I may have told some of you this story, but I think it’s worth a second round. When my daddy was a little boy his mom passed away and his dad remarried. The woman he married unfortunately was not very kind to her stepchildren and she constantly made them feel like outcasts and outsiders in their own home. One thing that I found especially sad was that he and his siblings were not given refrigerator access, yet his younger sibling, her biological daughter, was able to open and close the refrigerator freely. I think the lack of refrigerator access made it clear to him that in his own home he did not belong, he was not safe, and he was not fully accepted and loved.
I made a vow to allow refrigerator access to everyone who came into my home. Even so, my now daughter-in-law spent many years asking if she could have a drink when she got thirsty or a snack when she got hungry. I enjoyed serving her so I was happy to do it until one day she had asked for a drink and I totally forgot. Hours later she asked again, and I realized that I let this little girl go thirsty for a very long time. I asked her why she didn’t remind me or just go grab a drink and her answer was that it would have been rude for her to go into our refrigerator without permission. It gave me the chance to grant her refrigerator access and to remind her that she was part of us. In our home she belonged, she was safe, and that she was loved and accepted.
So my question is who has refrigerator access in your life and what did they have to do to be given the privilege? In my house everyone has refrigerator access, but it made me think about who really has refrigerator access in my life. Who do I make sure knows that in my house they will always belong, always feel loved and accepted, and always feel safe? This list was a lot shorter and more meaningful. These are the people that I do life with. The people that I trust with my secrets and my dreams. The people that I can take off my mask with and be my at times grumpy, sometimes exhausted, occasionally not very nice, and often terrified of life self with. And do I tell them enough.
My decision was to make sure that the holiday season doesn’t end without me telling them that they have refrigerator access to my heart. I’m sure they know, but I don’t know anyone that doesn’t need the occasional reminder that they make a difference in someone’s life. So here is my challenge for you and I promise to take on the challenge with you.
REFRIGERATOR ACCESS CHALLENGE
1-Choose at least 2 people that have refrigerator access to your life and write them a letter. Yes write it in real handwriting. It means more.
2-Tell them what they have meant to you over the years.
3-Give an example of a time they lifted your spirits.
4-Thank them for a time that they let you ramble on about the person or things that frustrate you.
5-Remind them about the qualities that you love about them.
6-If you are close by try to hand deliver it so you can add a hug.
7-Challenge your recipients to pay it forward
I hope you will join me in my Refrigerator Access Challenge and that you will challenge the people you have chosen to pay it forward. And please let them know this is not a chain letter so they will get nothing in return 😊 But they will get the joy of letting someone they know how much they mean to them.