Dee's Blog
Mon 12/03/2007
The Necessity of an Enlarging Tiospaye
Topic: Stained Glass

Let's go back to that stained glass that got shattered, the glass that we are in process of reassembling.  Sometimes it refers to family, but sometimes it refers to friendships.  Often for readers of this blog, it involves relationships at church. Or the institution itself.

As we take stock, preparing to move from indecision and doubt toward a life where we are able to trust ourselves and build stronger lives, it soon becomes evident that we are in process of evaluating many of our past and present relationships.  It can feel a lot like a divorce. 

One difference, though, is that a person can stay forever divorced and never marry again.  By contrast, one cannot stay forever "divorced" from all relationships. 

It takes time to decide what we treasure and what we abhor in people.  Especially if we are in the process of so much change in our thinking that the qualities we treasure or abhor seem to change themselves.  On a daily basis! 

Recently I found a delightful new word.  Tiospaye.  It has to do with all of the people or resources on which we can draw when we have a need. 

With a well-developed tiospaye, we are going to have a variety of people.   Some professional, some just good friends or reliable family members.  Some will be helpful when we need to discuss a financial issue.  Others on a parenting issue.  And so on.  Nobody can fulfill all of our needs, and that's often where we get side-tracked as we turn to people who aren't prepared to address certain needs or issues, whether they think they can or not. 

For many years, I expected to be able to get all of my needs met by people in the faith community.  Today I don't even consider whether they are people of faith in most matters.  I want to know how likely they are to be relatively reliable in understanding certain problems. 

How has your own tiospaye changed in the past ten years?  Has it grown or shrunk?  Is it adequate for your current needs, especially when it comes to spiritual or emotional issues?  How important is the church to you in your tiospaye?  If it has become less important, how have you been able to find replacements for the individuals who provided you with a sense of security?  

Is your stained glass today more beautiful, despite the shattering it has experienced, or is it more like a drab broken window?

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Mon 12/03/2007 7:22 AM CST

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