Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Post re-run ... Wise Words for a Peaceful Holiday

This post was originally published on November 19, 2012. The beginning of the post talks about Thanksgiving, but the wisdom is just as applicable to the coming Christmas holidays.

Enjoy ...
The girls at Thanksgiving 2010 ~ My two daughters and my brother's two daughters

Thanksgiving is just a few days away. From what I understand, it is one of the most traveled holidays of the year, if not THE most traveled holiday. That tells me that there will be a lot of people sharing space with family ~ with siblings and parents and in-laws.

Now, that can mean one of two things.

It can be a beautiful thing. A time of love and kindness and peace. A time of memory-making and joy.

Or, in many cases, I'm afraid, it can be a stressful thing. A time of dealing with family members that get under your skin. A time of biting your tongue as comments are made.

Even the most amazing and beautiful families on the block have conflict. It is a normal part of life and family culture.

But, that doesn't mean you can't have a beautiful holiday celebration with your family. The holidays can still be a time of love and peace and kindness. Memories can still be made with all of those perfect little children. Joy can still be at the center of your celebrations.
Cousins ... PURE JOY!

Here are a few thoughts to get you through the upcoming holiday season.

"Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless." ~ James 1:26

I said, “I will watch my ways
    and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
    while in the presence of the wicked.”  ~ Psalm 39:1

No sinful word, nor deed of wrong,
  Nor thoughts that idly rove;
But simple truth be on our tongue,
  And in our hearts be love.  ~ St. Ambrose

Let us all resolve, - First, to attain the grace of silence; Second, to deem all FAULT-FINDING that does no good a SIN, and to resolve, when we are happy ourselves, not to poison the atmosphere for our neighbours by calling on them to remark every painful and disagreeable feature of their daily life; Third, to practise the grace and virtue of PRAISE.  ~ Harriet B. Stowe

Surrounded by those who constantly exhibit defects of character and conduct, if we yield to a complaining and impatient spirit, we shall mar our own peace without having the satisfaction of benefiting others.  ~ T.C. Upham


In a nutshell, the message is to keep LOVE in our hearts and on our tongues, even and especially for those who trouble us the most.

Jesus taught us to LOVE our neighbors. He taught us to "turn the other cheek". Let us apply that same philosophy to our words. If someone in your family gets under your skin this week, simply smile. Love them and pray that God will give them the peace and happiness that they deserve.

If there is someone in your family that gives you particular difficulty in this area, start praying for them now. Each and every morning in your quiet time with God, pray for the person who tests your righteous behavior the most. Pray that they are blessed. Pray for peace and happiness to find its way into his or her heart. Pray for that person to find whatever it is that they need in order to become a shining light for the glory of God.

And, then pray for your own resolve to maintain what you know to be right and good, even in the face of adversity.

These simple steps along with some great food, the laughter of children and an attitude of THANKFULNESS will get you on your way to a beautiful holiday. Remember to GIVE THANKS for all that He has blessed you with, including that amazing family that can drive you a little bonkers sometimes.


Until next time, 
~ Irie Momma

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