So, I am finally sitting down after a very long night and day and listening to my Ellie still coughing...but not as bad and I'm praying for a night that has no interruptions in sleep!
Tonight, I was reading for a quick moment at a book that was written by Beth Moore called Praying God's Word Day by Day...and I came across the following:
"No matter what kind of rejection you may have suffered, praying the scripture can be used by God to bring you strength.
For at one time I too was foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kind of passions and pleasures. I lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating others (Titus 3:3) I acknowledge the misery of living outside of you.
Lord, I want it to be said of me that my many sins have been forgiven---for I have loved much. The person who has been forgiven little loves little (lk 7:47)"
As I read that I felt a large dose of conviction. It seems the people that drive me crazy the most in my life are the very people I can't seem to shake off. It seems like I keep trying to run away or go away and they keep sticking to me like a piece of toilet paper on the bottom of my shoe...just gets worse the more I try to run!
The holidays bring out the best and the worst in people. For many of us its wonderful to be around family and many of us are blessed with wonderful, loving families...but then there are those that aren't bad...just distant from each other...not going the same direction....it doesn't FEEL like the people there really CARE about each other and that we are all put together because the blood running through our veins is connected somehow but if it wasn't we wouldn't be friends with any of the people in the room? Does anyone have family like that? I'm not here to discuss the ends and outs of my family. My family has some work to do but I'm not to sure of too many that don't. For those of us who have marvelous families that do everything together it may seem strange that other people don't enjoy the "family time" of the holidays as others but that's probably a good thing that you don't. For others we have to deal with hurt feelings, anxiety that there will be drama and why in the world did they buy me that awful sweater in that size? For our immediate family we have to deal with my stepdaughters who this year will not be here on Christmas Eve but will be here on Christmas Day around 11am so they miss my big Christmas breakfast where everyone opens their Christmas breakfast present...which is always an ornament...and yet they are always suprised and they will of course miss their Christmas Eve present...which is always pj's...they are no longer suprised by this and well....it just doesn't FEEL the same.
All of us have to deal with relationships that we had rather not deal with. Unfortunately, we can't run away from these things....we can't NOT deal with it. We have to face it head on and for me that is just not an easy task. I'd rather text it, facebook it, delete it....but to have actual face to face CONTACT....YUCK! In my life I still have a relationship that I have to set right....the problem is I don't know what the "right" is. There is such unbelievable hurt and grief in that situation that to peel that all away hurts so very much that the thought of starting it makes me want to run for the hills. So much easier to try to forget, try to act like it never happened.
However, God doesn't call us to a life of avoidance. He calls us to minister to others, to get along!
Somewhere along the way in my upbringing I dealt with "disagreeable" people in a manner that I now find confusing....but its what I did. If there was someone who was of this world and not living the way they should....I walked away...turned my nose up.....acted like I was better. I'm ashamed to say those words but its true. There are still times that there are certain people in my lives that I don't think "deserve" my love, my patience, my forgiveness....TRUE forgiveness. Not the I guess I'll forgive you but I'll make you pay forever forgiveness. That's not how God forgave us! He's not up in heaven waiting for you to mess up and when you do pointing to his ledger and #1079. Jamie blows her temper again? I don't know why I can pray to my Heavenly, PERFECT Father asking for forgiveness......expecting it....receiving it and THEN....here comes someone that offended, someone who isn't living their life right and I find hatred, resentment, anger, and downright bitterness over their very existence....what is that? Why do I think that I'm more worthy than they of God's perfect love.
Please hear me that I'm not saying that God condones sin that He is not a JUST God who hates sin but He is a forgiving God, one that wants us all to love and honor Him.
So, I say all that to say.....this Christmas when someone pulls their car in your parking space, when they cut in front of you at Sam's, when they tell you your hair looks bad, when they say that you shouldn't homeschool your kids your not worthy enough (can you tell I've had some people chewing my ear) or that they think your GAINING weight.... or when you have sent out Christmas cards and it seems that no one has sent you any? don't sit there and come up with a list of who has offended....oh and don't act like you don't either....everybody gets annoyed by that or has hurt feelings....respond with a heart of LOVE...not of anger but with LOVE. Now, this is something I'm really bad at so don't watch me but I'm really trying....really hoping that someday I will look at others the way my Heavenly Father does instead of wanting to say..."WAH....I don't care if I'm being mean I don't FEEL like being nice!" God doesn't care how I FEEL!
Now, go out and have a Merry Christmas! Don't keep saying you can't wait until its over....focus on the amazing miracle of Jesus birth and the spectacular desserts that we get to eat:) O.k. maybe not just the food....but hey! whatever gets you through!
May His name be praised!