It’s gonna happen!

Last Sunday, one of the kids who comes to church with me got sick. You know what I mean, the “grab a trash basket now” kind of sick. What a joy! She looked green and I felt bad for her. But, as we walked by other people, wastebasket held high, they got a little green too!

Holidays – some year, somewhere, some time, somebody’s gonna’ puke. It’s just part of life. 

I’ll never forget one Saturday morning in December when were were kids. We were headed to our little church later that morning to practice for our “Christmas Program.” These were the days were nearly every child was required to memorize and recite a little rhyming poem about the Christmas story. Those poems were impossible for me to learn. 

I had worked on my “part” as had my siblings. Early that Saturday morning several of us piled into my folks’ bed as Mom started practicing our poems with us. (Funny that this is the only time that I remember doing this. It’s weird what sticks in our memories!)

Anyway, one of the sibs wasn’t excited about the day’s plan. One of my parents asked them “Are you feeling all right?” The answer came back, “No, my stomach hurts.” This was the beginning of the tragedy. 

The medical examination by parent of child began. Carefully touching the child’s abdomen, a question was posed, “Do you hurt here?” “No.” “Here?” “No.” And then, they went one question too far…”Here?” Yep, the rest of us kids were jumping out of the bed as fast was we could go…a flood had begun!  

Probably the most famous holiday “eruption” took place in our camper and involved my brother and me. The camper fit onto a truck. A bed section was over the cab with the rest of the camper sitting on the truck bed and extending out a little farther. The glass pane window had been removed from the back of the truck and a rubber “boot” connected the truck and camper, creating an open “window” between camper and truck. 

My brother and I were in the camper as were our other sibs. He was on the bed overhead. When we rode up there, we like to lay in our stomachs and watch the road ahead. 

I was also lying on my stomach. But, I was resting at the edge of the boot, watching the road ahead and talking with the people in the truck. 

It took only a second for my brother to turn around, stick his head out over me, shout “I’m not feeling well” and start showering my nearly waist-long hair with nastiness. I screamed, having not expected this “rain.” Our other siblings starting howling with laughter when my brother shouted, “Never mind, I’m ok now.” That was the day I learned to wash my own hair. 

Bottom line – some holiday it is going to happen. Sorry, but that is the truth. It’s called family!  

Even Jesus had a rough time from time to time with family. I love this passage from Mark (3:20-21).  “Then he (Jesus) went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.””  

Yep, his siblings were ready to call Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah, crazy.

Family dynamics can be interesting. Sometimes we are puking on each other and other times we are calling each other crazy. You just can’t anticipate it. 

My advice? Try not to burn any bridges. You or someone else will mess up sometime – we all do. Grab the closet trash can, quit poking them in the stomach, learn how to wash your own hair and brush up your sense of humor!


Jill (just one of God’s kids)


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