Thursday, January 19, 2012

County and State

 If I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times throughout my life.

You know those little phrases that Mama's will often use to get their point across?

Well my Mama had a thousand of them.  She had a saying for everything.


"Nothing's fair honey."

"Fairs come twice a year."

"County and State."

It was one of those things that just sticks with you in life.

I've spent most of my life trying to prove her wrong.

Trying to make my county and my state happen over here, at the very least, on a daily basis.

And there were days that those words rang true. And I would think to myself, maybe she was right.

Fairs only do come twice a year.

I often wondered at times what she really meant by that.

My Mama said what she thought. And then some.

Kind of like a bold New Yorker trapped in a southern woman's body.

You knew where you stood but you'd better brace yourself.  She called a spade, a spade.

I'd rather hear that than the alternative any day. I'd rather hear the truth- plain and simple.

My grandmother was the exact same way.

And I just so happened to inherit that same lovely trait....

Although, after a lot of mistakes and some growing years and after throwing myself at the feet of Jesus a thousand times I've received the help I needed. I'm still a work in progress but now, I try to tell it like it is only when I'm asked to.

I know she had her share of things in life that were tragic. Really unfair things.

I wonder at times if that was what she was referring to...

As if to say, look honey, it hasn't worked out for our family yet.

It didn't work out for my Mama.

It didn't work out for me.

And it's not going to work out for you either.

So don't even think about getting your hopes up.

Maybe hoping to spare me any future disappointment...

Or maybe it was to soften the devastation, as if minimizing whatever crisis had hit, would help it all to  somehow make sense.

As if to say...look, "fair" isn't something that happens in this house.

Or in this family.

Or in this lifetime.

Fairs are for the county and the state and that's the only kind of fair you are ever going to get.

I don't fault her or blame her.

I'm sure that she was trying to make sense of a lot of things in her own life.

I wasn't exactly the daughter Mothers dream of.

But sometimes parents can stunt a child's growth if they high jack their hope.

If we don't encourage and teach and offer anything any different than the way things have always been-  then sometimes children can grow up and completely miss their calling, simply because it doesn't fit into whatever box or role or plan the family has always walked in.

History can sometimes repeat itself.  But it doesn't have to.

We don't have to live the same life that generations before us have lived. We don't have to become bitter and cynical and mad at the world, always waiting for the next shoe to drop.

We do not have to live in a constant state of fear or excessive mourning.

Or spend our whole life "wishing for what never was."

We do not have to walk around believing that "fairs" only come twice a year. 
(Or it's never going to happen for me, it's never going to be my turn.)

The enemy would love for every one of us to believe that lie.

After many years of living like that I decided a long time ago that I was going to go ahead and experience "fair" on a daily basis.

I'm going to ride the Ferris Wheel in life.

Whether people are really for me or not.

Whether people say what they really mean or not.

Whether the odds are stacked against me or not. I'm going to try. I have to.

I'm going to stand in line at the concession stand in life and see what the Lord has behind the counter for me. Instead of choosing to accept whatever others feel I should and should not receive in life because it doesn't seem to fit into their realm of possibility for me.

There may not always be things that I would like on the menu.

There may not always be cotton candy filled days.

But I know that He has a plan and a purpose.

Even in the midst of so many things I don't understand.

Even in the midst of some really unfair things and some tremendous heartache in life.

I know He has a ticket for me.

An entrance into a divinely appointed fairground filled with life lessons, character development opportunities and chances to cling to Him. Along with many enjoyable surprises as well.

I don't have to look longingly at everyone else's tickets. 

I can wait my turn and know that I know that I know that my turn- my county and my state...

They are coming.

And it is going to be more than just twice a year.

And it will be for you as well....


Mary said...

What a lovely reminder, especially as we look to this year filled with hope and expectation that it will be different. I would love to see us encourage one another and hope for more than our share of fairs rather than set our expectations so low. Thanks and I hope you have a blessed weekend!

Kimberly said...

I'm new to your blog (I found you through Paige! :) This post made me cry (in a good way). You're so right ... The enemy would like for us to believe that lie. I already knew it but I sure needed to be reminded of it today. God bless you :)

Charity said...

I am the person jumping up and down cheering you on, taking pictures of you the whole time you are enjoying your fair, enjoying your moment with you (praising with you). Knowing that you will cheer for me when my moment comes. Dream BIG sister, God is going to blow you away. You have been faithful in the small and He is faithful in the big. Just you wait your fair is going to be so much fun and it is going to impact so many around you and their bar is going to move higher because that have seen God's glory revealed in your life.

I love you and am thankful to be your friend and to know the encouragement of your precious words and loving encouragement.

Cheryl said...

Reading your post today was lovely. Having gone through losing my husband, my children's father this past August, it has come on a perfect day.
Our family was blessed for so many years. The last 5 1/2 have been a journey for us. It was with God's grace that we were able to get through this loss. We were able to see lot's of "fairs" along the way!

The Mustard Seed said...

It's crazy that you have posted this. WE have been discussing "fair" in Sunday School. It was a tough class One I had to leave out of. Planning on doing a post about it soon.

I love this though. SO motivating and refreshing.

Hope all is well with you!

Kim said...

My in laws grew up with the EXACT same saying ...
I knew from the moment I met you that we were kindred spirits. When can I treat you to lunch. We need to carve out some time to go deeper.
Love & Blessings,

Unknown said...

I don't think I've visited here before but GIRL I LIKE IT A LOT!! I have never heard this saying but it makes me laugh! So much of what you share is so true. God has so much for us! I've got my ticket to ride, as well. What a great weekend! Blessings ~

3 Peanuts said...

So beautiful!!!

Love Being A Nonny said...

My children grew up hearing me say *Life's not fair, but, God is.* I'll be honest, there were times I had to repeat that to myself over and over again. But, He remains faithful and His promises are true. Thank you Sibi. Thank you.

Tiffany said...

"But sometimes parents can stunt a child's growth if they high jack their hope." ~I read this FOUR times. Four times, Sibi.

May God bless you and give you FAIR every day, HE sees fit, not as people see fit!

Jeannine said...

"Sometimes parents can stunt their child's growth if they highjack their hope."

I know Mrs. B quoted it right before me, but it bears repeating.

Those are words of wisdom, dear lady. Thank you. I grew up being taught by my mom that good stuff was for other people, and she never wanted me to get my hopes up lest I be disappointed, like she was time and again. I discovered you through Paige's place today, and I am so thankful. It is delightful here.