Beth CUI don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions, though I do have goals. More importantly, I have relationships. Although I sometimes wish I didn’t because, frankly, I’m not very good at them. I’m much more at home in Mitchland where I know every inch of the terrain, where I create carefully constructed missives and distribute them like worms of wisdom to a hungry world. It’s all so neat, so tidy, so completely controllable.

God, however, is more interested in teaching me to abide along the messy mesas and precipitous canyons of Relationshipland, where the landscape is continually shifting. All a part of his sneaky scheme, I suspect, to make me more dependent upon him.

I never know when God will send me to Relationshipland. Last year he set up a strategic meeting there between my adult daughter Beth and me. Then last week, during her annual Christmas visit, God did it again.

Building on what I’d previously learned, I talked to her as an adult, a confidante, confessing frustration at my glacial progress toward getting out of my head and focusing on others, on talking less and listening more.

Beth guffawed, and went on to share some of her experiences outside Bethland. Some people, she admitted, perceive her as arrogant, as only interested in her own thoughts. Wait, I asked, was she talking about herself, or about me?

We laughed at the triumphal conversations we stage in our minds in which people, unlike those in the real world, are unceasingly inspired by our profound logic.

I was shocked. I’ve always thought Beth was less like me than her sister (I adore them both). But it seems I’ve been deceived by mere superficial differences. In many ways, she’s more like me than her sister (poor thing). Of course, they both have a lot of their mother in them too (thank God), as well as that secret blend of herbs and spices that makes them completely themselves.

Interestingly, I’ve observed that each trip to Relationshipland changes Mitchland a little. In fact, it seems these trips may be the only thing that changes Mitchland. And yet somehow, after each visit to Relationshipland, Mitchland seems a little more real.

You’d almost think God planned it that way.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Relationshipland

  1. God gets into everything …

    Liked by 3 people

  2. delphini510 says:

    Glad you found these bonds with your daughter. It also gave you healthy laughter and warmth.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pkadams says:

    Oh boy! Those adult kids, and really all ages, they can sure reveal our flaws! Had a similar ‘fun’ experience this Christmas. In fact, I thought I had done well at explaining why I felt the way I did about something at a pre-Christmas visit, and yet….. he decided not to come home for Christmas. 😦 I was really hurt but it forced me to do a LOT of thinking. Thankfully we are talking again and hopefully I’ll see him again before next Christmas. The visits are getting less frequent and every time is an experience. Guess we never stop parenting and learning !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. DeniseBalog says:

    I love your honesty Mitch. Mitchland. I guess we all have that as our personal address, but thank God He knows where we live😊💕 May you and your daughter have more opportunities to meet in the middle of your neighborhoods again😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Selfishness is subjective. Usually we criticize others that way when we should be criticizing ourselves. I don’t think I refer to anyone in my “universe” as selfish, particularly since I don’t know their hearts. How do you see that Mitch. I didn’t get your drift on that issue if you meant to address it. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      I’m not really trying to address the topic of selfishness in this post (although I have in others). My particular flavor of ADHD contributes to my creativity and philosophical bent, but it also makes it hard for me to get out of my head, stop monologuing, and listen well to others (i.e. when I’m not alone). I don’t see this so much as a matter of overcoming selfishness as communicating better with others.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. How do you see that Mitch? My OCD couldn’t tolerate the mispunctuation above.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. pastorpete51 says:

    Thanks for sharing. This is so true of lots of us but in my world I find that I end up dying of loneliness in Peteland.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Yep, been there, Pete. Mitchland has its value, (when I’m alone and in creative mode), but it’s rules simply don’t work in Relationshipland. Ah, the art of shifting gears (to mix metaphors).


  8. I like how you’ve framed your forays into Relationshipland.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gpavants says:


    Always an adventure in that land. I love that we always learn more each time we visit.

    In Christ,


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kim Smyth says:

    I don’t know if you were aware, but resolution was the word prompt of today’s Word of the Day Challenge…
    Thanks for sharing your relationship journey, I am always awed of how God puts us exactly where we are supposed to be! Happy New Year if I didn’t say that already!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Loved this, Mitch. We are having the hardest time letting go of our youngest, now 20. The good news is she is much like us. The bad news is, she is much like us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Awesomely written (as usual). Thank you, I needed that!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Even though I need spectacles I can see a clearer 20/20. Great post, Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Eliza says:

    Love this! Its the others who hold up a mirror to ourselves. I love your belief and trust, too.
    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

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