With Thanksgiving here, I’ve been thinking about the past. When my two sons were young, we spent Thanksgiving mornings watching parades and eating coffee cake. Then I’d slip into the kitchen, get the turkey ready and begin preparations for the rest of the meal. It wasn’t a hardship; I loved it. Still do.
Now, with both of my sons married, it’s more complicated. This year we’re having two Thanksgivings because of distance, work, timing, etc. After we had everything arranged, I sat in my chair and realized I missed the easier times, when it was just the four of us.
Then I thought about what I have. Have you ever watched your married children interact with their spouses? I have, many times. I realize that all marriages have their difficulties, but, my heart swells with happiness when I catch them smiling at each other, teasing each other, or giving each other that “special look”. In a world where divorce is common, it’s so comforting to witness their love for each other.
So, after really thinking about Thanksgiving, I have to admit it.
I WAS WRONG.
My two daughters-in-law are at the top of my Wonderful Person List. They’re not there just because my sons love them, but because I have come to love them as well. They have blessed our family in so many ways! Both of them have added something to the family, that we had not realized was missing.
My list of wonderful people would be incomplete without my four grandkids. What joy and laughter they take with them everywhere they go! They curiosity and excitement for the world around them, is a great thing to watch.
Yes, past holidays were easier to plan. But now, they are SO much more; more love, more fun, and more laughter. Now we are a family of 13!
Each year I had my first and second grade students list what they’re thankful for the most. Not all but many wrote their favorite toy, friend, or vacation.
When they finished, we discuss the differences between wants and needs. We decided that everyone needs shelter, clothes, love, food, and water.
Reluctantly, they decided that they didn’t really need games, toys, and candy. However, they weren’t sure about education and books. As a teacher, I reminded them that they needed an education to earn money for food, shelter, and clothes.
Now that they understood the difference between needs and wants, they were able to focus on the thing that they really needed. Their new lists included parents, home, food, brothers, sister, family and a couple of toys thrown in at the bottom of the list.
What are you thankful for? Does your list have more needs then wants?
I’m a relational person; I like to spend time with people and talk. The best gifts I’ve received has always been the, “Mom, let’s go out to lunch.” Or, “I’ll call you soon.” And then they do.
My husband and I go for motorcycle rides almost every weekend. We ride for an hour to an hour and a half, stop for breakfast or lunch, then ride home. The whole trip should take two to three hours, but usually it’s five. We sit in the restaurant talking, planning, and laughing.
Again, I’m a relational person.
It’s taken me a long time to realize that he’s not cutting me off nor is he telling me that he doesn’t want to spend time with me. When he’s focused on a home project, he’s in his work box. He’s just trying to get the job done so he can move on to something else.
While my husband likes to talk and spend time with family and friends, he’s definitely a doer. He doesn’t like to waste time. He focuses on how to get this done right and quickly. He also doesn’t like to have his time wasted with trivial stuff.
When I understood him better, we grew closer and, “Sigh”, the projects were completed much faster.
Are you relational or a doer? How about those closest to you? What do you do to make your relationships work best when the two of you are so different?
My husband’s a wonderful and funny man. He’s caring and has been my strength the last several years. He’s a good listener and tries to be the husband he should be.
I honestly believe we are meant to be together. He likes word games and I like number puzzles. He’s outgoing and I am on the shyer side. He likes change and I like my routine. We both really enjoy riding motorcycles and traveling. We love spending time together. I mean, how much more compatible could we be? Right? Except for one huge thing... he likes the movie Napoleon Dynamite and I really don’t like it... at all. Not a bit!
While we trust each other and we try to put the other first, at times, we fail.
What is trust? Webster’s defines it as "1) a firm belief in the honesty, reliability, etc. of another; faith 2) confident expectation, hope, etc."
So, where do you put your trust? In the stock market? The government? Your parents or spouse? A church or other organization? Maybe your siblings or friends? Where can you put your unwavering trust and not get the wind knocked out of you when it lets you down?
I’m talking about the kind of trust that never fails, a trust that’s always there for you.
There’s only one place, or rather, one person that I’ve
Jesus Christ, the only Son of the Living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Have you put your trust in Him?
Read the Book of John in the New Testament of the Bible.
Do you have problems with impure thoughts and daydreams? Perhaps it’s not exactly impure; it could be self-degrading thoughts, or a lie that you’ve believed all your life, or possibly, feelings of inferiority. We need to replace those negative thoughts, or they will come out of our mouths and show up in our actions.
Examine what you’re putting into your mind through television, books, conversations, movies, and magazines. Maybe you’re rehashing past events and those thoughts are dragging you down.
Right now, today, replace all harmful input with healthy material. Honestly think about your negative feelings, or discuss them with a person you trust. Then replace the lies with the truth. A child who constantly heard as he was growing up, that he was a failure and unlovable, would start by stating facts; I have friends who care about me; I have a good job, a roof over my head, etc.
But, the most important part is God. Without praying to God and reading His Bible, we may succeed for a while, but it won’t last long. However, when we ask God to help us focus our minds on what is good and pure, He WILL help us. He loves us and wants us to give our problems to Him. Unless you’re used to turning things over to God, it can take time to realize you can trust Him. Believe me, you CAN. I’ve tried it and He does love us. Below is a paraphrase of Phil 4:8, where Paul tells us to – program (verb- doing) our minds with thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. We can’t do it alone, but with God, all things are possible!
What are you struggling with today? Trust God to help you. Then share with us how God helped you overcome!
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