From Joan and Rebecca:
Thanksgiving. This word may elicit varied responses from people. Emotions can run the gamut. Some will well up inside with those warm, fuzzy, family feelings of love, food, fun, and “together-ness.” For others, just hearing the word, Thanksgiving, will educe a high octane ping that comes along with relational turmoil, which often arises in entangling, family get-togethers. You know what I’m talking about. Everything starts off fine, but then those ever present personality clashes, offenses given and received, intolerances, and volatile emotions which eventually creep in, only to escalate into the occasional explosion of fury. If you can’t relate, consider yourself blessed.
Unfortunately, for me (Rebecca), the latter describes too many Thanksgiving experiences I had as a child. That is, too many holidays with too many disagreements. The fact is, though, my family has progressed in our understanding and practice of unconditional love, which has mellowed out our Thanksgiving experiences over recent years. (We’ve learned that calm comes about not only from the application of U Love, but also by avoiding gathering the whole family together in one house for any long period of time! LOL.)
Because of our pursuit of unconditional love, our family has learned how to better handle conflict, and disagreements. We’re doing our best to put into practice overlooking offenses and rising above petty, unimportant issues. We’re by no means perfect at this, as you’ve surely seen throughout this blog; but, we have had forward movement, and will continue to strive for this ideal. We hope our blog about unconditional love has encouraged you to do the same.
A well-known pastor, Dr. Gary Whetstone, recently said, “Living above the fray of life with an attitude of gratitude is God’s sure way to defeat the voice of circumstances that endeavor to dictate the way you experience life.” Apparently, when we get so engrossed in the triviality we experience in day to day life, and allow those things to affect our attitudes and moods, we can easily get bogged down and distracted from the more important things in life. Resentment and unforgiveness among family members (and with anyone else for that matter) is detrimental and harmful. If left unchecked, it can gnaw away at our mind, health, and emotions, and can even derail our entire life.
Dr. Whetstone provides us with a straightforward solution to remain above the fracas that can so easily overtake families during the holidays (and any other time of the year for that matter). The key is to continually maintain an attitude of gratitude to God for all that He offers us in life. So, this Thanksgiving, we beseech you, along with ourselves, to rise above the fray of challenging life circumstances that may threaten your peace. Let’s all lift up our heads in faith, hope, love and thanksgiving to God for all of the good we do have in life. Trivial matters do not have to dampen our outlook if we keep our focus on God, and continue on in an attitude of gratitude! On that note, Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll!! Eat tons of food!
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