When Your Family is “Complicated”

 When Your Family is “Complicated” 

Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Let’s face it. Great Uncle Horace is not going to change this year.

He will still be obnoxious, drink too much, bring totally inappropriate gifts and end up snoring in the recliner during the family Christmas gathering. Yes, he’s a piece of work.

But he’s your family’s piece of work!

Ahhh…. extended families during the holidays. Can someone say, “It’s complicated?”

Even if we didn’t have all the drama with in-laws and outlaws and custody and visitation, we would still find ourselves with a living room full of people with varied views on everything from religion to sports to politics to parenting and even the traditional menu for the holiday meal.

Don’t dread it. And don’t skip it. Embrace the mix! Do what the apostle Paul encouraged If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12.18 

Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Matthew 5.9  Unfortunately, our world is more than ever defined by our many conflicts.  

But my friend Jennifer Kennedy Dean in “Pursuing the Christ” brings the focus in tighter to our personal worlds. “Little arguments, petty responses later regretted, disagreements blown out of proportion, and hurt feelings, nurtured and fed, occur in abundance. Let peace begin with me… The focus is on what I can do to be an instrument of [Jesus’] peace.” 

The Bible promises that the “dawn from heaven will break upon us… to guide us on the path of peace.” Luke 1.78-79 In following that pathway, let’s offer acceptance and grace.

C.S. Lewis once commented that there are two kinds of love: “We love wise and kind and beautiful people because we need them, but we love (or try to love) stupid and disagreeable people because they need us. This second kind is the more divine because that is how God loves us: not because we are loveable but because He is love, not because He needs to receive but He delights to give.”

Love. Peace. It’s all been given to us.

Will you return the favor this season?

under the mercy, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”

©2018 Lucinda Secrest McDowell  adapted from Dwelling Places (Abingdon Press)      www.EncouragingWords.net 

NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Thanks!

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About Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Author ~ Storyteller ~ Speaker ~ Teacher "Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength" www.EncouragingWords.net
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