please. A simple, “watch the rocks, girl” will do just fine.
I don’t want to be known for hitting rocks or throwing stones. Call me out when I do either, ok? Yes dad, I’m giving you permission too (not that you asked or require it). Just because it pisses me off doesn’t mean I don’t need to hear it.