The Family Series: In light of the holiday season, I thought it would benefit all of us if we went through a little family series. We all find ourselves spending a little more time with family members we may avoid throughout the year. What better […]
The Family Series:
In light of the holiday season, I thought it would benefit all of us if we went through a little family series. We all find ourselves spending a little more time with family members we may avoid throughout the year. What better way to start this season off right, then to talk about the GOOD, the BAD, and the MESSY of family.
Drop a comment about your favorite or funny holiday memory or tradition for you and your family.
One of the first things you see when you walk into a nail salon is their licenses and the sign that tells you where you file a complaint. I don’t know why I always notice the complaint sign, but I do. Sometimes (if I am being honest), complaining comes much easier to me than giving compliments.
I had a day last week. I spent a good chunk of it complaining about a situation with some people. I woke up that night from a deep sleep and the first thing that came to mind was my complaints from earlier in the day. I had one of those middle-of-the-night-light bulb-moments. I realized that my complaints were fueled by my desire for these people to act, behave, and live like me.
I realized my complaints were fueled by my desire for people to act, behave, and live like me.
I don’t have to like the way people do things. I don’t have to agree with the way people behave and live their lives. They, on the other hand, are free of my opinions; completely void of any of my complaints or opinions. When we spend time with people, like our families in this season, we are going to find ourselves annoyed or shaking our heads. It’s the nature of things. People can bug us. Their actions, their opinions, the way they set the table or cook the turkey may not look and feel right to us. That’s okay. It doesn’t have to.
We get so riled up when people behave, well, like people. We are up-in-arms when our family goes rogue and doesn’t look, act, or behave like us. Guess what? They were never meant to. God made us uniquely. What bothers you may bring peace to her. What irritates you may be his comfort and norm. That’s the beauty of our life. The mess comes together to create the masterpiece.
All of us have stepped into the season of family: a season of time together with people we don’t spend time with day-to-day. It is inevitable that someone does something that makes those eyes on our faces roll. When the feeling of irritation starts to well up inside, ask yourself, “Am I about to complain because they don’t live like me? They don’t fit into my mold of life and so that very thing is so so annoying.”
Our family togetherness this season does not have to be irritating. Spending time with those people doesn’t have to be something you dread. We can free everyone by letting go of our complaints. Because, at the end of the day, our complaints are really a desire for others to live like us and that’s not fair. Free yourself from the stress and irritation. Free your family from your standards and expectations for living. Let go of the complaints. Embrace the mess. Because real beauty lies in the mess that becomes the masterpiece.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
Let your words be filled with love not irritations. Free your mind and your soul from the trappings of complaining and fill it with the beauty of the mess of family uniting around the table. Enjoy your kooky aunt and over-opinionated uncle. There is room at the table for them. Love your mom and the way she strategically sets each place setting forcing you to sit next to that cousin. When we let go of forcing others to live within our borders for life, we free everyone. May the words of your mouth radiate grace not complaints.
Love & Blessings,
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as […]
“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17
God did not come down to JUDGE the world. He came down to LOVE the world.
God. He’s a tough one to figure out. The Bible seems so black and white. Yet, it doesn’t. The gray space can be overwhelming. We poke and prod and study and discuss. But God. God still seems so inexplicable at times. The world goes against His very nature. Our culture and the way we treat one another does not mirror what we read. We know we live in a fallen and broken world. We also know that God is big enough to fix it and make everything better. But sometimes, a lot of times, He doesn’t. And we don’t understand.
Somehow, someway, we have muddied the waters. No longer is the lake of faith crystal clear. We can’t see to the bottom. We can barely see what rises to the top. Our faith is jumbled and blurred. We’ve flipped the narrative. His narrative. Somehow, over the expanse of time we’ve gone from love to judge. We’ve lost sight of God’s truest intent and character and replaced it with our own ideas and agenda.
In our minds we believe God is full of judgement first and love second.
Oh, man, do we have it all wrong.
Here’s what I know about the God I adore. He set out to love us. He was intentional with his relationship with Adam and Eve in the garden. He walked with them, talked with them, and lived life with them. They were His people; His tribe. He loved them. He loved them so much. His heart was shattered the moment they stepped away from Him. He was saddened and disappointed. But, here’s what else I know: His love never left even when Adam and Eve hid from Him. He loved them first and foremost; always and forever. Even when they wronged Him knowing that what they were doing was going against the very thing He was trying to protect them from, He loved them. His love never left; never ceased. Ever. He loved first. Always. Forever.
Were Adam and Eve held accountable for their actions? Yep. We all know they were because here we all sit living in the repercussions of that fateful choice. Yet, His love is and was always there.
It is God’s purpose.
God didn’t send Jesus to judge us. If Jesus was sent to judge, He would have never been nailed to that cross. We all know there were far better candidates to hang on that tree that day. Why did God send Jesus, then? Love. Always love. Never ceasing. Forever.
I think about my friends. I’ve heard some heavy stories lately. Stories that make you question His love. But here’s what I know. The moment that friend steps into that room and makes the most difficult decision of her life; a decision that would be (rightfully) judged by the world AND Christians as wrong, God is there. He is sitting in that room with her. He is sitting with her because He loves her. Her choice does not limit His love. Her decision does not take away His love and replace it with judgment. His love. It’s there.For everyone. Always. Forever. Period.
My other friend is going through something that carries such a burden of shame. It’s so so heavy. I cannot type these words without starting to cry. It’s another situation that makes you question God’s love and be vastly aware of the judgment piercing your soul through the eyes of others. But, here’s what I know. God is with her. He is next to her because He loves her. He loves her so wide, so deep, and so boundless regardless of the journey she is on. His love. It’s there. For everyone. Always. Forever. Period.
Maybe today you’ve muddied the waters. You’ve replaced judgment with love. It’s easy to do. I believe it is easier at times to judge than to love. Remember God. In ever situation, in ever circumstance, He loves. To the end of the age, He loves. He loved Judas even when He betrayed His son. His love. It’s there. For everyone. Always. Forever. Period.
Maybe today you feel more judged by God than loved. That’s not the God I know. The God I know is sitting right beside you. He’s been loving you this entire time. He’s just waiting for you to see Him. His love. It’s there. Always. Forever.
I may not be able to give you a reason. I may not be able to answer your “whys”. What I do know and what I can tell you is that you are loved. You always have been loved. You are valued. You always have been valued. You are His and you are loved…even if you are yet to believe. You are loved.
Just in case you’ve forgotten how loved you are, here is a song to remind you…
Love & Blessings,
Being a mom is the greatest gift. It can also be the most difficult task you’ve ever faced. From joy to frustration, excitement to panic, pride to worry, motherhood brings so many emotions. I watched some mama’s send their kids off to a weekend away. This weekend would consist of connection, fellowship, and spiritual growth for these kids. Mine didn’t go. There were many reason he didn’t attend. But, you know what I saw? Failure. I saw my kid not participating in something spiritual and that, in turn, caused the chatter in my head to begin and all the labels of failure to move in.
Mama’s, you were not created to mom like her. He created you to mom like YOU. If He didn’t trust you in the raising up of these kids, He would have never given them to you. He knows you are going to fail. He knows you are going to struggle. He also knows that you are going to succeed in raising these children because He is walking right alongside you.
So, here is a Mama’s Top 10. Hopefully it helps us all feel a little less guilty and a little more confident in our momming skils.
- You will frequently feel like you are failing them or falling short. You’re NOT. Remember, Mary lost Jesus, the Son of God, for days. He didn’t take her mothering title away from her for that snafu.
- You were made for this. Yup. You were created to mom exactly these kids exactly this way.
- The kids were fed today. They made it to school with clothes & shoes on. They ate something )Even if it was half a granola bar thrown at them in the car because you were late.) You succeeded in your parenting today.
- Your kids are going to mess up. You didn’t fail. They’re kids. They are supposed to mess up.
- Hugs & kisses go a LONG way.
- Stop. Don’t try and do everything. Just do the next thing that is right in front of you.
- No one ever failed 2nd grade because their mom didn’t sign their reading log.
- They need to fail. They need to make mistakes. They need to fall and get hurt. It helps them become healthy adults and gives you an opportunity to be there for them.
- They don’t need your perfectly crafted words at just the right moment. They don’t need the perfectly made craft to take to school or the hand-sewn costume. They don’t need you showered, in shape, or put together. They just need YOU.
- You are doing a good job.
Mother’s are invaluable to God’s Kingdom.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”