Last Year's Table-
Psalm 70:4 - Rejoice!
Let all who seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee; And let those who love Thy salvation say continually, "Let God be magnified."
Holidays are filled with fun but also stress. Our home is loud, antics, opinions, laughter and of course lots of expectations from my children---the food, the traditions and all who are returning home have such requests--cooking, movies, tea times, time alone "just to talk" amidst so much cooking, washing dishes, the stress of different personalities--and most of it resting on the mama!
So many times, I would have such high expectations--and so many times, fusses would spoil the moment or burned rolls that I had spent so much time making and then forgot the timer or adding family members and friends who did not get along. So much potential for happiness and good memories and also stress when the larger family comes together. Or when the toddlers just want attention and to be fed, now! Or teens who are moody--you get the picture! A normal season of life. :)
I was thinking this morning about how to prepare myself for this wonderful holiday weekend. I love Thanksgiving and enjoy the feast--maybe my favorite holiday of the year. But sometimes with all the cooking and work and family and ideals flying about--and most of the responsibility of doing it all on time and keeping everyone happy in the midst--, we can find ourselves in the midst of a lot of extra tension.
I wish I had known earlier in my life that holidays can be so delightful and so stressful. Children have more sugar, less sleep, have to share more, are in unexpected places, and so the potential for disaster is higher. Knowing this, the best way to arm ourselves is by clothing ourselves with the Holy Spirit
and give them the gift of a Spirit-filled mom!
Galatians 5:22 "And the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control!"
So today, as I prepare to ease back into life at home and into Thanksgiving expectations, I am going to mentally and spiritually clothe myself with:
Love--seeking to love, affirm, look at my sweet ones with eyes of gratefulness that they are my beloved
Joy--I am so blessed. God is good. He is with us. I will choose to be joyful in what He has provided
Peace--Peace will rule my inside no matter what happens, spills, fusses, pettiness, I will keep peace and give peace in every situation
Patience--If I choose to exercise my patience in every situation and prepare my heart to be patient in every situation, I will bring the music of God's heart to the atmosphere of our holiday--no matter who wants to destroy the harmony.
Kindness--Giving a kind spirit to each person, seeing their heart needs, serving them, will bring a spirit of His presence to my day.
Goodness--Because He is good, I will rejoice and be glad in the reality of His promises and in His willingness to provide
Gentleness--on a day heightened with emotion and expectations, I will bring Jesus' gentleness to each person, each moment. A gentle answer turns away wrath--today is not a time for confrontation or arguing--gentleness will soothe tired bodies
Faithfulness--I will be faithful to serve all in my wake--to do the hard work of cooking, washing, serving, that others might know the joy of celebration and beauty that comes from my heart of gratefulness to God for His faithfulness.
Self-control--I will also be a little more weary today. I will choose to control my spirit, my tongue, my attitudes, my complaining and give to God my worship through my spirit-controlled attitudes and heart. My thanksgiving will be through choosing to obey and submit my heart to Him, my precious Lord.
Each moment, as we make the choice to "clothe" ourselves with the Spirit who lives within us, we will have a holiday worth remembering because we will be bringing His life, our source of all light and strength, to reflect everywhere we go, and all in our lives need and will be blessed by His love through us.
I am thankful for you, my friends. May you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving Week! Love to all of you, Sally