“What gifts did your parents give to you?” is a question Edwin Friedman used to ask. We can spend a lifetime working out the issues that our family gifted us with (and that they received from the generations before). Sometimes it’s worth taking time to look at the other side of the story.
Today is my mother’s 85th birthday. One of the gifts for ministry she gave me is the way she is tremendously hospitable at church. She doesn’t always like entertaining at home, but greeting people and welcoming them to church is second nature to her, as the oldest daughter of a pastor herself. Every time she comes to visit, she tells me about the fascinating people she met on the plane. And so asking people questions about themselves, drawing them out, is very easy for me. These are great assets in ministry, and I’m grateful for the gift. Happy Birthday, Mom!
2 replies on “What Gifts Did Your Parents Give to You?“
Yes, one of the gifts I trust both my parents have given me is the gift of longevity. Their own longevity, at 84 and 85, is a gift, and I have high hopes for my own.
For those of us who do a lot of genogram with with people in our coaching, it’s important to be reminded that our parents and families pass along blessings along with curse and dysfunction. While it may be true to an extent that “all families are dysfunctional” it is also true that all families have strength. That, coupled with the seed of hope can shape destinies.
Yes, parents pass along gifts to their children and to the generations that follow–intentional or not. And for that, they should be honored and given their due.
Happy birthday to your mom, Margaret! Shoot, just reaching 85 is an accomplishment!