Hello Blogosphere! I’m sorry I’ve been away. Things have been so busy this month, it’s been difficult to do any writing. I hope that all of you are well and that you’re ready for the holidays.
How many of you deal with frustration during the holidays surrounding family or in-laws or outlaws (ex-in-laws)? Perhaps you’re among the blessed to have that rare picture perfect family. But for most of us, holiday gatherings can be challenging at best. Maybe Aunt Sue has a new boyfriend, but, he’s…well…strange. Or perhaps Uncle Ed never holds his tongue and is not shy about giving his opinion…even if it’s offensive. Maybe mom-in-law nit picks over the food or decorations. Or your sister’s kids are out of control and always cause disarray. Here’s a ‘fun’ one… maybe you have to split time between different ‘sets’ of family members and you feel pulled in all directions. You don’t want to offend anyone, but, you don’t want to feel like you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off. You want the holidays to be joyous and peaceful and full of love.
The truth is that family can be … messy. But as the pastor at my local church once said, “Family is a mess worth making.” Yes, often sacrifices have to be made in dealing with family. And no doubt, someone will get offended at something, or something will not go quite as you planned. However, family should be something that is treasured, in spite of all the ‘hooey’ you have to put up with. But, there are times when you’ll have to establish healthy boundaries (to protect the well-being of yourself and/or your own family). There are times when you’ll have to stand your ground and lovingly say “no”, or speak up when necessary. There are also many opportunities to show love to otherwise obnoxious and not-so-lovable people…or at least try. It’s a time to choose your battles and perhaps overlook a few of your family’s idiosyncrasies or foibles, and hopefully they’ll do the same for you. 🙂 Do your best to look for the good this holiday season. Make preparations and have a game plan in place with your spouse, kids, members of your household to know how to handle those “oops” or “awkward” moments with other family members or guests, if they occur. Even if things don’t go exactly according to plan, at least you’ll have an outline to work from.
To all of you who have lost loved ones and find the holidays an excruciatingly tough time, my heart goes out to you and my prayers are with you. I hope that you surround yourself with good friends and/or that you find a way to stay busy and maybe be a blessing to others.
Lastly, to those families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook incident, my heart aches for you. You are in my prayers.
Joyeux Noël! ♥
Photo credit: here