Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What we have here is a failure to communicate

Watching a rerun Dallas the other night was like watching a train wreck…you knew what was going to happen but you couldn’t help but watch.

Scenario: John Ross is brutally attacked in prison and could go back to jail and be killed if someone doesn’t do “something”. The family is at the hospital and all say that he can’t go back to prison and all agree that something has to be done. BUT that’s where the problem starts.

Uncle Bobby decides to do the forbidden and drill on Southfork to get the oil, to pay the gangsters. Mama Sue Ellen decides to bribe a medical Examiner to remove the evidence that got John Ross in jail in the 1st place and Cousin Christopher decides to give away rights to his project to the gangsters in exchange for his cousins’ freedom and evidence that could clear him. All of these are noble attempts at relieving the issue. However, they create an even bigger problem by having the failure to communicate. Noone is telling anyone what they have planned and what they are doing.

Everyone was off doing what was right in his own eyes and someone ended up doing what wasn’t necessary because the problem had been resolved by another method. John Ross is free but it came at a BIG unnecessary price.

The failure to communicate is not just a plot line on a TV series…is happening everyday with most families. Stepfamilies are no exception and because of the unique dynamics are more susceptible. The Husband and Wife of such a family can really take a hit if they fail to inform, express, share and expound on what is important and be able to work together to be certain that they are not doing the unnecessary.

Example, my husband planned an open house for his son at the last minute. He didn’t really include me on the plans to get it done and I found out almost like everyone else, a week or so before and on the phone. To his credit, we have a lot going on and he didn’t want to burden me. However, planning, hosting and organization are not his strong suit. So although he reeled me in at the end to handle some last minute details and it turned out ok, it was not nearly as smooth as it could have been had we worked together.

Another example in the reverse is the remodeling we are having done in the kitchen. We had our kitchen gutted out and had to plan and choose every aspect of the new kitchen. We had to choose the floor, the paint, the countertop, the cabinets, the backsplash, the lighting, ceiling fan, the handles and on and on. We picked out everything together and in full agreement. One of my husband’s kids even complimented us how we are doing this together. She noticed that we weren’t bickering, fighting, complaining, demanding or making decisions without the other. It’s going noticeably smooth because we are working together.

Work diligently at communication; “Over” share if you have to. Your spouse needs to be in the loop at the onset of ALL of your plans not as an after thought. Trust me, the children are watching and you are teaching communication skills whether you realize it or not.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wait this isn't blood...

A few weeks ago the medical facility I work in had an “active shooter drill”.  It’s a scenario that is carefully planned and mapped out including local authorities, swat teams, employees heavily made up to play the role of casualties and victims.  We also hired an actor to play the role of the shooter so no one, not even the employees participating would know who he was.

Working in administration I got to see the whole thing play out, gun shots, blood splattered on the walls, people screaming, hospital security barking out instructions, the gunman terrorizing the employees and threatening them…SWAT team swooping in rifles drawn...EMT’s trying to get to the victims…and the cameras were rolling…remember it was just a drill.  

Once the “gunman” was apprehended and the drill was over we did a debriefing with the employees involved.  Sitting around the board room table were employees who were actually crying, hyperventilating, visually upset, holding their makeshift wounds, wiping syrupy blood from their faces and completely undone by what they experienced.

It took almost a half hour to calm everyone down, shake some of them into reality and remind them that the blood gushing from their heads was not real.  They had gotten so involved in the action..that they forgot it was just a drill.  Going in, each of them knew that the gunman would be apprehended, no one would be hurt.  But actually living out the active shooter script caused most of them to almost forget that was just a test. They filed one by one in the bathroom to wash off the remnants of a war not fought and eventually went back to their offices.

As believers, we sometimes forget that the little battles in our marriages, our parenting, our jobs, our families, our churches all belong to the Lord.  In the end, it has already been pre-declared that we win.  So to allow the battle to overtake you, no matter how real it may seem is to forget who is sitting on throne. Now sometimes the pain is excruciating and the blood IS real, but it is in those times that we have to remember that we are trained for battle. We did the drill. We know how to fight and with what. The bible teaches that the weapons of warfare are not carnal but spiritual. There is nothing coming that you don’t have the grace to deal with. Don’t live in fear, but in faith that you are fully prepared and your God is well able to always deliver. The blood is just syrup…now wipe your face and go back to work.