There is some statistic that shows the likelihood of children of criminals becoming criminals themselves, and it is pretty high! If I was Internet savvy, I would be able to find the the statistic, but it is late and I don't feel like putting forth the effort. Not all cycles are necessarily bad, but they can consume you either way.
As I was enduring the long drive home from SA, I started thinking about this some more and my friend came to mind (okay, technically she is distant family). She has broken the cycle of being unhealthy. Almost all of her family is over weight, or was but has had surgery to correct it. She has made a conscious effort to not fall into this cycle. It is so much easier to stay in the cycle, because that is what you know and that is what is comfortable. She has really made it her goal to not only get out, but to not let the cycle continue with her family (which is now +1 more as of July 3rd!!!) She is constantly making healthy choices and passing that on to her boys, and influencing her husband.
So what cycle are you stuck in? Is it food? Is it being a spender? Is it divorce?
My cycle is the need for constant approval. I noticed this while being in SA. Like I said, I don't think all cycles are bad and this one doesn't have to be, but it can be very consuming. There are many members (I would venture to say all) of my family that are stuck in this cycle. We are constantly seeking approval, from each other, from co-workers, from spouses/girlfriends/boyfriends, from friends. This can be somewhat good, I think it is why I am a perfectionist and hard worker. The problem comes in when I put it above everything else. I need to do things because I am aiming to please the Lord. I have a sister who is very talented at painting canvases, and while I was in SA, I saw one that she had painted for me years ago with this verse
23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
It is fine to work hard and do your best, but it shouldn't be for the approval of others. It should not be a competition of who does more or the need to be praised and needed. No, it should be because everything you do should be glorifying to God, whether that be scrubbing the kitchen sink or being the CFO of a major company. It means that you should make that your goal when raising your children and when cooking dinner that your kids are going to complain about. It means not worrying about what others will think of what you have done, but rather, doing it because it is what you are called to do.
I want to break the cycle, the cycle of needing others to notice what I have done. My God is always watching me and no matter what, He loves me! That should be enough for me!