You’ve heard of #100HappyDays? Well, I stole the idea and adapted to fit my blogging schedule.
Every day is filled with reasons to be thankful. And yet the majority of my day isn’t spent being thankful. That’s got to change. God sent his son to save me - HUGE reason to always be thankful. And I’ve been freed to live a new life through Christ, released from fear, doubt, shame and self-reliance, equipped with love to serve others and blessed with all kinds of daily tasks and jobs to express my love. And that’s just the big stuff.
How about all the amazing little things each day? The simple, everyday stuff. The stuff I totally take for granted and just expect to be there. And yet stuff that so many people still don’t have - and may never possess. My God gives me so much and it’s time to praise him for all he’s done for me.
This is #100ThankfulWeeks to praise Him. I’m sharing one simple thing I’m thankful for each week. And I encourage you to swipe the idea and make it your own. And if you let me know when you post or what hashtag you use, I’ll be happy to share your posts. Because there can never be to much thankfulness.
Week 15: Family
Say the word family and it conjures up all kinds of concepts like “Family sticks together” and “There’s nothing more important than family” and “You should always be able to count on family”. But sometimes it also brings up phrases like “You don’t choose your family” and “You get me, you get my family” and “Well, they’re family” and “They’re YOUR family”. Family can be a mixed bag of emotions, memories and personalities.
Yet when I say I’m thankful for family, I’m talking about all of it. The whole mixed bag of what makes family, family. Families are like built-in automatic, customized opportunities for love. We’re each born into families where we can help and serve, show patience and kindness, share generously, support and nurture and forgive and comfort. And not just when I like or get along with my family. And not just when I agree with the “nice” side of the family. Because I was loved and forgiven even when I was a slave to evil. The greater the challenge, the greater the opportunity for overcoming resistance with love.
I get to cook and clean for my family. I get to offer family help when there’s a need. I get to share all I have with my family. I get to pray for my family. When someone is angry, I get to be patient. When someone is scared, I get to encourage them. When someone is hurt, I get to comfort them. When someone hurts me, I get to forgive. And when family shares, prays, comforts, supports, encourages and forgives me, I get to rejoice. All these opportunities to love - right within my own family, everyday.
And what if family doesn’t reciprocate that love? Doesn’t matter. It doesn’t diminish my opportunity to love. What if family doesn’t appreciate my efforts? Still doesn’t matter. I have the same opportunity for love. And what if family is unfair, selfish, critical, demanding, lazy, gossipy, judgmental, abusive, crass and unprincipled? Still doesn’t matter because without the love I was shown, that’s exactly what I am. No matter how challenging or awful the family, they cannot diminish the opportunity to love them.
Thank you so much for giving me a family, God. When I am frustrated or irritated by family, help me to remember your mercy to me. When I feel at odds with family, remind me of the greater opportunity for love. When I wrong someone in the family, help me seek forgiveness and work to restore harmony. And when I’m tempted to rehash past hurt and wrongs, refocus my energy on serving with love in the present.
What does family mean to you?