Monday, December 19, 2011

Family Gatherings: Growing

"I think by adulthood most people understand that holidays and anniversaries are not always as easy or as happy as we are led to believe. Even a close-knit, healthy family has its share of dysfunction riding above the underlying joy. As we grow and mature, we hopefully become better able to work out our differences, establish our own personal boundaries, and love each other through our humanity. We learn the gift is giving, more so than receiving. We learn that our families are our heritage, where we come from, but not necessarily where we are going." Ryann Roth, Mental Health Professional


I love the opening of today's Blog post at Ryann's Blog Creative Families. I look back over the years and I can relate to the scenario: it's Christmas and I am feeling apprehensive about family gatherings. My uneasiness has changed over years but it was either about unresolved issues with extended family or dreading the amount of weight I gain over the holidays. Trust me, I know all the Scripture references for loving one another. The application is the tricky part. Just because my heart is changed about a matter it doesn't mean that a whole family culture will change. I see two clear options: stay miserable and think things will never change or mature as I face each situation the best way I can. Before most Christmas gatherings I did a lot of preparation as well as had friends praying for me while I was at the gathering. I chose to believe that each time things were going to improve, no matter what. I found a lot of inspiration in friends who had similar situations to what I was going through, whether they had changed their eating lifestyle or found a way to love their families through differences. I appreciate Ryann's thoughts on families and holidays because I agree that I am to honor and love my family through our humanity. I don't know if you are headed to an uneasy family gathering this season. If you do, remember that you are really headed to a growth opportunity. I encourage you to pray and seek support from caring friends who know your situation well. A Merry Christmas starts inside of you. I wish you the best this season! 

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