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Browsing Tag: Faith

7 Thanksgiving Strategies to Help with Messy Family Relationships

Life is messy and God is good! There is no better test of that motto than Thanksgiving. We get to gather, stuff our faces and muddle through the messiest of messy relationships: family! The super cool and annoying thing about family is that they keep coming around. In all of our other relationships, we get to just slowly drift apart when we aren’t clicking. Family relationships can be the most special and amazing but those expectations also make them the most emotional and trying.  Here are a few tips I’ve learned and am learning about navigating messy relationships during the holidays: Filter your words! Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3   I joke about the poor little soldier angel that got stuck being the guard over my mouth. He has a tough job because he is bombarded all day long with stuff that shouldn’t get through. Things that are mean, emotional, judgmental, and just plain stupid. With the constant onslaught, he lets a lot of those things slip through! But when it comes to family, the words come with extra force because they are being pushed by a freight train filled with a lifetime’s worth of emotional baggage! Most people in our culture hate the idea of not fully expressing yourself. I look at things differently. I think there is a great deal of freedom in thinking about what I want to filter through to my family during the holidays. I get to choose what I share with them. I choose not to be controlled by emotional insecurities and triggers. I want to love my family and enjoy them during the holidays. It helps to purposely choose (and PRAY) to have a guard over my mouth. ­­Pray constantly. I’m quite aware of how psycho I sound when I discuss this, but I have an inner dialog going with God all day long. I believe he is actually with me all the time. (My actions often suggest otherwise, but I’m growing…) So, in conjunction with the guard that is filtering my words, I also have a discussion with God as I’m relating to family. It goes something like this (my inner voice sounds like Madea) “Jesus are you hearing this. I need to smack him upside the head. I know he didn’t…