Monday, December 9, 2013

Tiptoe through the family gatherings

"walk circumspectly"
Ephesians 5:15

Busy weekend for us.  Saturday my husband and I went to a Christmas party.  My sweet kids stayed home and listened to Christmas music and watched a movie and ate pizza and cleaned up the mess I had made in the kitchen while making homemade pumpkin pie.  And lunch. 

The kitchen was really a mess. 

I really have awesome, amazing kids. 

The party was fun.  Some munchies, some chitchat, some exchanging of Christmas presents.  But I'm not a terrifically social person, so I have to work hard, sometimes, at having fun when maybe I'd rather be home, wearing comfortable shoes, in my comfy chair, watching a movie with my amazing, awesome kids. 

Then Sunday we had a family thing.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, and some other people I'm not really sure how to.  Or if I'm related to them.

Anyhow, that was fun too.  More food.  (This was our extended family's faux Thanksgiving.  We can't all see each other on the real Thanksgiving, so we hold a second one so that everyone can see their "other" families on the actual day.)  I'm pretty sure we're not the only ones that do that, so I'm sure that made sense to a lot of you.

Family, friends, occasional exhaustion, and lots and lots of togetherness.  Sometimes more togetherness than one might want...

And I found myself thinking about this verse in Ephesians ~ "Walk circumspectly," or in some translations, "Look carefully how you walk."  The holidays can be stressful.  People with not much in common, except their DNA, come together after a long drive, or stressed by their finances, maybe irritated by overactive kids (their own, or someone else's) and relatives boldly sharing their opinion on religion or politics because they've had a bit too much to drink.

We have to be slow to speak and slow to anger.  Patient, and non-judgmental.   And always on alert for anger, bitterness or worry, and for the the temptation to be critical, irritated or unkind.  Even if it's like walking through cactus, walk mindfully, listening to Him, and always thankful for His blessings on you.

~ "Therefore, as the elect of God...
put on tender mercies, 
kindness, meekness, longsuffering;
bearing with one another
and forgiving one another." ~
Colossians 3:12-13

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