A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine was expressing how much she dreads the holidays because of the stress she feels being around her family. She said that it doesn’t take long for the conflict to rise, tension to build, and an argument to breakout.  I can imagine that she is not the only one who experiences some level of dread when the whole family comes together.

As we spoke that day, I realized how blessed I truly am because I have a very large family and we all get along fabulously.  We love and appreciate each other and we respect our individual personalities. I believe that the thing that unites us is our shared love for God.  This love enables us to rarely (I mean rarely) ever experience conflict in family gatherings. We are so blessed!

No matter what you will face on Thanksgiving, whether it is a peaceful gathering, a tumultuous family, time together, or time away, I encourage you to prepare. Not only prepare the meal, but prepare yourself, your heart, and your mind.  Remember to be thankful, keep your eyes on the goodness of God and not on the flaws of others.  Let’s not let attitudes fester into arguments.

Pray this prayer to prepare your heart and mind for Thanksgiving:

“Dear God, help me to focus on your blessings in my life so that I will have an attitude of gratitude for your faithfulness.  Help me to return peace for conflict, love for hate, joy for grief, patience for impatience, encouragement for discouragement, and kindness for apathy. May the joy of the Lord be so evident on my face and in my attitude that others will want the peace that is in me. Help me not to push my own agenda and help me to respect the people around me.  Help me to focus on the needs of others.  Let my light shine so that I can reflect your goodness and glorify you.  Thank you for the comfort, hope, and joy that you have given me in Jesus Christ. Amen.”


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