Seems like sometimes the biggest obstacles bring us closer together, even though we think it would be the opposite. Usually because we're so focused on getting over that hurdle and the only way we can do it is with support. And then we're so relieved when we finally make it over that mountain.
But the little things really add up and start to chip away at our relationships. I was talking to a friend and he was mad at his girlfriend because she was giving him the silent treatment. And when he asked her what was wrong it was something very petty. Yet she was mad at him and he was mad at her that he left. Turns out it was over $20 for gas, but it snowballed into something relationship-threatening.
I wish I wasn't so vulnerable to the "stinking-thinking" syndrome. There are so many positives in my family's life, yet I fail to remember those when I'm too busy being mad about the little things. I hate it that I get so easily agitated when the kids leave their toys out in the toys' room or how they constantly ask me to do things for them because...hmm, let's see, they're 5 years old and not tall enough to reach the waffles from the freezer (although I should be thankful that they ask me instead of getting a chair and climbing up there themselves!) and put them in the toaster. I wish I would take a minute to think about all of the nice things my husband does around the house and with the kids before I get ticked that he didn't put his plate in the dishwasher that one time. And then I get annoyed at the oldest one for constantly asking me if he's allowed to do this or watch that, even though I'm the one who trained him to always ask my permission before he just does anything.
I am challenging myself to learn from my shortcomings and flip it on itself and try to use the little things to build my family up. Telling each of them that I love them is good, but showing a compassionate face and speaking in a warm tone and having a gentle touch need to accompany everything I do. Looking for the small cues for each member in my house and then acting on them positively may result in a big payoff. And even if not, it can't hurt!